Con­sulate con­demns pass­port scrib­bling

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

“Of­fen­sive scrib­bling” in English on a Chi­nese ci­ti­zen’s pass­port by Viet­namese bor­der of­fi­cials was shame­less and cow­ardly, China’s con­sulate gen­eral in Ho Chi Minh City said on Wed­nes­day.

It added that the in­ci­dent had “stained the dig­nity of both China and its na­tion­als”.

On Satur­day, a woman sur­named Zhong from Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince, found that of­fen­sive words had been scrib­bled in her pass­port after im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials handed it back to her at Tan Son Nhat In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Ho ChiMinh City.

The words had been scrib­bled on two pages that con­tained the dot­ted line de­not­ing China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Zhong, who was on a per­sonal visit to Viet­nam, did not re­spond im­me­di­ately at the air­port be­cause she can­not speak Viet­namese, but she later told China Na­tional Ra­dio that she felt in­sulted and was “very dis­ap­pointed at the per­sonal qual­i­ties of Viet­namese of­fi­cials”.

This will not help to prop­erly set­tle dis­putes be­tween Bei­jing and Hanoi.”

Li Guo­qiang, deputy head of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences’ In­sti­tute of Chi­nese Border­land Stud­ies

The Chi­nese con­sulate gen­eral said in a state­ment on its web­site on Wed­nes­day that it had ex­pressed in­dig­na­tion, con­tempt and con­dem­na­tion to the For­eign Af­fairs Of­fice in Ho ChiMinh City.

It said China had asked Viet­nam to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent and se­ri­ously pun­ish those re­spon­si­ble for it, adding that Viet­nam should en­sure that such a case was not re­peated.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­sulate, the Viet­namese said they would con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The Viet­namese em­bassy and con­sulates in China were un­avail­able for com­ment.

Ear­lier this month, Chi­nese me­dia re­ports said Viet­namese bor­der con­trol of­fi­cers re­fused to stamp Chi­nese pass­ports with the dot­ted line de­sign, with the hold­ers be­ing is­sued with sep­a­rate visas on ar­rival.

The re­ports said Viet­nam had adopted such mea­sures since 2012, when China first is­sued new pass­ports with the South China Sea dot­ted line printed in them.

China and Viet­nam have over­lap­ping claims to parts of the South China Sea.

Li Guo­qiang, deputy head of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences’ In­sti­tute of Chi­nese Border­land Stud­ies, said the bor­der of­fi­cials’ “provoca­tive act” re­flected “long-stand­ing ir­ra­tional emo­tions” among some Viet­namese peo­ple re­gard­ing the South China Sea is­sue.

“How­ever, this will not help to prop­erly set­tle dis­putes be­tween Bei­jing and Hanoi, and even hurts re­la­tions be­tween the peo­ples of both coun­tries,” he said.

The Viet­namese gov­ern­ment should con­trol and man­age such “mis­be­hav­ior” and at­tempt to solve dif­fer­ences through gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment con­ver­sa­tions, Li added.

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