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PH starts not stamping Chinese passports

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has started implementing the new policy of not stamping Chinese passports with a visa, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday, December 3.

"All Chinese passports, old or new, will not be stamped with a visa. The visa will be stamped on a separate sheet of paper," DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters.

The Bureau of Immigration, the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, and all consulates in China have already been informed of the new policy, which affects all Chinese travel documents, not only the ones featuring the controversial 9-Dash line map covering most of the South China Sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines and other countries.

The DFA announced on Wednesday, November 28, that the Philippines would refuse to stamp the new e-passports issued by China and instead imprint visas on separate application forms to protest Beijing's latest move to assert its sovereignty over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

Vietnam is also refusing to stamp Chinese passports, while India is printing special visas embossed with its own map.

Taiwan has condemned the maps, included in the interior pages of the travel document, while Brunei and Malaysia – the other claimants to territories in the South China Sea – have not yet reacted to the issue.

The Philippines has officially protested to China through a verbal note sent by the DFA to the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

However, the government insisted Chinese visitors are still welcome to the country, regardless of their passports. - Rappler.com