Tension continues to foment over a new version of Chinese passports that includes disputed territories in the South China Sea. Surin Pitsuwan, the outgoing ASEAN secretary general, told Financial Times that there were concerns of the dispute turning into the “Palestine” of South East Asia. Both the Philippines and Vietnam have stated that the passport map, which includes disputed islands with four dashs, violates their national sovereignty. The US also intended to raise concerns on the issue, Reuters reported. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the map was “not helpful to the environment we all seek to resolve.” As China has grown economically and militarily, so has its assertiveness over territorial claims, particularly in the oil, gas and fish rich South China Sea. India, another country involved in a territorial dispute with China, has issued visa stamps with its own version of the borders.
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