Philippines "strongly protests' map in new Chinese passports

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The Philippines "strongly protests" China's inclusion of a map of disputed islands in the South China Sea in its new passports, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a mobile-phone message Thursday.

Hernandez said China should respect the Philippines' territorial domain. "The action of China is contrary to the spirit of the declaration of conduct of parties in the South China Sea," he said.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Wednesday said in Manila that the Philippines will host a meeting of vice foreign ministers from Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei on Dec. 12 to discuss possible solutions to their disputes in the South China Sea.

Vietnam made a formal complaint to China about the map, the Financial Times reported. The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam, are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency website.

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