After protesting over controversial maps in Chinese passports claiming sovereignty over disputed South China Sea, the Philippines has asked all book stores in the country not to sell globes made in China as they carried the same maps depicting "misinformation".
Bookshops selling Chinese-made globes in the Philippines have agreed to withdraw them from sale after being told by the government that they depict "misinformation" by reflecting Beijing's claim to almost the entire South China Sea, which Manila staunchly opposes.
The globes show the so-called "nine-dash line", long used by Beijing to depict the extent of its claim to sovereignty over waters and islands that are also claimed by other Asian nations, including the Philippines, the Hong Kong-based South China Post reported.
Spokesman of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, (DFA) Raul Hernandez said, "The DFA has been able to validate that educational globes which reflect China's nine-dash lines encompassing the South China Sea are being retailed locally by establishments that are totally unaware about the maritime disputes between the Philippines and China."
"The management of these establishments are proactively prepared to discuss with the DFA, remedies to be able to address the misinformation contained in the educational globes," he said.
"The Philippines asserts that China's nine-dash line claim is an excessive claim in violation of international law," the Post quoted him as saying.
The action was taken after a group of Filipinos on Facebook first drew attention to the controversial globes. China's aggressive stand to pursue its territorial claims with neighbours created a furore last year as it started printing the maps on the e-Chinese passports making it difficult for the countries with disputes, including India to stamp visas as it amounted to tacitly endorsing the Chinese stand.
While India countered with stamping its own official map while issuing visas, the Philippines and Vietnam which have counter claims over South China Sea along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan protested Beijing's move. For its part, Vietnam began to issue stapled visas, (on separate paper), which China did for residents of Jammu and Kashmir in 2009 before revoking it following protests from India.
"We feel we owe it to our country. Others may find this issue of little consequence, but if we cannot address this, then how do you think we can address South China Sea issue?" Filipino telecom engineer David Valencia said. "Our country is contesting the nine-dash line with China and at the United Nations, yet we have these in our schools, offices and homes," he said.