Chinese tourists enter Vietnam wearing T-shirts featuring illicit ‘9-dash line’ map

They were told to get changed and the shirts have been expropriated for investigation

Maps showing the illicit ‘nine-dash line’ that violate Vietnam’s sovereignty are printed on T-shirts worn by a group of Chinese tourists who landed at Cam Ranh International Airport in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa on May 13, 2018.

Vietnamese authorities are looking into a case of Chinese tourists found wearing T-shirts containing the illicit ‘nine-dash line’ that violates Vietnam’s sovereignty after they entered Vietnam via an airport on Sunday.

The group of about ten Chinese nationals landed at Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa Province at around 11:20 pm, and made their way to immigration, wearing T-shirts featuring the map of China, according to the airdrome’s police unit.

All of these maps included the so-called 'nine-dash line,' a cow tongue-shaped imaginary line illegally created by China to claim its sovereignty over about 80 percent of the East Vietnam Sea, including Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

The Chinese tourists were traveling to Vietnam on a tour operated by Aladin Co. Ltd, a travel and trading company based in Khanh Hoa’s resort city of Nha Trang, about 35 kilometers from the Cam Ranh airport.

Bui Quoc Tuan, an Aladin manager, said it was not until the Chinese tourists had passed immigration that the company’s tour guide realized their clothes featured the invalid map.

“We asked them to get changed and seized all the T-shirts for submission to relevant authorities,” Tuan said.

“We have also compiled a report on the incident and provided the police with the tourists' personal particulars.”

Airport police said they were working closely with officers from the Khanh Hoa police department and security personnel at the airport to investigate the incident.

Passengers queue for immigration at Cam Ranh International Airport in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa on May 14, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Passengers queue for immigration at Cam Ranh International Airport in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa on May 14, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

In 2014, a Chinese couple were also caught trying to bring many world maps showing the illicit ‘nine-dash line’ into Vietnam through the Moc Bai Border Gate in the southern province of Tay Ninh.

Vietnamese authorities have consistently rejected China’s territorial claims with its absurd imaginary line, as they are not based on any legal foundation and violate the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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