The Vietnamese government has said it will not stamp Chinese passports featuring a map that includes disputed islands in the South China Sea as Chinese territory, opting to issue visas on a separate piece of paper.

The head of the border guard command in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh said on Monday that guards had been instructed to issue visas stapled to Chinese people bearing such passports.

The latest diplomatic tension followed a parallel action taken by India, which decided to issue Chinese citizens with visas embossed with New Delhi's own maps.