Hanoi bars movie over map of China claims

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 15 Oct 2019

Vietnam has pulled the animated film Abominable from theaters over a scene featuring a map of the South China Sea showing Beijing's claims in the flashpoint waterway.

China has long used its so-called nine-dash line to justify its jurisdiction over most of the resource-rich sea, often to the displeasure of Hanoi, which also claims parts of the sea.

The U-shaped line appears on a map of the South China Sea in a scene in the film - released as Everest: The Little Snowman in Vietnam - which is about a Chinese teenager helping a yeti return to his home on Mount Everest.

State media said the movie - a joint production from DreamWorks and China's Pearl Studio - would no longer be shown in Vietnam, where it was released on October 4. "I will claim responsibility" for the mistake, said Nguyen Thu Ha, the head of Vietnam's Cinema Department.

Photos of the faux pas circulated on social media yesterday, showing the scene featuring the nine-dash line crossed out with a red "X" along with angry comments.

"Please sack the person in charge of censorship for this movie," said Facebook user Pham Tan Phong.

Another said: "We cannot accept these blatant acts."

In the 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, one of the scenes cut by Vietnam's censors featured a bag with a map of the world showing disputed islands under Beijing's control.

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