Published On: Mon, Oct 14th, 2019

South China Sea: Vietnam pulls Abominable film over depiction of flashpoint area | World | News

The film, about a Chinese girl who discovers a yeti on her roof, is a joint China-DreamWorks production. It was released in cinemas throughout Vietnam on October 4, but a controversial scene shows China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” on a map in the background. This forms a huge area in the stretch of the South China Sea that Vietnam lays claims to.

Vietnamese film fans quickly noticed the map when watching the film and began circulating screenshots of it across social media platforms.

The country’s Government has reacted immediately, and announced the film would be pulled from cinemas.

Ta Quang Dong, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was quoted by the Thanh Nien newspaper as saying: “We will revoke the film’s license.”

His department is in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films.

A spokeswoman for CJ CGV Vietnam, the country’s largest cinema chain and a unit of South Korea’s CJ CGV – declined to comment.

Reuters has reported a receptionist at the state-run state-run National Cinema Centre in Hanoi said the culture ministry had ordered the film to be pulled from screening because of the scene involving the map.

The news agency added workers at the National Cinema Centre in the Vietnamese capital were taking down posters for the film earlier today.

Student and cinema fan Phan Thi Nhi Ha told Reuters outside the centre: “I’d planned to watch this film but after having heard about that maritime sovereignty issue, I think I shouldn’t.”

READ MORE: South China Sea: Vietnam accuses China of ‘violating sovereign rights’

Last week, ESPN came under fire for using a map that appeared to endorse China’s claims to both the self-governed island of Taiwan and the same disputed South China Sea regions.

As tensions rise across the South China Sea, Donald Trump has received widespread criticism after withdrawing troops from northern Syria and therefore giving Turkey free reign to attack Kurdish forces.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed concerns over the latest move from the US President in the Middle East, amid fears of an ISIS resurgence as a result of US withdrawal.

The fears have been sparked because the US will relinquish control of a prison camp that has ISIS fighters detained with the help of Kurdish forces.

But Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has inflicted devastating airstrikes on the US-backed militia, leaving it unclear who will take control of ISIS detainees provoking many to fear some will escape.

China is displaying regular signs of aggression in the region as President Xi Jinping looks to expand the country’s economic and military influence in Asia and beyond.

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