Vietnam orders Netflix to remove Australian spy show from South China Sea map


Netflix Inc withdrew Australia’s spy drama “Pine Gap” from its services in Vietnam after a complaint from broadcast authorities in the Southeast Asian country over the appearance of a map depicting China’s claims at sea to Southern China.

The map, which briefly appears on the screens of a control room at a spy base in two episodes of the six-part show, represents the “nine-dash line” unilaterally declared by China and is displayed in the context of maritime claims in the region.

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“Netflix’s violations have angered and hurt the feelings of all Vietnamese people,” the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority said in a statement posted on its website.

“This is the third consecutive time in the past 12 months that Netflix has distributed movies and TV shows containing content that violates Vietnam’s sovereignty,” the statement, dated July 1, said.

The “nine-dashed line” is a U-shaped feature used on Chinese maps to illustrate its contested claims over large swathes of the resource-rich South China Sea, including large swathes of what Vietnam considers to be. its continental shelf, where it has granted oil concessions.

In recent years, Chinese and Vietnamese ships have been embroiled in months-long standoffs in disputed waterways.

Netflix has confirmed to have removed the show in Vietnam, but said it remains available on the service in the rest of the world.

“Following a written legal request from the Vietnamese regulator, we have removed the licensed series, Pine Gap, from Netflix in Vietnam to comply with local law,” a Netflix spokesperson said.

In October 2019, Vietnam pulled DreamWorks’ animated film “Abominable” from theaters on a stage featuring a similar map showing the “nine-dash line.”

The Vietnamese Broadcasting Authority said the other two shows it raised as issues with Netflix were “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” a 2019 Chinese romantic comedy, and US political drama “Madam Secretary”.

“Put Your Head on My Shoulder” was still showing on Netflix Friday, although “Madam Secretary” was not.

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