Vietnam rejects products containing China's illegal claims

By Tien Anh   July 6, 2023 | 05:52 am PT
Vietnam rejects products containing China's illegal claims
Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang speaks at a press meet in Hanoi on June 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnam prohibits the propagation of products and prints that include China's infamous and illegal "nine-dash line" map, which falsely lays claim to Vietnamese territory, the foreign ministry announced Thursday.

"Vietnam’s stance on the nine-dash line is clear and consistent, and has been clarified many times," spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang said at a press conference.

She was answering a reporter’s question about the film "Barbie," which has been banned in Vietnam for containing a map with the nine-dash line.

"The propagation and use of products and prints containing the nine-dash line in Vietnam violate Vietnamese regulations and are not accepted," Hang said.

On July 3, head of the Vietnam Cinema Department Vi Kien Thanh said the movie "Barbie," directed by Greta Gerwig, had been banned for having scenes containing the illegal nine-dash line drawn up by China to unlawfully claim most of the South China Sea. The line has been internationally condemned and rejected.

"Barbie" was supposed to hit Vietnamese theaters on July 21. On the websites of major theaters like Galaxy and CGV, the film’s schedule has been removed.

Hang also said authorities are verifying information regarding whether iME Entertainment, which has organized an upcoming Blackpink concert in Hanoi, supports the nine-dash line.

Le Thanh Liem, head inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said on Wednesday the ministry had received claims that iME Entertainment shares maps containing the nine-dash line, adding that authorities are trying to verify the information.

iME Entertainment, based in Beijing, has organized concerts for several international artists. It has branches in several other countries and territories as well.

A press release issued by iME Entertainment on Thursday said it was sorry for the incident, explaining that the image in question was taken from a common website for all regional offices in Asia, not the website of the Vietnamese company.

The firm has yet to register for a domain in Vietnam, and is only operating on certain platforms on Facebook and Instagram. iMe Entertainment said it had replaced the images that are "inappropriate for the Vietnamese people."

A representative of iME Entertainment said the company was working with the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, along with other relevant entities, regarding the matter.

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