Vietnamese authorities fine TikToker $300 for claiming Angkor Wat is Thai temple

By Ho Dinh   January 3, 2024 | 06:10 pm PT
Vietnamese authorities fine TikToker $300 for claiming Angkor Wat is Thai temple
Hua Quoc Anh (R) is questioned by the authorities in HCMC on Jan. 3 2023. Photo courtesy of HCMC's Department of Information and Communications
Ho Chi Minh City TikToker Hua Quoc Anh has been fined VND7.5 million (US$306) for posting a video defaming the sacred Cambodian temples of Angkor Wat last year.

HCMC authorities announced the fine Wednesday, and warned him to learn from such incidents and comply with Vietnamese laws when using the Internet and social media.

In November last year he had posted a video on his TikTok account, which has 700,000 followers, featuring a girl wearing traditional Thai costume and walking around the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap.

He incorporated images of the Thai flag and king, and a voiceover said "Hello Thailand," sparking a wave of criticism in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The Angkor Wat World Heritage Conservation Authority (Apsara) said the video had seriously affected Cambodia's culture and heritage.

Cambodian authorities asked TikTok to block it, and the video was removed from the platform.

Some Thais controversially claim Angkor Wat is part of their country and not Cambodia.

It is a longstanding dispute between the two nations despite the fact that the rest of the international community has always recognized Angkor as the sole territory of Cambodia, which is in fact far from the Thai border.

Deputy State Secretary of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, Prak Chandar, said Anh's video "had a negative impact on the image of Cambodian tourism" and he could be banned from entering the country for 10 years.

The temple complex attracts millions of visitors every year from all over the world, and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.

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