Uncharted banned in Vietnam for including a Chinese map

Vietnam bans Uncharted from cinemas for including a map featuring China’s controversial nine-dash line in the film.

Unexplored is currently preparing to release in Southeast Asia, but it is already facing backlash. Specifically from Vietnam, where the film was previously banned for its inclusion of a map featuring China’s controversial nine-dash line.

Vi Kien Thanh, head of the film department, confirmed, “The film was banned from distribution after watching it and finding it contained an illegal image of the infamous nine-dash line.” The demarcation usually appears on maps produced in China, but often appears elsewhere.

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It’s not the first film to face similar controversies. Dreamworks Movie 2019, Abominablewas banned in several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia, due to the inclusion of the nine-dash line in a scene.

The nine-dash line has appeared on maps since 1947, although the Communist Party-ruled People’s Republic of China has never been able to support the claims historically or legally. The line is controversial due to the fact that it suggests jurisdiction in areas belonging to Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and more. While Chinese officials continue to support the line and China’s claim to the islands and regions it encompasses, the nine-dash line is not recognized by the international community, including authorities such as the United Nations United. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) concluded in 2016 that China’s claim to maritime areas inside the nine-dash line had no lawful effect.

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It is believed that the nine-dash line continues to be pushed by the Chinese Communist Party as a soft assertion, in order to legitimize any strong assertion the government makes in the future. An example is the island nation of Taiwan, which China continues to threaten if it does not give up its status as an independent country. To minimize the legitimacy of China’s claim to Taiwan, the United States effectively banned maps showing Taiwan as a region of China.

Unexplored was set to hit theaters in Vietnam on March 18 and China on March 14. It is the first Hollywood film to hit Chinese theaters this year. Despite the fact that it has yet to premiere in those territories, Tom Rothman, President and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, has previously stated Unexplored a major success. He recently said, “With over $100 million in worldwide box office revenue in a single weekend and a 90% positive Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, Uncharted is a successful new film franchise for the society.”

Unexplored now playing in theaters.

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Source: Reuters

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