Barbie movie banned in Vietnam over dispute with film's depiction of China's maritime boundary

The new Barbie movie featuring actress Margo Robbie has been banned in Vietnam over scenes that feature a map showing China's nine-dash line.

The nine-dash line is a maritime boundary in the South China Sea drawn up by China, which claims to own the territory inside the line. The boundary is controversial to the surrounding countries that also claim part of the waterway, which includes Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines



The movie was set to be released in Vietnam on July 21, but the government banned the film due depictions of China's self-proclaimed maritime boundary. Barbie is no longer listed on the major Vietnamese cinema chains websites, Daily Mail reports.



Vietnam's Department of Cinema director, Vi Kien Thanh, told the Dan Tri news site that "The film review board watched the film and made the decision to ban the screening of this movie in Vietnam due to a violation regarding the 'nine-dash line.'"

Tien Phong, a Vietnamese state media outlet, reported that the nine-dash line is featured in multiple scenes throughout the movie.
 

The Vietnam government requires all movies to be approved by censors who screen for gratuitous violence, suggestive sex scenes, or politically-sensitive material, according to Daily Mail.

In 2018, Vietnam censored a scene from the wildly successful romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. The scene featured a designer purse that featured a world map on it. The map depicted the South China Sea islands as being under China's control.

The South China Sea is a resource-rich sea that is home to oil, gas deposits, and shipping lanes. China drew the nine-dash line to claim the rich resources.

The rising tensions between China and Taiwan have only grown stronger over the past six months, as Taiwain insists that it is independent from the mainland. After Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visited House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in early April, China sent warships near the island country in an act of intimidation. 


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