Vietnam has revoked the license of DreamWorks Animation movie 'Abominable' over scenes that depict Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea that Hanoi doesn't approve of. What angered Vietnam were scenes that showed China's unilaterally declared "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, Reuters reported on Monday, citing state media.
China and Vietnam have been embroiled in a bitter territorial dispute in the South China Sea. At the core of the South China Sea conflict is the overlapping claims of sovereignty over two island chains -- Paracels and Spratlys -- and waters around them.
China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei have made claims to a clutch of shoals, rocky outcrops, atolls and sandbanks in the sprawling South China sea.
"We will revoke (the film's license)," Ta Quang Dong, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, Reuters reported. Abominable was produced jointly by Shanghai-based Pearl Studio and DreamWorks Animation. The movie has been running in Vietnamese theatres since October 4. The ministry clampdown came on Sunday after images of the disputed map flooded social media.
China-Vietnam dispute in South China Sea
The simmering South China Sea dispute came alive again in July when China sent vessels to the disputed region to conduct an energy survey. China had scored decisive military victories over Vietnam in recent decades in its quest to cement claims over the island chains. In 1974, more than 70 Vietnamese soldiers died in China's military offensive that seized control of Paracels. In 1988 Vietnam lost Spratlys to China in another bloody military conflict.
In 2014, China set up a drilling rig in waters near the Paracel Islands, angering Vietnam. More than 20 people were killed in protests in Vietnam after China's rig move. China withdrew the rig after conducting drilling for two months. In 2015 satellite images showed Beijing was building an airstrip on land reclaimed around the Spratlys.
In 2016 Vietnam objected to China moving its Haiyang Shiyou oil rig to an area of the waters where the two countries' continental shelves overlap. The rig was at the centre of a fierce diplomatic row between the communist neighbours that ad also resulted in violent anti-China protests in Vietnam that claimed the lives of more than 20 people.