Netflix has taken down two episodes of the Australian political drama “Pine Gap” from its service in the Philippines after the show displayed an image of a map with the Chinese regime’s nine-dash line on it, which the Filipino government called a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
Following a formal complaint lodged by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippines’ movie classification board ruled that certain episodes were “unfit for public exhibition.”
In its decision, the board emphasised that every instrument of the government, given the opportunity, has the responsibility to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea to assert its territorial integrity.
“It further noted that the portrayal of the illegal nine-dash line in Pine Gap is no accident as it was consciously designed and calculated to specifically convey a message that China’s nine-dash line legitimately exists,” the DFA said in a statement on Nov. 1.
“Such portrayal is a crafty attempt to perpetuate and memorialise in the consciousness of the present generation of viewers and the generations to come the illegal nine-dash line.
“Using the medium of a motion picture is but China’s unconventional approach to gain the upper hand in the territorial conflict in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.”
Screentime, the Australian company that produced the series, has declined to comment.
This cancellation of the episodes comes after Pine Gap was also removed from Netflix services in Vietnam for the same reasons earlier in the year.
“Netflix’s violations angered and hurt the feelings of the entire people of Vietnam,” the Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said in a statement on July 1, as reported by Reuters.
The CCP lays claim to an extensive territory in the resource-filled South China Sea, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Beijing completely disregards a 2016 landmark ruling by an arbitration tribunal that repudiated its territorial claims in the region, arming its artificial islands with more weapon systems and missiles.
The CCP also frequently harasses the local fishing industry with “sea militia” and violates the Philippines’ internationally recognised Exclusive Economic Zone.
On July 12, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the CCP to follow its “obligations under international law,” abide by the 2016 ruling, and “cease its provocative behaviour.”