Two episodes of the series “Pine Gap” are no longer available in the Philippines after the country demanded Netflix remove them for showing China’s nine-dash line.
Contested episodes: On Monday, the Philippines asked the streaming service to remove the Australian series’ second and third episodes for showing a modified map that China uses to assert its territorial claims on the South China Sea, Rappler reported.
- The “Pine Gap” episodes on Netflix Philippines now include a notice that says “This episode removed by government demand.”
- The removal of the episodes comes after the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the country’s regulatory agency had found on Sept. 28 that the episodes are “unfit for public exhibition.”
- The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board ruled that the appearance of China’s nine-dash line “is no accident as it was consciously designed and calculated to specifically convey a message that China’s nine-dash line legitimately exists.”
- “Such portrayal is a crafty attempt to perpetuate and memorialize in the consciousness of the present generation of viewers and the generations to come the illegal nine-dash line,” the statement read. “Using the medium of a motion picture is but China’s unconventional approach to gain an upper hand in the territorial conflict in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.”
- In Vietnam, a similar complaint led to the removal of the entire “Pine Gap” series on Netflix.
Contested waters: The map showcased in the “Pine Gap” episodes features the controversial nine-dash line used on Chinese maps that mark the country’s historic claims to most of the South China Sea waters, reported Reuters.
- Waters within the U-shaped line are also contested by countries such as the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.
- In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea deemed that the line had “no legal basis” for China’s maritime claims.
- The PCA ruled that the Philippines has sovereign rights of the eastern parts of the area that the government has since designated as the “West Philippine Sea”. The decision also recognizes the country’s jurisdiction over the 200 nautical miles within its exclusive economic zone.