Arts & Entertainment

Blackpink Vietnam concert organizer apologizes over controversial map

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 7 (EFE).- IMe Entertainment, organizer of K-pop group Blackpink’s tour in Asia, publicly apologized for the use of a controversial map of the South China Sea, a disputed area between Beijing and Hanoi, where the outfit is due to perform.

The map, posted on its website and no longer accessible, shows the so-called “cow’s tongue line” that represents Beijing’s claims to almost all of the territories in the South China Sea.

This U-shaped Chinese delimitation clashes with Vietnam’s sovereignty claim over all of the Paracel Islands and partial claim of the Spratly Islands, both in the disputed region.

IMe Executive Director Brian Chow apologized Thursday night for the publication of the map and promised to “replace images that are not suitable for the Vietnamese people,” the Vietnam+ news portal published Friday.

“The map on the website does not represent the territory of any country and we are aware of respecting the sovereignty and culture of all countries where IMe is based (…) We would like to express our sincerest apologies for this unfortunate misunderstanding,” Chow said.

The organizer’s reaction was preceded by complaints from Vietnamese netizens and the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture ordering the Department of Performing Arts on Wednesday to verify “suspicions” about the use of the controversial map.

Blackpink, the legendary female quartet that has established itself as one of the pillars of the multimillion-dollar music industry in South Korea, plans to perform for the first time in the Vietnamese capital on July 29 and July 30, as part of their world tour ” Born Pink,” which generates a furor among fans.

It comes a few days after Vietnam announced the ban on the screening of the “Barbie” movie in the country due to a scene in which the map of the South China Sea also appears with the controversial U-shaped dotted line or “cow’s tongue line.”

Several films and audiovisual productions have been censored lately in Vietnam for using the map with the U-shaped line, including animated film “Abominable” and action film “Uncharted” in addition to Australian spy series “Pine Gap,” removed last year by steaming platform Netflix for the same reason.

China claims almost all of this maritime space, where it has built facilities for military use on several islets, and which is also partially disputed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. EFE


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