Netflix has recently pulled two episodes of an Australian spy show, “Pine Gap” from its service in the Philippines after it showcased a map with China’s claims to the disputed South China Sea.

On 1 November, the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it had lodged a complaint on the matter with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) over the show using a map with the nine-dash line – the demarcation line used by the People’s Republic of China for its claims of the major part of the South China Sea that has been branded illegal by an international court ruling.


The department stated, “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 an upper hand in the territorial conflict in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.”

It is noted that Vietnam had also lodged a similar complaint over the issue, prompting the platform to pull the entire six-episode drama in the country.

Beijing’s nine-dash line claim had been invalidated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) back in 2016, with Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia rebuking the claim. However, the country has refused to comply.

Netflix has not commented on the issue.

6c0b3db4eb00c39d53611203da0ccc00
This map caused uproar in the Philippines and Vietnam, as seen in the control room of “Pine Gap”