Netflix's 'Madam Secretary' China reference riles Vietnam

Television still of Madam Secretary starring Tea Leoni. PHOTO: CBS STUDIOS INC

HANOI (BLOOMBERG) - Vietnamese officials want a reference to the ancient port city of Hoi An as China removed from an episode of the Netflix Inc show Madam Secretary, according to a post on the government's website.

The image of the Unesco World Heritage Site city appears in episode four in season one of the US political TV series with the caption Fuling, China, causing anger among Vietnamese, according to the posting.

Officials in the central province of Quang Nam, where Hoi An is located, want the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to request the reference be removed from the episode, according to the posting.

The statement also says companies that own the copyright of the TV series should not broadcast it in Vietnam.

"The scene in question is from a licensed title called Madam Secretary, which aired in 2014 and is a work of fiction," Netflix said in a statement from its media agency in Vietnam.

"The show is not available in Vietnam and any resemblances to real life situations or locations are unintentional."

The South-east Asian country in 2019 ordered theatres to pull the movie Abominable over depictions in the film of China's version of its maritime boundaries with its neighbour in the South China Sea.

China's so-called "nine-dash line" claims a vast part of the waters and is contested by Hanoi.

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