Beijing: Vietnam has restricted availability of the Chinese television and radio programmes following its spat with Beijing over the disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Hoang Huu Luong, head of the Press Department of Vietnam`s Ministry of Information and Communications, has directed the local radio and television stations to limit the broadcast of foreign TV series, especially those from the Chinese mainland and South Korea, the official media here said on Monday.
Hoang also asked the officials to reinforce Vietnam`s sovereignty over the disputed islands in their coverage, the `Global Times` reported.
The Chinese state TV channels have not been made available there since the beginning of August, the report said.
Hanoi also removed link to China Radio International`s (CRI) Vietnamese-language channel from the website of Voice of Vietnam (VOV).
Wu Zhao-ying, the director at Vietnamese department of CRI said, said she did not know why the link was removed and wants to discuss the issue with her counterparts at VOV.
Chinese strategic analysts linked it to the South China Sea dispute.
"It`s an important signal showing that the South China Sea dispute is causing tension between China and Vietnam," Liu Feng, a researcher at the Research Centre for Oceans Law and Policy under the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the daily.
"Vietnam`s government wants to block news broadcasts about the South China Sea from China, in case Vietnamese viewers are influenced by the reports," Liu said.
Tempers flared up between the two countries in the recent months after the Vietnam National Assembly passed the "Vietnamese Law of the Sea," asserting that Spratly islands called Xisha and Nansha Islands by China were under Vietnam`s jurisdiction.
Subsequently, China retaliated forming a new city Xisha on the islands and established a military garrison besides calling for bids for oil exploration around the islands.