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China highlights Korean War in TV shows amid trade tensions

By Elizabeth Shim
China is making changes to entertainment media amid a trade dispute with the United States. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/608a3ba8ba917671e8201a312a013b03/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
China is making changes to entertainment media amid a trade dispute with the United States. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- China may be increasingly using entertainment media to control public perceptions of the United States, and history, amid escalating tensions with Washington over trade and restrictions against Chinese tech firm Huawei.

State-owned China Central Television began airing two television dramas last week about the Chinese volunteer army during the 1950-53 Korean War. Chinese troops often clashed with U.S. soldiers of the United Nations Command during the conflict; in the shows, the Chinese soldiers and family are depicted as heroes who sacrifice in the war.

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In China the Korean War was often known as the fight "to resist United States' aggression and aid North Korea."

CCTV Channel 6 said the shows are being aired to "reflect demands of viewers, and the current situation," a reference to deteriorating U.S.-China relations.

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As new shows are being televised, other dramas are being canceled, according to a Hong Kong-based newspaper.

Ming Pao reported Monday a planned TV show, "Study Abroad with Dad," was canceled on several mainland Chinese networks, as well as on Tengxun, a video content provider.

The show was about a father and son duo that experience life in the United States as the son pursues his education in the West.

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The show's cancellation did not come with an official explanation, according to Ming Pao.

A Chinese entertainment industry source who spoke to Ming Pao on the condition of anonymity said the trade war is having an impact. Authorities are "indefinitely postponing" shows on the United States due to the current political atmosphere, the source said.

Chinese state-owned newspapers are also paying more attention to the legacy of the Korean War.

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Global Times interviewed Chinese experts who said the U.S.-China trade war "reminds them" of the Korean War.

The trade dispute is raising anti-American sentiment in China, they said.

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