Cannes: Taiwanese Anger Over Director Prompts Program Edit

AP Images

Organizers make changes after the government of the self-ruled island requested the country's flag should be displayed at the festival venue.

Cannes film festival organizers have updated the official program after Taiwan complained about the description of Hou Hsiao-hsien, whose movie The Assassin is in competition, as being from Mainland China.

Officials in self-ruled Taiwan, a bitter rival of mainland China, were angry about the description of Hou as being of "Chinese nationality" in the festival's official program and the absence of the Taiwanese flag at the festival.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Kao said that the country's representative in France had complained to organizers, who updated the entry on its website to say that Hou was from Taiwan and it had also promised to fly the Taiwanese flag outside the Palais.

Hou's martial arts epic was picked up for North America by Well Go USA Entertainment.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province to be taken back by force if necessary. The two split after the 1949 Civil War won by the communists. Taiwan asserts its right to self-rule.

The Strait of Taiwan is one of the region's flashpoints, although relations have improved in recent years under Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou. The United States have pledged to back Taiwan in the event of a military attack by China.

At the Tokyo Film Festival in 2010, the mainland Chinese delegation shouted "Taiwan is Chinese" and walked out after demanding that the Japanese organizers change the name "Taiwan" to "China Taiwan" or "Chinese Taipei."