Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Oops; Gap apologizes for T-shirt's wrong China map

Oops; Gap apologizes for T-shirt's wrong China map

Gap has apologised for a T-shirt that featured a map of China without territories such as Taiwan.

Taiwan was left off the map of China depicted on the T-shirt.

Self-ruled Taiwan is claimed by Beijing as Chinese territory, and has become one of China's most sensitive issues and a potential military flashpoint.

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The statement continued by saying the company sincerely apologizes for the unintentional error and an internal inspection is being conduct because of the discovery.

According to the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, a photo posted on Chinese social media and taken at a store in Canada showed that self-governed Taiwan, which China considers to be a renegade province, was omitted from the map on the T-shirts.

The White House in early May called Chinese demands, that over 30 worldwide airlines including a few in the USA, remove from their websites any data that might suggest that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not part of China, as being Orwellian nonsense.

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Gap promised to carry out "more rigorous reviews" to prevent similar incidents and said it respected China's "sovereignty and territorial integrity" and strictly followed the country's laws and rules.

This move sparked a counter backlash by those online who argue that Taiwan is not a part of China and that the complaints over the shirt are unwarranted. China claims sovereignty as well to a large area within the South China Sea that includes areas other countries claim as theirs such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters that China pressuring companies like Gap to change how they refer to Taiwan was "rather unfortunate in terms of cross-strait relations" and would push its residents "further and further away" rather than winning their "hearts and minds".

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As the New York Times points out, companies like Delta Air Lines, Marriott, and Zara have also been called out for failing to recognized Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as sovereign to China, instead referring to them as separate countries. Following a letter to several US airlines demanding they change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in promotional materials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement calling the demand "Orwellian nonsense". But Gap's China headquarters in Shanghai said the T-shirt had not been released in China.

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