American clothing brand Gap 'terribly sorry' over China map shirt omitting Taiwan

16 May, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

An apology was issued by Marriott saying that it respected and supported the sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of China.

The Chinese government in Beijing considers self-governed Taiwan to be an integral part of its territory and comes down hard on any suggestions to the contrary.

A user on Chinese social network Weibo posted photos of a T-shirt they said was on sale at a Gap store in Canada, complaining that its design left out Taiwan and islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea.

Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and other companies have apologized to China for referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as countries on websites or promotional material. So were other territories that have been subject to worldwide dispute, including areas in the South China Sea and apparently an Indian-administered region of the Himalayas that China claims as "South Tibet".

Taiwan's foreign ministry said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" about Air Canada's move to refer to Taiwan as part of China on the booking website.

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"China's internal Internet repression is world-famous". The U.S. also formally acknowledges China's claim on the island, under the One China policy that established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979 - though the U.S. continues to maintain a significant unofficial relationship with Taiwan.

I guess this is the risk you run when China is a country that's dogmatic in claiming its sovereignty over disputed territorial claims and you're a clothing company that makes those cheap shirts for dads that have writing on them that really doesn't actually mean anything.

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty".

Several other large Western brands apologized for errors related to territorial issues in China.

U.S. airline Delta and European clothing retailer Zara also came under fire over similar issues on their websites in China. "ORCRP009473-topic.html" class="local_link" >Marriott International apologized profusely to China after sending a letter to rewards club members that listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as options on a question asking customers their countries of residence. Each of the companies has subsequently apologized.

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