Gap Apologizes for Selling T-shirt with 'Incorrect' Map of China
By Faith Magbanua, May 15, 2018 21:05 PM
On Monday, May 14, 2018, U.S. retailer Gap Inc. has apologized to China for selling t-shirts that has a wrong map of the country.
Gap said the T-shirt - omitting Taiwan, Tibet and islands in the South China Sea - had been pulled from the Chinese market and were destroyed.
The US retailer store has said its apology that it would implement "rigorous reviews" to prevent such things from happening again.
The apology came after a person posted pictures of the T-shirt on Chinese social media network Weibo, saying that Chinese-claimed territories, including south Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea were indeed omitted. As stated by the user, the photograph of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.
"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. We've learned that a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets failed to reflect the correct map of China. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error," it said in a statement posted on its Weibo account on Monday evening.
Gap's apology comes as China has been increasing efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan. Other US companies that have issued apologies for similar incidents include Delta Air Lines and Marriott International.
Just this month, the White House sharply disapproved China's efforts to force foreign airlines to change how they described Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their websites as "Orwellian nonsense".
Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue. Beijing considers the self-ruled, democratic island a wayward province. However, the island has been governed separately since 1949 and maintains formal diplomatic relations with a handful of countries.
Aside from Taiwan, Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 to bring the region under Beijing's control.
China then issued new passports in 2012 that carried a map laying claim to several disputed islands and territories, infuriating countries across Asia. Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Taiwan all protested against the move.
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