Gap apologises for China map T-shirt that didn't show Taiwan

Randal Sanchez
May 15, 2018

China has long held disputes with the West over territories, such as Taiwan, that it claims to own but which Western governments do not recognize as Chinese possessions or protectorates.

The shirts have since been removed from stores in China.

In a rare statement issued by the White House May 5, the US government slammed China's demand as "Orwellian nonsense" and said it deemed the request "Chinese political correctness".

The state-run Global Times newspaper said the map also omitted South Tibet and the South China Sea, and that the issue sparked a social media frenzy in China after a photo was posted of the shirt at an outlet store in Canada.

As an independent and sovereign nation, the people of Taiwan will not be subdued by any threat or intimidation, and any such attempts will only stir resentment from the people of Taiwan toward the Chinese government, he added. In the South China Sea, China is engaged in a number of disputes over islands, coral reefs, and lagoons in what is a major commercial thoroughfare that is potentially rich in resources. It was unclear if the shirts in all of Gap's markets worldwide would also be destroyed.

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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.

Hundreds of people complained on Gap's official account on China's Weibo microblogging website, the daily said.

The photos were taken at a Gap shop in Canada's Niagara region, Global Times said.

United States hotel chain Marriott, Spanish clothing giant Zara and a slew of airlines have faced China's wrath for not classifying Taiwan as part of China on their websites. "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. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake".

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