Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Gap apologizes for China map T-shirt after backlash

Gap apologizes for China map T-shirt after backlash

The Gap map also did not reflect Chinese claims to territory in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as "Southern Tibet", or show its claims in the South China Sea, which overlap with those of several other countries in the region.

The shirts have since been removed from stores in China.

The offending shirt portrayed a map of China that didn't adhere to Beijing's territorial claims.

According to social media site Weibo, the map printed on the Gap T-shirt, which is now being sold in Canada, did not show the Chinese claimed territories, forcing the retail giant to apologize.

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.

Lee also reiterated the government's stance on the matter, asking the airline not to belittle Taiwan or damage its sovereignty and dignity by bowing to pressure from China. 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.

In the statement sent to the Global Times, Gap said the T-shirt has been pulled off shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed. "We sincerely apologise for this unintentional error".

A series of other big Western brands have apologized over missteps on Chinese territorial issues.

In January, China forced US-based hotel chain Marriott International to shut down and "conduct a full content inspection" of its Chinese website and mobile app after a questionnaire that listed Taiwan and Tibet as individual countries led to complaints. Marriott issued an apology, saying it respects and supports China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Fashion brand Zara and Delta Air Lines drew Beijing's ire and apologized for listing Taiwan and/or Tibet as countries on drop-down menus on their websites. Each of the companies has subsequently apologized.

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