Gap apologizes to China for selling T-shirt with map omitting Taiwan
The clothing retailer Gap has apologized to China for not recognizing its territorial claims on a T-shirt featuring a map of China sold in North America, The Washington Post reported.
The shirt featured a map of China that leaves out the self-governing nation of Taiwan and also a region China calls “Southern Tibet,” in the region bordering India.
Gap apologized for selling the shirt after pictures of it were posted on Chinese social media, according to Reuters. The shirt is not for sale in China; the picture had reportedly been taken in Canada.
“Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” Gap said in a statement, according to China’s Global Times newspaper. “We’ve learned a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error.”
The company also said it would work to avoid such mistakes in the future by strengthening its review of products.
This year, China has undertaken a campaign to get companies to recognize its claim to Taiwan.
China sent airline companies letters scolding them for not declaring Taiwan a part of China, leading the White House to criticize the Chinese government for their efforts.
“This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The statement Gap provided to the Global Times claimed the company stopped selling the shirt in China and destroyed the merchandise. However, Gap’s China headquarters in Shanghai said that the shirts were not sold in China, the Post reported.
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