USA clothing retailer Gap apologised late Monday for selling T-shirts with an "incorrect" map of China, after it became the latest among foreign companies that China has taken offence with in relation to its territorial claims.
Taiwan's foreign ministry has asked Air Canada for a "speedy correction" following the airline's decision to list Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of China on its booking website, according to a statement from the ministry on Tuesday.
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. China claims sovereignty as well to a large area within the South China Sea that includes areas other countries claim as theirs such as the Philippines and Vietnam. It was unclear if the shirts in all of Gap's markets worldwide would also be destroyed. 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, adding that an internal inspection is being conducted to correct the mistake".
Companies as diverse as The Gap and Air Canada are seemingly bending to the will of the Chinese government by treading carefully around how Taiwan is mentioned in their products and services.
I can't imagine that, as a graphic designer for United States clothing giant Gap, you would have ever anticipated that part of your job would require officially apologising to the nation of China thanks to an global upset you caused with one of your shitty shirt designs.
An apology was issued by Marriott saying that it respected and supported the sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of China.
Beijing has pressured global businesses to make changes to their websites that are outside China, prompting a clash with the government of the U.S.
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".