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Gap Apologises For Flogging Shirts With Map Of China Bereft Of Taiwan

16 May 2018

Gap has apologised for a T-shirt that featured a map of China without territories such as Taiwan.

The White House has condemned China's efforts to control how USA airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, saying the push to make them comply with Chinese standards is "Orwellian nonsense".

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

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The offending T-shirt showed a map of China without including Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing says is an integral part of the country. Taiwanese media had angry articles accusing the Gap of "kowtowing" to China, while the English-language Global Times adopted an approving tone of the decision to apologies.

"As a responsible company, Gap Inc. strictly follows Chinese laws and rules", Gap said in the statement sent to the paper, adding that the company is committed to more rigorous reviews in the future to avoid similar incidents again.

China has engaged in a campaign this year to force worldwide companies to toe the line when it comes to Taiwan and its "One China" policy. Following a letter to several US airlines demanding they change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in promotional materials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement calling the demand "Orwellian nonsense". As stated by the user, the photograph of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.

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Another post said: "Resist such a rubbish company!"

Other than Marriott, the Chinese websites of US-based medical supplies company Medtronic and Spanish fashion brand Zara were found to have listed Taiwan as a "country" or as "Republic of China" and were ordered by the government to make corrections and apologise, state media Xinhua Agency has reported.

Gap is the latest of several companies that have apologized for perceived slights to China's sovereignty.

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Air Canada is in the process of negotiating a joint venture with Air China, which the Canadian airline said was expected to be completed in the spring. China has been pressuring airlines around the world, including USA carriers, to refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as part of China.

Gap Apologises For Flogging Shirts With Map Of China Bereft Of Taiwan