Gap in hot water with China over T-shift snafu

United States fashion retailer Gap became the latest giant corporation to apologise to China for selling a T-shirt with an "incorrect" map that did not feature Taiwan and other territories it claims.

On the design, territories that China claims to be theirs were omitted.

"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China", Gap said on its Weibo account.

According to the BBC, US clothing brand Gap has apologies after selling T-shirts that showed an "incorrect map" of China. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake".

China has been ramping-up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan.

The fashion retailer has also pulled the product off its shelves in China and destroyed the shirts, a statement on its Weibo read.

But this isn't the first time an worldwide company has found itself in hot water over China territorial issues.

The government has lodged a protest against a change of its designation to "Taiwan, China" on the website of Air Canada, the country's flag carrier and largest airline, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

China, which considers Taiwan a rebel province awaiting reunification, has taken airlines, hotels and other companies to task in recent months for listing the island as a separate country on their websites.

The US clothing brand is the latest worldwide company to find itself in hot water over Chinese territorial issues.

USA airline Delta and European clothing retailer Zara also came under fire over similar issues on their websites in China.

Earlier this month, the White House described as "Orwellian nonsense" Chinese demands that more than 30 global airlines, including some U.S. carriers, alter their websites to remove any information that could suggest that Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau are not part of China.

Beijing has also been pressuring worldwide companies to change their websites outside China to fit its views, prompting a clash with the U.S. government.

Vanessa Coleman

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