09:49 GMT28 March 2020
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    US retail giant, Gap has issued an apology after selling a T-shirt displaying the wrong map of China after the design omitted Chinese-claimed territories including islands in the South China Sea, Taiwan and south Tibet.

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

    Gap said in a statement it "sincerely apologized for this unintentional error" and has subsequently pulled the t-shirt from the Chinese market and destroyed it.

    In January 2018, China shut down the websites of hotel chain Marriott International after the company listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as individual nations on an online customer survey.

    Marriott and Gap aren't alone in causing offence to China, Delta Air Lines recently issued a public apology for what it described as a "grave mistake" after listing Taiwan and Tibet as independent countries on its website.

    International fashion brand Zara was also ordered by the internet regulator in Shanghai to update its website after listing Taiwan as a country, medical equipment maker Medtronic was also ordered to publicly apologise on its website for making the same mistake.

    Gu Jianguang, director of the Public Policy Research Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University said in newspaper South China Morning Post, "it is a big lesson for foreign business to be politically correct when doing business in China."

    READ MORE: Tibet Can Remain Part of China — Dalai Lama

    Taiwan is an island off the south coast of China, governed independently from mainland China since 1949. The People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a province, while the international community adheres to the "One China" policy, despite several states maintaining contacts with Taipei.

    However the island's leader Tsai Ingwen, the head of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) refuses to discuss the 1992 Consensus which states that there is only "one China."

    The People's Republic of China claims Tibet is part of China. The Tibetan government-in-exile consider Tibet an independent state under unlawful occupation.


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