United States retailer Gap sorry for T-shirt's "erroneous" China map

China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

In a statement the company said, "Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".

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.

Gap's apology comes as China has been increasing efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan. The photo of the Gap tee was snapped inside a store in Canada, and The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, tweeted a photo with the "correct" version of the map.

Upon the realization that one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China, we urgently launched an internal investigation across the group and have made a decision to immediately pull back this T-shirt from all the concerned global markets.

The company said they would be undertaking "rigorous reviews" to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

U.S. hotel chain Marriott, Spanish clothing giant Zara and a slew of airlines have faced China's wrath for not classifying Taiwan as part of China on their websites. "We've learned that a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets failed to reflect the correct map of China", it said in a statement posted on its Weibo account on Monday evening.

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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.

The White House hit back at the push earlier this month, calling the demands placed on airlines "Orwellian nonsense". Beijing considers the self-ruled, democratic island a wayward province.

Fashion brand Zara and Delta Air Lines drew Beijing's ire and apologized for listing Taiwan and/or Tibet as countries on drop-down menus on their websites.

China then issued new passports in 2012 that carried a map laying claim to several disputed islands and territories, infuriating countries across Asia.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned" about Air Canada's move to refer to Taiwan as part of China on the website.

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