Gap sorry for 'incorrect' map of China on T-shirt

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

It is available online on the Gap Factory U.S. website, as part of the "City T-shirt in Jersey" range.

One user on Weibo posted photos of a Gap t-shirt saying it was in a Canada Gap store and that the map design did not include Taiwan or islands Beijing claims as its own in the South China Sea.

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

The government of Chinese President Xi Jinping has been increasingly assertive about its claims to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province and has threatened use military force to bring under its control.

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty".

Gap, in a statement posted on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, admitted that a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets "mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China". It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake". "We're now conducting an internal inspection".

Gap did not say if the product would be pulled from other markets where it is being sold.

A series of other big Western brands have apologized over missteps on Chinese territorial issues. Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott and fashion brand Zara are among businesses that have apologised to China for referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as countries on promotional material.

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. Each of the companies has subsequently apologized.

The company also said all the shirts in China have been recalled and destroyed.

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

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