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Trending: The GAP Tee Map Debacle. Quartz Has All The Answers

The powers of fashion stretch far beyond this summer's sales rack. U.S. retailer Da GAP on May 21 apologized for selling a T-shirt showcasing an "incorrect" map of China, adding it would implement "rigorous reviews" to prevent a repeat mistake. But what if your torso simply begs to bear a border dispute Tee?

GAP issued a written apology on its official Sina Weibo page for printing a T-shirt portraying a map of China which failed to include the nation’s claimed territories, including Taiwan, South Tibet and islands in the South China Sea. Quartz Media hereby presents a Tee you could wear everywhere in East Asia without upsetting anyone. Speaking of dotting those i’s and crossing your t’s.

China GAP
GAP China. Image via South China Morning Post
We head on over to Quartz Media as reporter Annalisa Merelli Nikhil Sonnad comes up with a solution for last week’s GAP China map Tee debacle. Now grab that globe and let’s get gapping!
GAP Map CNN
One controversial GAP map. Image via CNN

Last week, U.S. clothing retailer GAP apologized for printing a t-shirt that didn’t include China’s claimed territories, including Taiwan, South Tibet, and islands in the South China Sea. In doing so, it joined Marriott and Delta, which had previously triggered Beijing’s ire for maps-related issues. At the same time, a group of Chinese tourists to Vietnam generated outrage by showing up at a Vietnamese airport wearing t-shirts with a Chinese map including parts of Vietnam.

Maps are complicated in the current geopolitical climate — especially emblazoned across your torso. What is perfectly acceptable in Vietnam can get you stopped at Chinese border control, and vice versa. Either way…

The design in casu featured just the Mainland and not territories that China also claims, such as Taiwan.

Apology Accepted
Apology accepted? The GAP on May 21 issued an official kowtowing statement on the company’s Weibo page.

The controversy kicked off after one Sina Weibo user wrote on the social media network that the T-shirt, which was being sold in Canada, did not show Chinese-claimed territories including Taiwan, islands in the South China Sea and southern Tibet.

Beijing considers self-ruling Taiwan to be a breakaway province, while Tibet is governed as an autonomous region. China also claims a large part of territory in the South China Sea, which neighbouring Asian countries dispute.

GAP issued a statement in which the company said it respected China’s “sovereignty” and would implement “rigorous reviews” to prevent a repeat of the incident.

GAP T-Shirt Controversy
No Taiwan for that China Tee!

GAP is the latest in a string of foreign firms to face a backlash for not adhering to China’s territorial claims.

Even the United Nations’s world map openly states that the represented borders aren’t necessarily officially recognized (the map specifically calls out Kashmir and the Falkland Islands as disputed territories.) It also notes that although Taiwan was a UN founding member, it left the organization in 1971, and the UN recognizes China’s sovereignty over it.

 

Nonetheless, what if you just really want to wear a map of the South China Sea?

 

Take a look at Quartz’s special-edition, border dispute-proof t-shirt concept right here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: China via Zee News
This trending topic was originally written by Annalisa Merelli  for Quartz Media, 2018. All rights reserved
Translated by Owen Churchill. Edited by Zhang Bo and Matthew Walsh for Sixth Tone
Temper Magazine does not own any of the above English content. All featured English content was re-published under the “fair use” approach and belongs to Annalisa Merelli for Quartz Media, 2018. All rights reserved.
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Elsbeth van Paridon

China Fashion/ Urban Lifestyle Expert, Editor-in-Chief at Temper Magazine
Elsbeth van Paridon holds a degree in Sinology from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and additionally is just another run-of-the-mill fashion aficionada.

After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.

Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.

Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.

Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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