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Luxury brand Dior apologizes to China for map flap: 'Dior always respects and upholds the one China principle'


Another one bites the dust

Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

Luxury brand Christian Dior has issued an apology to the nation of China for omitting Taiwan from a map used for a recruitment and internship demonstration at a Chinese college.

Taiwain has been self-ruled since the 1950s, but Beijing considers the island territory a Chinese province.

What are the details?

According to a Thursday Reuters report, the company came under fire after one of its recruiting demonstrators used a map that did not feature the island of Taiwan.

The incident took place during a Dior presentation at Zhejiang Gongshang University in the city of Hangzhou.

In its apology, the company insisted that it respected the country's territorial sovereignty and its citizens' feelings.

The news agency reported that the topic "Dior statement" was one of the most viewed on Chinese social media platform Weibo as of Thursday with approximately 100 million views.

In a statement, the company said, "Dior first extends our deep apologies for the incorrect statement and misrepresentation made by a Dior staff member at a campus presentation."

“Dior always respects and upholds the one China principle, strictly safeguards China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and treasures the feelings of the Chinese people," the statement added, and pointed out that it would work hard to avoid any future occurrence of similar incidents.

The South China Morning Post reported an additional statement from the French luxury brand.

"Dior is a friend of China and celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China with 1.4 billion Chinese people," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The outlet also pointed out that the employee who showed the map in question initially seemed to struggle to answer why Taiwan was not included on the map.

"During the presentation, a student questioned why the self-ruled island was not included in the map, according to a video widely circulated on Chinese social media," the outlet wrote. "At first, the employee explained Taiwan was too small to be shown. But after it was pointed out that the much smaller Hainan island was included, the employee explained that Taiwan and Hong Kong were only included in Dior's presentations on 'Greater China.'"

What else?

This is the latest controversy in a string of many that have plagued western China relations.

In 2018, U.S. company the Gap issued an apology for a similar incident in which the clothing retailer failed to include Taiwan in a China map graphic.

More recently, there has been some head-butting between western companies and China over the Hong Kong protests that have played out in the region for the last several months, and even the NBA became embroiled in the debate after Houston Rockets exec Daryl Morey tweeted support for the protests and NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey's right to such speech.

You can read more about the Hong Kong protests here.

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