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Dior's apology over map controversy regrettable: Taiwan

2019/10/17 21:17:12

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Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday expressed regret over French luxury brand Christian Dior's public apology for using a map of China that excluded Taiwan during a recent presentation.

"We regret that Christian Dior openly advocated Beijing's one China principle," MOFA said in a statement read by its spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) at a regular press briefing.

Dior's apology does not reflect the truth because Taiwan is not part of China and has never been under Beijing's administrative jurisdiction, even for a day, Ou said.

"International business establishments should not take political positions or issue false statements because of political pressure," she said.

The controversy stemmed from an issue that arose during a presentation Wednesday by Dior about its network of stores, at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou City, China.

A video clip, which later went viral, shows a female student asking why Taiwan was not on the map of China that was being used during the Dior presentation.

The Dior representative at first responds that Taiwan is too small to be visible, but later explains that in the company's business operations, Taiwan and Hong Kong are categorized as part of the Asia-Pacific region.

Following a flood of outrage on social media in China, Dior issued an apology Thursday on the site Weibo, saying its presenter's comments were inappropriate and did not represent the company's position.

"Dior respects and upholds the one China principle," the company said.

"We strictly uphold China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and treasure the feelings of the Chinese people."

The French company also said it would take precautions to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.

Dior is the latest international brand to openly recognize Beijing's one China principle, which states that there is only one China, and Taiwan is part of China.

Since January 2018, Beijing has been forcing international airlines, business entities and celebrities that operate in China to openly embrace its one China principle by referring to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China."

At Thursday's press briefing, Ou said Beijing was violating the spirit of free enterprise by forcing its political ideology on international conglomerates.

Beijing should stop its "unreasonable interference" in business operations, she said, urging the international community not to tolerate such behavior, which she described as bullying.

(By Emerson Lim)
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