China lashed out at Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal for displaying an “incomplete” map of the country during its broadcast of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony when Chinese athletes appeared, saying the games shouldn’t be politicized.
“The map is an expression of the national territory, symbolizing national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Consulate in New York said in a statement. “We urge the NBC to recognize the serious nature of this problem and take measures to correct the error.”
The statement did not specify how the Chinese government viewed the map as incomplete.
Multinationals operating in China have previously found themselves apologizing for the usage of maps that sometimes don’t include Taiwan, Tibet or disputed islands in the South China Sea.
“Attempts to use the Olympic Games to play political ‘tricks’ and self-promotion to achieve ulterior motives will never succeed,” according to the statement.
On Friday, during the parade of athletes at the Games’ opening ceremony, an announcer for Japanese public broadcaster NHK also raised eyebrows by referring to the Taiwanese team as “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei,” the name used in some international organizations and competitions for the self-ruled island.
China views Taiwan as an inherent part of its territory and sees it as a renegade province that must be brought back into the fold — by force if necessary.
Ties between China and the U.S. have been strained over a series of issues including Hong Kong, human rights in Xinjiang and renewed probes into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beijing on Friday said it’s sanctioning seven people and entities, including former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation for a Biden administration warning to businesses about working in Hong Kong.
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