merican sports channel ESPN certainly isn’t taking any chances in hurting Chinese feelings, going so far as to make sure to use a Beijing-approved graphic to represent the country.
To begin a Sportscenter segment on Wednesday about the current NBA-China saga, ESPN showed a map of China which includes the nine-dash line out into the South China Sea, as well as Taiwan and the Arunachal Pradesh region.
ESPN (reporting from China this week) opened their 7am Sportscenter today by showing a China graphic including the unlawful 9-dashed-line in the South China Sea. Could we bow any lower, oh wokest of networks? pic.twitter.com/1BwHVvN9QF
— Brian D. Liddicoat (@SenorDroolcup) October 10, 2019
Here’s the segment:
This is the map of the country that you’ll always see used in China, but rarely outside of it, and particularly not in neighboring states.
China uses the nine-dash line, which dates back to 1947, to claim sovereignty over the vast majority of the South China Sea where Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Taiwan have competing claims.
China also claims sovereignty over the Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh, which is administered by India. In 2017, Beijing even went so far as to rename districts in the region, which it refers to as “South Tibet.”
The issue of Taiwan is, of course, its own can of worms.
China has been very particular about this map, threatening hefty fines against those who produce, display, or sell maps that do not meet with national standards and regulations.
These same standards have also been applied to foreign companies. Last year, American retailer the Gap apologized for a t-shirt design that left Taiwan out of a map of China.
Earlier this week, it was reported that an internal memo went out to ESPN employees warning them to avoid talking about China-Hong Kong politics when discussing the massive backlash to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protests.
Perhaps next time around the network can use this map, produced by People’s Daily, which vows that not one inch of Chinese soil will be taken away.