Singapore’s top broadcaster apologises after TV travel show mixes up Taiwan, mainland China

Singapore’s largest media group forced to apologise for embarrassing blunder

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 March, 2018, 10:35am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 March, 2018, 8:03pm

Singapore’s largest broadcaster has apologised for an embarrassing faux pas after a trailer for a travel show put the flag of Taiwan over a map of mainland China. 

The 20-second clip was intended to promote the latest episode of the show My Star Guide on Channel 8, a Mandarin-language channel owned by Mediacorp – the largest local broadcast group.

The programme, presented by Felicia Chin, was visiting Taichung and Yilan in eastern Taiwan. 

However, in the promotion the flag of the self-ruled island became superimposed over the map of mainland China.

The People’s Republic of China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and has not renounced the use of force to reunify what it regards as its own sovereign territory. 

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The offending trailer appeared on the Facebook page of Chan Brothers, a travel agency which is an official partner for the show, Singapore website reported, but it was swiftly removed once the error became apparent.

Mediacorp said that the mistake occurred during the production of graphics. 

“We have sincerely apologised to the embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore.” 

The blunder was quickly picked up by two mainland websites, and April Media, a nationalist portal. 

However, their reports obscured the image of the flag of the Republic of China. 

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Taiwan has been beyond the control of Beijing since 1949, when the defeated Kuomintang forces fled to the island after being defeated by the communists in the civil war. 

The government in Taipei continues to style itself the Republic of China and uses the old republican flag instead of the modern flag of the People’s Republic of China.

Singapore’s relations with Taipei and Beijing have often left the city state walking a diplomatic tightrope, with Beijing frequently pushing it to end its military ties to the island.

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Chan Brothers Travel said it had updated its Facebook page after the mistake was discovered. 

“We understand from Mediacorp that the mistake occurred during their production of graphics used in the trailer. Mediacorp realised the oversight the next day and pulled the trailer immediately. A revised trailer is currently showing on air,” it said. “Likewise, Chan Brothers Travel updated its communication platforms to feature the revised trailer immediately.”

The Chinese foreign ministry declined to comment on the incident.