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Greenpeace apologizes for map gaffe

After uproar by Taiwanese donors over including Taiwan in a map of China, Greenpeace apologizes

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A map from Greenpeace showed Taiwan as part of China.

A map from Greenpeace showed Taiwan as part of China.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In response to uproar over its inclusion of Taiwan in a map of China's coal power plants and water resources, Greenpeace has said that it has corrected the mistake and promised to address requests to cancel donations from irate Taiwanese donors.

Senior communications officer for Greenpeace East Asia Fay Lee (李芳怡) said on Sunday that the organization has repeated its apology to donors making calls demanding the cancellation of their donations in response to the incident and has promised to take the incident seriously, reported CNA.

Greenpeace Taiwan spokeswoman Lee Chih-an (李之安) told CNA that each phone call is treated with the utmost importance and said, "The mistake has been corrected. We listened carefully to each individual asking to have their donation pledges canceled."

On Friday, Greenpeace explained it was an independent and politically neutral environmental organization, and that the map was a mistake by the official website and had been removed. Its donations were spent on domestic items such as green energy and ocean fishing, the group said.

The map in question was titled "Predicted Distribution of Coal Power Plants in 2020 by Baseline Water Stress" and showed China, Tibet, the island of Hainan, Taiwan and disputed islands in the South China Sea as one entity.

The blunder infuriated Taiwanese who have donated an estimated total of more than NT$100 million (US$3.2 million) to Greenpeace.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights chief Chiu Yubin (邱毓斌) said that even though Greenpeace received so many donations from members of the public in Taiwan, it still depicted the island as part of China's territory. The environmental group comes to Taiwan to rake in the cash, but then it steps on Taiwan's dignity, Chiu wrote.

In Taiwan, Greenpeace has offices in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, and often sends volunteers into the streets to launch petition drives about saving polar bears, penguins and whales.

Chiu called on people concerned with the environment to donate to more local Taiwanese organizations.