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Brookstone hawks globe with 'Taiwan Dao' listed as part of China

Beijing-biased Brookstone globe is an example of 'why Made in USA matters'

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Brookstone Globe depicts "Taiwan Dao" as part of China. (Ian Easton photo)

Brookstone Globe depicts "Taiwan Dao" as part of China. (Ian Easton photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Brookstone globe was spotted at a bookstore near the U.S. capital depicting Taiwan as a part of China and labeling it "Taiwan Dao."

China affairs analyst Ian Easton, spotted the children's globe on Sunday (May 29) and posted photos of it on his Twitter account that same day. In his tweet, Easton argued that the globe is illustrative of "why Made in the USA matters."

He noted that not only is Taiwan erroneously designated to be part of China, but it is labeled as "Taiwan Dao," the latter of which is Chinese pinyin for "Island." Taiwan is also engulfed in the disputed nine-dash line which is imposed on the South China Sea and tightly hugs the coastline of the sea's other claimants such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Brookstone hawks globe with 'Taiwan Dao' listed as part of China
(Ian Easton photo)

The names of the islands also reflect Beijing's claims with more pinyin terms, such as "Qundao" (Islands) for features such as "Dongsha Qundao" for Taiwan's Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands), "Zhongsha Qundao" for the disputed Macclesfield Bank, and "Huangyan Dao" for the disputed Scarborough Shoal. He wrote that these locations were "falsely represented to make Beijing happy," and are examples of "Authoritarian censorship at work."

Easton, who is a fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, told Taiwan News that he spotted the globe at a Barnes & Noble in a suburb of Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

The packaging for the Brookstone-branded globe claims that the product "Encourages the discovery of geography and zoology," but Easton asserts that "America's kids deserve better." Part of the explanation for the China-centric focus on the political boundaries could be the fact that after filing for bankruptcy in 2014, Brookstone was acquired by Chinese investment firm Sailing Capital and Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in 2014 for US$173 million (NT$5.05 billion).

Brookstone hawks globe with 'Taiwan Dao' listed as part of China
(Ian Easton photo)

Sanpower's stated mission for Brookstone was bringing "premium American lifestyle products to shoppers in China while providing China-based makers access to American and international retail markets." However, under Sanpower's management, Brookstone suffered tremendous financial losses in the U.S. and was forced to close all of its mall storefronts, while hundreds were opened in China.

Brookstone filed for bankruptcy for the second time in 2018, and according to the company's official website, a new group of investors "acquired certain assets of Sanpower including the brand name and Brookstone.com after October 2018."

Brookstone has yet to respond to a request from Taiwan News for comment on the inaccuracies of the globe.

Brookstone hawks globe with 'Taiwan Dao' listed as part of China
(Ian Easton photo)