China Slams NBC Olympics Coverage For Missing Taiwan, South China Sea From Map

China has criticized NBC for displaying what it called an "incomplete" version of the country's map during the network's coverage of the Olympic Games in Japan on Friday.

The Chinese Consulate General in New York issued a statement on social media site Weibo on Saturday calling on NBC to recognize the "seriousness" of its choice of map. NBC is a division of NBCUniversal, which is in turn owned by Comcast.

During the opening ceremony of the Olympics, NBC displayed a map of China as the country's athletes arrived for the games. However, that map did not contain Taiwan or the South China Sea.

A spokesperson for the Chinese consulate called the map "incomplete" and said it had "hurt the dignity and emotions of the Chinese people.

"The map is an expression of the national territory, symbolizing national sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement said.

"We urge the NBC to recognize the serious nature of this problem and take measures to correct the error.

"Attempts to use the Olympic Games to play political 'tricks' and self-promotion to achieve ulterior motives will never succeed," the statement added.

Though Taiwan has an independent government, China claims the island as its own and frequently reacts with anger to suggestions to the contrary. The U.S. also does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, along with most of the world's nations, but the U.S. government is the island's most important supporter.

The South China Sea is also disputed territory, with China claiming most of the sea despite a ruling by an international court of arbitration in The Hague in 2016 that rejected the country's expansive claims.

The Chinese foreign ministry reiterated in June - around the time of the fifth anniversary of the court ruling - that it rejected the court's decision. The country claims most of the waters within the so-called Nine Dash Line. This claim is disputed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China's government has long been sensitive about depictions of the country's territorial claims on maps, with some multinational companies operating there being forced to apologize in the past for using maps that didn't include locations like Taiwan or Tibet.

NBC has U.S. broadcasting rights for this year's Olympic Games, which are taking place in Tokyo, Japan following a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

China's Yang Qian became the first competitor to win a gold medal at this year's games on Friday, winning the women's 10-meter air rifle competition. Team USA's Mary Tucker finished sixth.

Newsweek has asked NBCUniversal for comment.

China's Flag Bearers Parade at the Olympics
China's flag bearers Zhu Ting (L) and Zhao Shuai (2L) lead their delegation as they parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Olympic Stadium, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. The Chinese consulate in New York has criticized NBC for displaying an "incomplete" map of the country during the network's Olympics coverage. ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images