The Jerusalem Post has refused to withdraw a published interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) after China on Tuesday demanded that the newspaper retract it.
The paper’s editor-in-chief, Yaakov Katz, said a Chinese embassy official threatened that China would “downgrade relations with the state of Israel” if the article was not removed.
The threat demonstrates China’s fundamental inability, or refusal, to acknowledge the existence of media freedom in democracies it has relations with.
During a June 2016 news conference in Ottawa with then-Canadian minister of foreign affairs Stephane Dion, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) berated a Canadian reporter for asking about human rights in China and its jailing of a Canadian on dubious espionage charges.
“Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance... I don’t know where that comes from,” Wang replied through a translator. “This is totally unacceptable.”
Typically, officials deal with troublesome media queries by ignoring questions, denying accusations or obfuscation. Wang’s irate reaction revealed China’s disdain for media freedoms, its antagonism toward the West and its lack of concern over how the country is perceived outside its borders — a point that is especially evident given the involvement of its foreign minister.
The greatest hypocrisy is China telling other countries not to “interfere with its internal affairs” when they criticize its human rights abuses, or express support for Taiwan or Hong Kong.
China is continually directing international companies on how to refer to Taiwan on their Web sites, telling Western celebrities and athletes what they can say about Taiwan and Hong Kong, berating reporters in their own countries, censoring content in foreign films that have Chinese investors and attempting to censor discourse on university campuses in democratic nations.
The US and other countries have had China’s Confucius Institutes removed from their campuses after it was found that they were endangering academic freedom. In Australia, China critic Drew Pavlou has been physically attacked by pro-China thugs on campus and ridiculed in Chinese state-run media for shining a light on Beijing’s influence over his country’s universities, including his alma mater, the University of Queensland, with which he was engaged in a legal battle.
Fortunately, Katz’s response on Twitter was that the “story ain’t going anywhere.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has grown emboldened in the past few decades and is working to change the narrative in other countries. A Sept. 6, 2019, report in Canada’s National Post cited the training manual of the CCP’s United Front Work Department, in which CCP members operating in Canada were told to approach politicians of Chinese descent and “work with those individuals and groups that are at a relatively high level, operate within the mainstream of society and have prospects for advancement.”
People who notice the CCP’s incursions and speak out often find themselves and their families threatened.
After he grew vocal in his criticism of the CCP, Pavlou began receiving threats on social media such as: “I will hire a killer through deep web and then kill your family,” and “Your mother will be raped till dead.”
Hong Kong democracy advocates visiting or relocating to Taiwan have also been assaulted.
Taiwan must work with other democracies to stand up to threats and bullying from China, and governments must stand by individuals and companies who find themselves threatened.
As Taiwan is facing global crises from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is again time to take stock. In terms of public health, Taiwan has made it through the COVID-19 challenge quite well. By combining masking, vaccinations and border controls, it has achieved a sufficiently protective herd immunity and is expected to end quarantine requirements for incoming travelers by the end of the summer. What about Ukraine? Here, Taiwan must assess four key players in its region. The first is Russia, which must be seen as a developing enemy. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Ukraine declared
Two awards for contribution to the study of Sinology were announced on Monday. The first was for British art historian Jessica Rawson, named this year’s winner of the Tang Prize in Sinology. The Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑). The second was for Slovenian Sinologist Jana Rosker, who won the Taiwan-France Cultural Award — established by the Ministry of Culture and the Institut de France’s Academy of Moral and Political Sciences — for her work introducing Taiwanese philosophy to Europe. Rosker said that Taiwan has integrated Western philosophy and Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism into a
Ned Price, spokesperson of the United States Department of State, is a Twitter influencer at the exalted “celebrity/macro” rank. So, even though it was well after working hours on Friday evening, May 20, 2022 — as Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepared for President Biden’s first presidential trip to Asia — Ned Price was sure of an audience as he “tweeted” the following message: “The PRC continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy. The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act,
Following the controversial nomination process of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate for the Taoyuan mayoral election, various KMT members are vying for a nomination for the November vote in Kaohsiung, where they would face off with Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Former Department of Health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) last week said that if given the mandate, he would run as the KMT’s candidate. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) also expressed his willingness to run, touting his policies for Kaohsiung at a conference held by local industry representatives on Thursday last week. If