TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After attempt to butter up China sent Taiwan's "bread master" jumping from the frying pan and into the fire, Taiwan's 'bread master' held a press conference with Kuomintang (KMT) mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in an attempt to smooth things over.
On Monday afternoon, famous Taiwanese 'bread master" Wu Pao-chun (吳寶春) caused a stir in Taiwan by describing himself as a baker born in "Taiwan, China," who is "proud of being Chinese,' and that he supports the "1992 Consensus." Many Taiwanese were outraged by his sudden, apparent kowtowing to Beijing's bullying, and in response, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen today said, "Taiwanese people can tell that this is political oppression. China’s maneuvers will not be accepted by Taiwanese people."
At 1 p.m. this afternoon in front of his bakery in Kaohsiung, Wu, accompanied by Han, said the following, according to ETtoday:
"Thank you very much for the mayor's support of my profession. I am a professional baker. The world of bread is simple and happy. I like and enjoy making friends with you through bread. I am honored that many young people are willing to enter this industry because of me. I have a responsibility to create a bigger market for young people. Finally, Wu Pao-chun is still Wu Pao-chun. I am a very simple baker."
When asked by reporters to respond to criticism from Chinese netizens that he was pro-Taiwan independence, and now counter arguments that he is pro-Communist China by Taiwanese netizens, Wu declared, "I am a baker, and my specialty is making bread." Han then chimed in and said, "There are too many political issues, he's not the one to deal with them, just let him do a good job in the bread profession."
Wu's press conference was originally scheduled at 11:30 a.m., but because of the controversy over his statements released yesterday, he invited Han to help him weather the "I am Chinese" storm.
Before the press conference, angry pro-Taiwan protestors outside could be heard shouting "Taiwanese people should have a backbone!" while pro-China demonstrators could be heard shouting "You're Tsai Ing-wen's running dog!" The scene was tense at times when the two sides would try to out shout each other.