TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to an editorial by Xinhua News accusing Taiwan of "hating China and fawning over the U.S.," Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, "It isn't my job to flatter China."
During a press conference held by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (March 18), Wu said that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen, Taiwan and the U.S. will further strengthen cooperative consultation mechanisms to fight against the disease. After the press conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto American embassy, issued a joint statement on the partnership, which will be signed by Wu and AIT Director Brent Christensen.
On Thursday (March 19) Communist China's state-run mouthpiece Xinhua News published an editorial in which it criticized the joint declaration, saying that "The Democratic Progressive Party authorities hate China and fawn over the U.S. and have come out with a new trick." The article then singled out Wu for allegedly continuing to use words with discriminatory meanings to spread the "political virus" to attack China.
The editorial claimed that this again exposed their plot "to use the epidemic to resist against China." It went on to allege that Taiwan has the "sinister intention of being a pawn of America and uses the disease to seek independence."
When asked about the Xinhua article during a press conference that day, Wu said that his job is to promote friendship between Taiwan and other countries, "It isn't my job to flatter China," reported the Liberty Times. His comment could be interpreted by some as a jab at World Health Organization Director-General (WHO) Tedros Adhanom, who has been criticized for obsequiously lavishing praise on Communist China's handling of the pandemic, despite the country's complete lack of transparency.