TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In a defiant break from the standard placating of China, a Russian website that provides updates on the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is listing Taiwan as a country and Hong Kong and Macau as separate entities.
Despite Taiwan's phenomenal handling of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, communist China has continued to intimidate nations into excluding it from the World Health Organization (WHO) or even acknowledging its existence as a separate country on their government and corporate websites. Although Russia and China in recent years have been in lockstep with their foreign policies, the pandemic has strained their relations and a Russian website has been spotted breaking with the "one China principle" by listing Taiwan as a separate country and posting its flag.
On Coronavirus Control, a website that provides real-time updates on coronavirus cases around the world, the entry for Taiwan includes its national banner and the description "Coronavirus in the country of Taiwan today." As for Hong Kong and Macau, it also lists them separately from China with the headings "Coronavirus in Hong Kong today" and "Coronavirus in Macau today."
The interesting aspect of the Taiwan page is that the staff running the website went out of their way to include "country" with the Taiwan heading. No other country on the website has the term included in the heading; instead, they all read like the entry for Russia itself: "Coronavirus in Russia today."
In the site's category titled "Data for other countries," China, with its crimson banner, appears towards the top, as it has the 18th highest number of cases in the world. Taiwan and its national flag show up much lower on the page, as its confirmed cases are far fewer.
Strangely, the flags of certain countries that are adversaries of Russia, such as the U.S. and UK, are missing. It is not clear if this is a political statement or a glitch with the website.
List of countries with Taiwan included. (coronavirus-control.ru screenshot)