Taiwan called on the U.S. to halt any further actions that would promote "unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding." The statement was targeting the White House's recent action of deleting a social media post about its Covid-19 donations that had included the Taiwanese flag.
The post was published on Twitter on Tuesday as part of the Biden administration's campaign describing how the U.S. has distributed its "Arsenal of vaccines" to the world. In the post, the flag of Taiwan was included, naming it as a recipient country of U.S. vaccine donations.
On the same day, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen retweeted the post and thanked the U.S. for its generosity. He also said that by working together, everyone can beat the pandemic. On Wednesday, the White House suddenly deleted the post, sparking rumors of how it could be a sign of the U.S.'s changing stance on Taiwan.
The White House National Security Council said Thursday that the publishing of the tweet was "an honest mistake" by its graphics and social media team. The agency said the removal of the post should not be viewed as a shift in the government's policy towards Taiwan.
Ted Cruz calls out White House for taking down tweet containing Taiwan flag https://t.co/Gq4WplAeJv pic.twitter.com/fboILKOpV6 — Taiwan News (@TaiwanNews886) July 9, 2021
Analysts said the U.S. likely removed the post to avoid antagonizing China. The Chinese government is easily angered by any suggestion that Taiwan is a separate country. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory under its One China policy.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry representative, Joanne Ou, slammed the U.S. for removing the post. She said the action had created "misunderstandings" from people on both sides.
"Regarding the reason for the deletion of this tweet, as the media has different interpretations, the Foreign Ministry has asked the representative office in the United States to remind the United States not to cause unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding from all walks of life due to the removal of the related tweet," she said.
White House National Security Council representatives said the post and its removal do not change the country's commitment to the One China policy. They said the U.S.'s policy on Taiwan has been "clear for decades and has not changed."