Biden administration shows true colors: White House censors Taiwanese minister over a map showing China and Taiwan in different colors
12/16/2021 // Matthew Davis // Views

The White House panicked and censored a video feed of Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang during President Joe Biden's Summit for Democracy last week after a map in her slide presentation showed Taiwan in a different color to China.

In her presentation, Tang stressed the importance of a fully open internet and having internet access to foster democratic participation. She described broadband access as a human right and explained how Taiwan has used popularly sourced contract tracing systems in place of centralized government database of private medical information to contain the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Problems emerged when Tang showed a digital map of Asia created by the South African human rights organization Civicus. It showed Taiwan as the freest country on the continent. Civicus used shades of green, yellow and red to rate freedom around the world – using bright green to mean freest and bright red to mean most repressive.

Taiwan received the only bright green rating in Asia, while China appeared in bright red and labeled as "closed." Taiwan was the only regional entity portrayed as "open," while all the others, including several U.S. allies and partners, were labeled as "closed," "repressed," "obstructed" or "narrowed."

Also appearing in bright red and labeled as "closed" were Laos, Vietnam and North Korea.

Tang joined the virtual summit to discuss the importance of the internet and emerging technologies so that Taiwan can improve its diplomatic governance. She stressed that completely open environment with free speech uncensored is perfect for letting democracy flourish.


State Department blames technical issue

The feed was cut off and returned in audio-only form. The White House also issued a disclaimer saying: "Opinions of individuals on this panel are those of the individual, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States government."

The Department of State blamed technical issue for the problem. It also called the disturbance an honest mistake. It uploaded the full video, including the map, on YouTube and shared its link on the department's website.

China has never ruled Taiwan, but the former cuts all diplomatic ties to any country that recognizes the latter's sovereignty. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that those acknowledging Taiwan as a country will have their "bones ground to powder." (Related: China says it will attack any American forces that come to the defense of Taiwan.)

White House officials feared the different colors on the map were meant to highlight the fact that Taiwan is a different country from China – despite the fact that China, Laos, and Vietnam are all the same color, according to Reuters.

An unnamed source told Reuters that the White House "choked" and "overreacted internally."

Washington reportedly complained to Taiwan, which in turn was angry that Tang's video had been cut. The map apparently did not appear in dry run versions of the presentation. One of the anonymous sources speaking to Reuters noted that the map was not a political one – meaning it was not showing the borders of sovereign states.

China: American democracy is dead

American democracy is ''dead'' because of wealth, racism and too many checks and balances. This is the contention of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which used its media arms for the past month to complain that Biden did not invite China to the summit.

China is one of the world's most repressive regimes and its most prodigious human rights abuser. The Biden administration has formally accused China of genocide of the Uyghur people.

While complaining about Taiwan's participation, communist regime outlets expressed outrage that the U.S. excluded China and fellow autocracy Russia from its list of democratic invitees. "The State of Democracy in the United States," a 30-page tirade about freedom in America, was published by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The U.S. political system has far too many checks and balances, raising the cost of collective action and in some cases making it impossible altogether," the Chinese Foreign Ministry report stated.

Play the video below and listen to learn more about the conflict between China and Taiwan and to know how the Chinese are threatening Americans for defending Taiwan.

Follow to know more about Joe Biden's relationship with China.

Sources include: 1 2

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