Taiwan is asking the U.S. to avoid “unnecessary speculation” after the White House deleted a tweet with Taiwan’s flag in it.
The tweet was sent out by the White House COVID-19 Response Team with an image about global vaccine donations.
"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," Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said, the Reuters reported Thursday.
The image included vaccine doses that were sent to Taiwan last month, along with the island’s flag. The tweet was deleted on Wednesday.
“This was an honest mistake that was made by the team handling graphics and social media and should not in any way be viewed as a shift in official U.S. policy. When we recognized the mistake, we removed the tweet,” a National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.
“The United States remains committed to our one-China policy based on the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. Our policy has been clear for decades and has not changed,” the spokesperson added.
The U.S. shipped 2.5 million Moderna vaccine doses to Taiwan in June amid growing tensions with China, which condemns any recognition of Taiwan as a separate country.
Chinese state media condemned the U.S. when three senators visited Taiwan along with the delivery of 750,000 vaccine doses in early June.
"Once again challenging Beijing's red line over the Taiwan question,” Chinese state media outlet Xinhua said. It added that senators went to the island to "stage an anti-China political farce and offer some symbolic support for the current Taiwan authorities that are overwhelmed by the raging pandemic situation in the island.”
"Such a treacherous move of Washington has nothing to do with fighting COVID-19 as it claimed, and will only increase tensions in the region," Xinhua said.