Angered by Taiwan Interview, Communist China Threatens To Downgrade Israel Ties

The Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, Yaakov Katz, was having none of it, tweeting, ‘Needless to say, story ain’t going anywhere.’

AP/Chiang Ying-ying
Taiwan’s minister of foreign affairs, Joseph Wu, in December 2019. AP/Chiang Ying-ying

Communist China has made a demand that should be placed in the category of things that will probably never happen, calling for an Israeli newspaper to remove an interview with Taiwan’s foreign minister published Monday. The headline of the article on the Jerusalem Post website read in part, “China preps to invade us, Israel can’t trust Beijing.”

During the interview, the foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said that China “is an authoritarian country and they do business in a very different philosophy” and that when Beijing “is upset at you, that means you are doing something right.”

On Tuesday, some in Beijing were apparently pretty upset. The candid interview prompted a rebuke from the Chinese embassy in Israel — currently located in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem — and a threat to “sever ties” with the State of Israel. The Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, Yaakov Katz, was having none of it, tweeting, “Needless to say, story ain’t going anywhere.”

The unidentified Chinese diplomat who issued the threat may not have understood that not all countries are authoritarian like Communist China, and that the Jerusalem Post is not a branch of the Israeli government.

The brouhaha is typical of Communist China’s tactics of bullying and intimidation of the free press and virtually any Western company that does not answer to Beijing’s beck and call. In 2018 Beijing shut down Marriott’s Chinese website and mobile phone application for a week after the American hotel chain listed Tibet and Hong Kong as countries.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the interview with Free China’s foreign minister would also appear in Tuesday’s print edition of the newspaper.


Mr. Grant, who has written for many major newspapers and worked in television at Paris and Tel Aviv, is now based in Athens as a staff reporter and editor of The New York Sun.

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