Middle East

Top China diplomat threatens to downgrade relations with Israel over Jerusalem Post interview

A senior Chinese diplomat is threatening to downgrade relations with Israel and cut ties with the Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, unless it deletes an interview with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister published yesterday.

The paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Yaakov Katz, announced on Twitter yesterday that he “Got [a] call from [the] Chinese embassy,” revealing that he is “supposed to take down the story or they will sever ties with The Jerusalem Post and downgrade relations with the State of Israel. Needless to say, story ain’t going anywhere.”

In the exclusive interview with the Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, he warned that Israel is relying too much on China and that Beijing is also preparing to invade Taiwan. China and Taiwan have long been rivals since the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) takeover of mainland China forced the former internationally-recognised government to flee to the nearby island of Taiwan in 1949.

Over the decades, the US and western powers have guaranteed the protection of Taiwan and its government, with American troops stationed on the island and its navy’s seventh fleet based in the region. Israel has also had improved relations with Taipei over the years, while maintaining and growing its ties with China.

READ: Amid an American decline, China is winning the Middle East

This is not the first time the paper has angered China or received condemnation from its embassy, as it was previously condemned after an opinion article was published on 10 May which covered Chinese authorities’ genocide of the Uyghur Muslim population in the north-western province of Xinjiang.

Slamming what it called an “anti-China article written by a ‘Xinjiang independence’ separatist”, the Chinese embassy in Israel stated back then that “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn that the Post, in disregard of the fact that Xinjiang is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory, served as a platform for ‘Xinjiang independence’ separatists by publishing their anti-China article.”

In his interview with the paper, Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Wu, predicted Beijing’s incoming outrage, telling it not to “worry about China getting upset at you. When they get upset at you, that means you are doing something right.”

READ: Israel isn’t fooling anyone by speaking up for Uyghur Muslims; its self-interest is obvious

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