In a recent turn of events, the editor of the Jerusalem Post received an angry call from China, which threatened to downgrade relations with Israel on the basis of a published interview with Taiwan’s foreign minister.
On Wednesday, Yaakov Katz ran the interview with Joseph Wu who warned Israel not to get too close to China. Soon after the interview went public, Katz got a call from a senior diplomat at the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv. “He said that if I don’t withdraw the story they would sever ties with the Jerusalem Post and that the move would also hurt and undermine ties between the State of Israel and China,” Katz said, without naming the diplomat.
Can't imagine what kind of rogue diplomat dares threaten the great state of #Israel, its media independence & freedom. Or perhaps the expansion of authoritarianism has no upper bound & forbidden zone after all? JW https://t.co/V2KqKZWvnu
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) May 31, 2022
Describing the incident on Twitter, Katz faced an open objection from the Chinese embassy on the micro-blogging platform. “The Chinese Embassy in Israel expresses firm opposition and strong condemnation against The Jerusalem Post for publishing an ‘exclusive interview’ with Joseph Wu, a ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist, to spread separatist noises in total disregard of the Embassy’s objection,” the statement said.
“We demand The Jerusalem Post to respect China’s core interests and the Chinese people’s national sentiments, refrain from being manipulated by ‘Taiwan Independence’ forces and foreign anti-China forces, and take real actions to eliminate the egregious impacts of the interview and contribute to China-Israel relations.”
Katz declines this request, telling media houses that, “The Jerusalem Post is committed to telling stories that matter to its readers and the world. That includes interviewing senior government officials including those from Taiwan. We remain committed to continuing to do our job as a leading Israeli newspaper.”