The White House on Thursday dismissed the deletion of a tweet with an image of Taiwan’s flag by its COVID Response Team as an “honest mistake.”
“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 US policy. When we recognized the mistake, we removed the tweet,” press secretary Jen Psaki said at the White House daily press briefing.
She said the US remains committed to the One China Policy, which recognizes the People’s Republic of China but not Taiwan’s independence.
China believes Taiwan is part of its territory despite its democratic self-rule.
Psaki also noted the Taiwan Relations Act, which provides a foundation for the US’ informal relations with the island nation.
The White House COVID Response Team this week posted a tweet that included the flag of Taiwan and those of other nations that got coronavirus vaccine doses from the US.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen retweeted it.
The White House’s posting was then removed on Wednesday.
“Thank you to the U.S. for your generosity. Together, we will beat this pandemic,” she said, according to Reuters.
Earlier Thursday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry asked Washington not to cause “unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding from all walks of life due to the removal of the related tweet.”
The US sent 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Taiwan in June amid pressure from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory.
With Post wires