The White House COVID-19 Response Team on Thursday deleted their previous accolade about Taiwan’s vaccine donation retweeted on July 6 by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
“Thank you to the U.S. for your generosity. Together, we will beat this pandemic,” the president wrote that day.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) added, not knowing that the gentle nod would eventually be deleted because of the controversial “one China” policy.
The original tweet, which was about U.S. President Joe Biden’s commitment to share vaccines with the world, displayed the flag of the Republic of China among other nation’s national flags.
“So far we have shipped about 40 million doses, including doses to: South Korea, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan, Honduras, Colombia, Pakistan, Peru, Ecuador, Malaysia, & Bangladesh,” the original tweet read.
The tweet showed a clear departure from the previous administration regarding the display of the flag of the Republic of China (中華民國國旗), also known as the “Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth” (青天白日滿地紅).
The deleted tweet comes one day after the Biden administration made it clear that there are “no plans to significantly alter” its policy toward Taiwan. A White House official on Tuesday also stressed that the U.S. does not support de jure Taiwan independence.
Speaking in an online discussion hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell further described Taiwan-U.S. relations as a “dangerous balance” between advocating for Taiwan’s role on the global stage and avoiding a military confrontation with China.
In addition to President Tsai and Chiang, the original tweet from the White House COVID-19 Response Team was retweeted by many Taiwan residents who expressed their pride at seeing the national flag alongside other countries’ national emblems.