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HomeNewsWhite House cut video feed of Taiwanese minister at Biden summit: report

White House cut video feed of Taiwanese minister at Biden summit: report


The White House abruptly shut off the video feed of a Taiwanese minister during last week’s Summit for Democracy when she displayed a map indicating Taiwan was independent of China, according to a report on Monday. 

The image of the presentation by Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang was pulled and replaced with audio on orders from the White House, Reuters reported.

The report, citing sources, said the White House became concerned that Tang’s map appeared to be at odds with Washington’s “one China” policy, which acknowledges but does not take a position on China’s claim that Taiwan is part of its territory.

Taiwan had been asked to participate in the summit as a sign of support while China has ramped up its aggressive behavior against the self-ruled nation. 

The State Department blamed “confusion” for the snafu, claiming Tang’s video feed was inadvertently cut off in an “honest mistake.”

“We valued Minister Tang’s participation, which showcased Taiwan’s world-class expertise on issues of transparent governance, human rights, and countering disinformation,” a spokesperson said.

Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang.
The presentation by Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang was pulled and replaced with audio reportedly on orders from the White House.
The Summit for Democracy

When Tang’s video feed disappeared, it was replaced by audio and a screenshot captioned: “Minister Audrey Tang Taiwan.”

A disclaimer said: “Any opinions expressed by individuals on this panel are those of the individual, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States government.”

Tang was showing color-coded maps illustrating a country’s openness on civil rights, with Taiwan and China in different colors.

Map.
Sources claimed the White House became concerned that Audrey Tang’s map appeared to be at odds with their “one China” policy.
The Summit for Democracy

According to Reuters, Tang’s map sparked a flurry of emails between US officials, and the National Security Council reached out to the State Department to complain that the slide had not been included in “dry-run” versions of the presentation before the summit.

“They choked,” one source told Reuters of the White House reaction.

“It was clearly policy concerns,” a second source told Reuters, adding: “This was completely an internal overreaction.”

Joe Biden.
The White House acknowledges but does not take a position on China’s claim that Taiwan is part of its territory.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A spokesman for the National Security Council said the Reuters report was “inaccurate.”

“At no time did the White House direct that Minister Tang’s video feed be cut,” the person said.

Tang told Reuters that she did not believe the map had anything to do with the video feed being cut, while Taiwan’s foreign ministry blamed the incident on “technical problems.”



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