China demands censorship of Israeli paper, threatens consequences

China enraged by Israeli outlet’s interview with Taiwanese foreign minister, threatens to downgrade ties with Jerusalem.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Chinese government demanded that an Israeli news site remove an interview with a senior Taiwanese government official from its online site and printed newspaper, threatening to downgrade diplomatic relations with Jerusalem should the outlet refuse to do so.

The drama began after the Jerusalem Post published an interview with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Sunday. Wu warned that the State of Israel is overly dependent on China and urged the country to distance itself from Beijing.

“China is an authoritarian country and they do business in a very different philosophy,” Wu told the Post. “Sometimes they use trade as a weapon, and we have seen them practicing their weaponized trade relations with many other countries.”

He added that “when dealing with China, you should never accept preconditions because once you accept preconditions, you lose no matter what. And when you worry about China getting angry and give in, or make pledges that you shouldn’t make concessions, China also wins.”

The article also noted the island nation’s fears of an imminent Chinese invasion, which apparently miffed Beijing.

“Didn’t take long. Got call from Chinese embassy. Apparently I’m supposed to take down the story or they will sever ties with the @Jerusalem_Post and downgrade relations with the State of Israel,” the Post’s editor, Yaakov Katz, tweeted just a few hours after the article was published. “Needless to say, story ain’t going anywhere.”

Earlier in May, the Chinese embassy complained to the Israeli government over a Post op-ed that criticized the oppression and genocide of the Uygher ethnic group in western China.

“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,” the Embassy wrote.

In recent years, Israel has permitted massive Chinese investment in the Jewish State’s infrastructure, agriculture, and ports, a move which has sparked repeated warnings from the American government.

In August 2020, Trump administration officials urged Israel to limit China’s presence in the country, saying that allowing China more control over Israeli assets would result in a reduction in U.S. intelligence-sharing.