United States abruptly cuts Taiwanese minister’s video at ‘Summit for Democracy 2021’

On Friday, video feed of Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang was cut short during U.S. President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy.

A map in her slide presentation depicted Taiwan as a different color to China, implying the independence of the island and violating the One-China Policy.

Sources close to the situation said the map appeared in Tang’s slideshow for about a minute before her video was shut off and replaced with audio only during a panel discussion. The State Department attributed the incident to “confusion” over screen-sharing and said it was an “honest mistake” that Tang’s video was dropped.

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

The White House could have concerns over the implications of the map Tang presented depicting Taiwan as its own country because it could be seen as going against Washington’s One-China Policy, which avoids taking a side on whether Taiwan is under China’s authority.

The color-coded map ranked the world by openness based on civil rights. The majority of Asia was shown, as Taiwan was colored green, making it the only entity in the region considered “open.” All others, including some U.S. allies, were labeled “closed,” “repressed,” “obstructed,” or “narrowed.”

China, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea were shown in red, meaning “closed.” An onscreen disclaimer later in the meeting read, “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.”

While some sources say the incident was the result of a technical issue, others allege it arose out of concerns of the map indicating independence. “It was clearly policy concerns,” said one source. “This was completely an internal overreaction.”

But Taiwan’s foreign ministry agreed that it was technical problems that caused the video to be cut. “Taiwan and the United States have fully communicated on this technical issue, and the two sides have a solid mutual trust and a solid and friendly relationship,” it said.




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