The White House reportedly cut the video feed of a Taiwanese minister during President Biden’s Summit for Democracy when she showed China and Taiwan as separate colors on a map.
“It was clearly policy concerns,” one source told Reuters of Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang’s video feed getting cut off to only audio on Friday when she showed a map differentiating Taiwan and China. “This was completely an internal overreaction.”
Tang’s map was presented for about one minute on Friday during the summit before the feed was cut, the outlet reported.
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Taiwan was colored green on the map, signaling it is “open” to civil rights, while China was colored red and labeled “closed.” China considers Taiwan as part of its country, while Taiwan operates as an independent country.
FILE – This combination image shows U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, Nov. 6, 2021, and China’s President Xi Jinping in Brasília, Brazil, Nov. 13, 2019. The White House says President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping will hold their much-anticipated virtual summit on Monday evening. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Eraldo Peres, File) (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Eraldo Peres, File)
Tang’s visual feed was cut only to audio “at the behest of the White House,” unidentified sources told Reuters.
The U.S. recognizes the “one China” policy, which maintains the People’s Republic of China is the only government of China and avoids taking a position on Taiwan.
“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,” a disclaimer that later appeared on the screen read, Reuters reported.
This photo taken on June 16, 2020 shows Taiwans Digital Minister Audrey Tang posing for a photo at an innovation centre in Taipei. – Taiwan’s digital minister is the world’s first openly transgender cabinet member and has blazed a trail ever since she quit school aged 14. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP) / TO GO WITH Taiwan-politics-social-gender-rights,INTERVIEW by Amber WANG (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)
The State Department explained that Tang’s feed was cut due to “confusion” over virtual screen sharing, describing it as “an honest mistake.”
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“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 told Reuters.
One source told Reuters that the map sparked an instant reaction from U.S. officials and the White House National Security Council who “angrily” emailed the State Department about the map showing Taiwan and China as separate countries.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN – 2021/11/02: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during nomination of Morris Chang (Not pictured) Founder and former CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) as the Taiwan representative for the 29th edition of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. (Photo by Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The U.S. reportedly complained to Taiwan over the map, but Taiwan pushed back with frustration that the video was cut.
A source added that the NSC was angry with the map because it had not appeared in a “dry-run” of the presentations.
“They choked,” the source said of the White House’s reaction.
An NSC spokesperson has meanwhile called Reuters’ report on the matter “inaccurate.”
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“At no time did the White House direct that Minister Tang’s video feed be cut,” the spokesman said in an email, also blaming it on confusion over screen-sharing and adding that the full video could be viewed on the summit web page.
Tang also told the outlet that she does not believe her feed was cut due to the map, and the Tawainese government blamed “technical problems” for the feed.
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“No, I do not believe that this has anything to do with the CIVICUS map in my slides, or U.S. allies in Asia for that matter,” Tang said.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.