(JTA) – The Jerusalem Post editor said that after conducting an interview with Taiwan’s foreign minister, he received a furious call from China, which threatened to downgrade relations with Israel.
Yaakov Katz aired the interview with Joseph Wu – who warned Israel not to get too close to China, something successive US administrations have also warned – on Wednesday. Katz soon received a call from a senior diplomat at the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv, he told the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
“He said if I didn’t take the story down they would sever ties with the Jerusalem Post and that this decision would also harm and undermine the ties between the State of Israel and China,” Katz said, without naming. the diplomat.
Katz described the exchange on Twitter, and the Chinese Embassy went public with its objections. In a statement sent to Katz, which Katz posted on Twitter, the embassy was not specific in its warnings. But it was clear the embassy believed keeping the story would have an effect on Sino-Israeli relations.
“The Chinese Embassy in Israel expresses firm opposition and strong condemnation of the Jerusalem Post for publishing an ‘exclusive interview’ with Joseph Wu, a ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist, to spread separatist rumors in defiance total objection from the embassy,” the statement said. . “We call on The Jerusalem Post to respect China’s core interests and the national feelings of the Chinese people, to refrain from being manipulated by the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and foreign anti-China forces, and to take concrete measures to eliminate the glaring impacts of the interview and contribute to Sino-Israeli relations.
“The Jerusalem Post is committed to telling stories that matter to its readers and the world,” Katz told JTA. “This includes interviews with senior government officials, including from Taiwan. We remain committed to continuing to do our job as a leading Israeli newspaper.”
Wu also weighed in, saying on Twitter, “I can’t imagine what kind of rogue diplomat dares to threaten the great State of #Israel, its independence and media freedom.”
In the interview, Wu said Chinese leaders were learning the “wrong lesson” from Russia’s war on Ukraine and appeared to be stepping up their thinking on whether to attack Taiwan.
“It looks like China has learned the wrong lesson, and they seem to be trying to look at what went wrong in Russia’s war against Ukraine to improve,” Wu said. do, I think their determination to sue Taiwan will be stronger.”
Wu said Israel’s burgeoning ties with China posed a threat to Israel’s security interests.
“Sometimes they use trade as a weapon, and we have seen them practice their militarized trade relations with many other countries,” he said.