Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan claimed China had kept the autonomous island in the dark about the outbreak in Wuhan, which the US later seized on to argue China purposefully allowed the virus to escape and reach pandemic levels.
After Taipei banned a children’s book from the mainland about China’s struggle to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan earlier this year, Beijing fired back, accusing Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of having an “anti-China syndrome.”
The book tells the story of a Chinese boy in Wuhan whose father is a doctor. After he is sent to treat COVID-19 patients at the hospital, he is unable to spend the Lunar New Year holiday with his family. His mother teaches him about the responsibility of medics and the need to combat the virus, and they later visit his dad in the hospital – separated by a glass wall, of course. The son tells the father he supports him and will wait for him to come home.
According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), furor surrounding the book erupted late last month when Chen E-jun, a Taipei city councilor, denounced the book as Chinese propaganda. She noted that the words “Go China” and “Go Wuhan” appear on pages of the book, as do pictures of Chinese military aircraft.
Soon, DPP legislators found out about the book and got it removed from public libraries across the country, and the Ministry of Culture banned the book, saying its publishers had not received the necessary permits…