Memes galore on social media after Chinese diplomat remarks on Taiwan’s Chinese restaurants

Even as China issued a warning that it would not tolerate any “separatist activities” in Taiwan and reiterated its threat to annex the island if necessary, netizens have taken to social media to express their views on Chinesediplomat’s remarks on Taiwan’s Chinese restaurants.  Memes poking fun of Chinese official using the number of Chinese restaurants in Taipei to prove Beijing’s historical claim to Taiwan.From finding flaws in the China’s foreign ministry spokesperson HuaChunying’s logic to accusing her of telling a lie.

Her remarks werepart of the Chinese government’s psychological warfare campaign against the government of Taiwan. Taiwan Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng had already indicated of such “psychological warfare”  in the coming days. It was directly linked to US House  US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan. The sole purpose was to weaken people’s support for the Taiwanese government without using the force. Lo had requested Taiwanese press not to act as a “propaganda tool” for Beijing and said they should be careful when citing reports by Chinese state media.

The most surprising was the real intention of the diplomat for posting an illogical post. As it is the Chinese government has responded to Pelosi’s trip by cancelling a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, as well as deploying fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles around Taiwan. Tension has been brewing across the Taiwan Strait after Chines military launched an unprecedented drills against the island in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan.

Hua in her tweet suggested that Taiwan’s many Chinese restaurants proved that the two were of one culture.The diplomat has been extremely critical of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as her trip has been condemned by China as a violation of the communist country’s “One China” policy, which maintains Taiwan as an inalienable part of the mainland. In her tweet, she wrote,” “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman HuaChunying posted on Twitter late on Sunday.Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she added. Baidu Maps is like Google Map.

Hua’s post evoked more than 6,000 responses across the globe which has proved  thatthe global community rejected `one China policy’ of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Morgan Ortagus, who served as State Department spokesperson during the administration of former President Donald Trump, was extremely critical of the Chinese diplomat’s remarks. She said,” there are over 8,500 KFC restaurants in China. Palates don’t cheat. #China has always been a part of Kentucky. The long lost child will eventually return home.” Her post went viral on the twitter.  The screenshot of her tweet was shared on Facebook by Taiwan’s representative office in Boston who wrote: “It turns out China is part of Kentucky,” followed by a crying laughing emoji.

A twitter user from Taiwan Grant Huang, a shared maps showing the distribution of Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants in the city. He pointed out that there are more Japanese restaurants than Chinese ones, according to the data. Plates don’t cheat.

Reactions to diplomat’s remarks were unprecedented. Available reports suggested that Hua’s message appeared to be intended for Weibo, China’s main social media website, where the topic spawned several state media-led trending hashtags. While Twitter is banned in China, those in the country could still access the website using special VPN software.

Meanwhile, netizens in Taiwan havereacted strongly to the diplomat’s remarkswhich poked holes in the diplomat’s logic. Taiwan’s leading Teipai Times stated that Beijing’s diplomats are surprised over her post on the social media because Chinese government has always prohibited officials from posting their comments on the social media. The daily however quoted several tweets which took on Hua for her remarks.  “There are over 100 ramen restaurants in Taipei, so Taiwan is definitely a part of Japan,” a Twitter user with the handle “Marco Chu” wrote in Hua’s replies.

“Google Maps show that there are 17 McDonalds, 18 KFCs, 19 Burger Kings, and 19 Starbucks in Beijing. Palates don’t cheat. #China has always been a part of America. The long lost child will eventually return home,” Twitter user “@plasticreceiver” wrote in a parody of Hua’s post. Others wondered jokingly if Hua’s logic meant Beijing could place claims on territories far beyond the Asia Pacific region.  “There are 29 dumpling houses in the Greater Los Angeles area not to mention 89 noodle restaurants,” a person writing under the name “Terry Adams” wrote. “Using Hua’s logic, LA has always been a part of China,” they added.

Hua is not the only diplomat to have given her views on social media.Infact,  Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijianis known for promoting conspiracy theories on Twitter, including the idea that the US military might have brought COVID-19 to China.It is time for China’s diplomatic community to mull over the fact that such blunders in public bring bad name to the country. The manner in which Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson was ridiculed over Taiwan restaurant tweet, Chinese leadership should not repeat such acts in future.