Chinese official press journalist says if Taiwan leader was Catalan she would be in jail

Comparison between China and Spain handling of independence campaigns after Nicaragua's move to end diplomatic ties with Taipei

The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, during an event to commemorate the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021 (Twitter Tsai Ing-wen)
The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, during an event to commemorate the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021 (Twitter Tsai Ing-wen) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 10, 2021 08:52 PM

The political conflict between Catalonia and Spain was brought up in a row between the president of Taiwan and a senior Chinese official press journalist.

Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of the country claimed by the People's Republic of China, regretted on Friday on Twitter that Nicaragua had just ended diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

"I would like to stress that no amount of external pressure can shake our commitment to freedom, human rights, the rule of law and to partnering with the international democratic community as a force for good," she said, assuming that the Central American country had made the decision after moves by Beijing – China rejects having diplomatic relations with any territory that recognizes Taiwan as an independent state.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of The Global Times, a China state-affiliated newspaper, responded to the tweet: "The 'democracy' you spoke of is not an excuse to divide the country. If you were separatist leader of Spain's Catalonia region, you would have been in prison now. So be grateful that you are still living freely in Taiwan province of China".

Catalonia's former president, Carles Puigdemont, commented Hu Xijin's words shortly afterwards: "Spain quoted by the editor of The Global Times as the model of 'democracy' in suppressing 'separatism'".

"This is the way Beijing has found to attack Taiwan’s freedom. The European Union and Commission is solely responsible for giving arguments to the authoritarian Chinese regime," added in the same social media service the exiled Catalan leader, whose mandate ended abruptly in October 2017 after he organized an independence referendum and independence was declared in parliament before Spain sacked him.

The six members of his cabinet who remained in Catalonia, together with the then parliament speaker and two leading activists were convicted to decade-long prison sentences on sedition charges for the autumn 2017 events.

Dozens of Tibet supporters demand boycott to Beijing Olympics in Barcelona

Also on Friday, dozens of Tibet supporters demanded a boycott to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in a demonstration in Barcelona's Plaça Universitat square.

According to Fundació Casa del Tibet organization, around 40 people gathered, including the Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who stopped in the Catalan capital during his European tour that he is making in order to explain "the true situation of Tibetans" in their territory.

Both him and the director of Fundació Casa del Tibet, Thubten Wangchen, called on local authorities to support those countries who have adhered to the diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Olympics, to be held in two months.