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Winnie the Pooh tweet shows Taiwan's freedom of speech: MOFA (update)

2018/08/08 20:23:05

Image taken from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) tweet Tuesday on a reported Chinese ban on a Winnie the Pooh movie was aimed at showing the country's freedom of speech, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

On its official Twitter account, the ministry posted an image of the country's tourism bureau mascot "Oh! Bear," with the caption that he was dismayed that "his cousin Winnie's" film had been banned by the Chinese authorities.

"Make no mistake: All bears are created equal in Taiwan and `Christopher Robin' is screening nationwide," the ministry said. The tweet was made in both English and Japanese.

The tweet was reported by U.S. cable channel CNN Wednesday, which said that Taiwan's government has mocked Beijing with the move.

Asked to comment if the tweet was meant to belittle Beijing's censorship, foreign ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) did not give a direct answer, saying only that it was meant to show to the world that Taiwan is a democratic country that enjoys freedom of speech, using a humorous tone.

The new Disney movie featuring Winnie the Pooh reportedly will not be shown in China because people compare the bear's appearance to that of President Xi Jinping (習近平), although the Chinese government has not confirmed that.

Winnie the Pooh has previously been censored on Chinese social media due to the perceived resemblance between the Chinese leader and the cartoon bear, according to reports.

The foreign ministry later removed the tweet on Wednesday night, saying the tweet has caused some misinterpretation.

(By Joseph Yeh)