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85℃ cafe incident 'worst kind of bullying': ex-AIT head

2018/08/16 11:22:02

Former AIT Chairman Richard Bush (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) A former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has described the latest onslaught launched by Chinese netizens against a cafe chain that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited as "the worst kind of bullying."

In an interview with the Voice of America aired Thursday, Richard Bush said the incident reflects the worst of China's approach to Taiwan.

"First of all, allowing netizens to define its policy, sort of jumping to conclusion that because Tsai Ing-wen visited this bakery and because she allegedly is a Taiwan independence person that this becomes a Taiwan independence company. This is ridiculous. This is the worst kind of bullying," he said.

Chinese netizens labeled Taiwan-based 85℃ Bakery Cafe chain as a pro-Taiwan independence company following a visit Sunday by Tsai to a branch in Los Angeles.

They bombarded the Weibo sites of 85℃ branches across China with fierce attacks and threatened to boycott their business, forcing the company to issue a statement Wednesday expressing support for the "1992 consensus" that essentially implies Taiwan is part of China.

Bush, however, voiced skepticism of the statement.

"I suspect that maybe they said that with a sense of irony, because if this is a kind of family that Taiwan is a part of, I'm not sure if it is a very good family," he said.

(By Chou Hui-ying and Y.F. Low)
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