Coronavirus cartoon triggers China-Denmark diplomatic spat

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen defended her countrys “very, very strong tradition” of freedom of expression after Chinas embassy to Copenhagen demanded that a Danish newspaper apologize for publishing a cartoon about the coronavirus outbreak.

In its cartoon — which the embassy said “crossed the bottom line of civilized society” — Jyllands-Posten depicted the Chinese flag with spherical virus particles replacing the yellow stars in the top left hand corner. The outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread to countries around the world, has so far killed 106 people in China.

“Without any sympathy and empathy, [the cartoon] has crossed the bottom line of civilized society and the ethical boundary of free speech and offends human conscience,” a statement from the embassy reads. “We express our strong indignation and demand that Jyllands-Posten and [cartoonist] Niels Bo Bojesen reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologize to the Chinese people.”

Frederiksen defended the cartoon in an interview with the paper. “I have nothing more to say but that we have a very, very strong tradition in Denmark not only for freedom of expression, but also for satire drawings, and we will have that in the future as well,” she said, adding that “it is a well-known Danish position, and we will not change that.”

Asked whether she would issue an official response, given the Chinese embassy had made an official statement, the prime minister said her comment that there was freedom of expression in Denmark was already official.

Jacob NybroRead More – Source

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