Ted Cruz Says Joe Biden Is 'Weak on China' After White House Deletes Taiwan Tweet

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called the Biden administration "weak" on China after the White House's official Twitter account deleted a tweet about vaccination donations to Taiwan.

The tweet was sent on Tuesday and featured an image that included the flag of Taiwan along with the flags of several countries that received U.S. donations of COVID-19 vaccines. However, Taiwan's status is disputed and the U.S. does not officially recognize the island's government. The tweet appears to have been deleted on Wednesday.

Cruz took to Twitter on Thursday to criticize the administration for deleting the tweet and suggested it showed weakness toward China. Many Republicans have publicly expressed support for Taiwan and said it is an independent country.

Cruz shared a Taiwan flag emoji and wrote: "This is the flag of Taiwan."

"The Biden White House is terrified to acknowledge that fact, for fear of offending communist dictator Xi," he said.

"Biden is weak on China. And appeasement never works," Cruz added.

The U.S., like most of the world's nations, does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent country, but successive U.S. administrations have provided key support to the island, including supplying arms.

China claims the island and has frequently expressed public anger at suggestions that Taiwan is a separate country. However, Republicans in Congress have repeatedly stated their support for Taiwan as a nation.

This is the flag of Taiwan: 🇹🇼

The Biden White House is terrified to acknowledge that fact, for fear of offending communist dictator Xi.

Biden is weak on China. And appeasement never works. https://t.co/1E6s0Bg2P4

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 8, 2021

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, retweeted the tweet before it was deleted and wrote: "Thank you to the U.S. for your generosity. Together, we will beat this pandemic."

A White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman told Reuters including the flag was "an honest mistake" by the social media and graphics team. The tweet was posted by the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

"The United States remains committed to our one-China policy," the spokesman said. "Our policy has been clear for decades and has not changed."

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou addressed the decision to delete the tweet with the flag.

"Regarding the reason for the deletion of this tweet, as the media has different interpretations, the Foreign Ministry has asked the representative office in the United States to remind the United States not to cause unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding from all walks of life due to the removal of the related tweet," Ou said.

The U.S. sent 2.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan in June. This was three times the initial number of vaccines pledged by the U.S. to the island.

There have been increased tensions between China and Taiwan in recent weeks with Chinese President Xi Jinping saying it is a "historic mission" for his country to take control of the island.

Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said the situation with regard to Taiwan is "delicate" in remarks at a virtual Asia Society event on Tuesday.

"It's very delicate. It's a dangerous balance, but it's a balance that must be maintained and the United States has extraordinarily important interests in the maintenance of peace and stability but other countries are coming to recognize that as well," he said.

Newsweek has asked Senator Ted Cruz and the White House for comment.

Senator Ted Cruz Speaks to the Press
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the press after a Senate Republican luncheon at Russell Senate Office Building March 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Cruz has accused the White House of being "weak on China" after they deleted a tweet featuring the flag of Taiwan. Alex Wong/Getty Images