US Embassy's logo change sparks online speculation of playing Taiwan card

By Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/12 21:22:16

The US Embassy to China removes the word "China" from "Beijing, China" in its logo.

The social media accounts of the US Embassy to China have dropped the word "China" from "Beijing, China" in its logo, sparking wide speculation among the Chinese public that the move aims to "tarnish the one-China principle" and attempts to play the Taiwan card to further provoke China. 

Although the embassy on Wednesday explained that the change was part of a normal branding campaign and similar changes will be made to the logos of embassies in other countries, analysts said that Chinese netizens' interpretation of American hostility is reasonable, given the country's latest moves related to the island of Taiwan. 

Chinese netizens suspected the change was meant to pave the way to the opening of a consulate in the island of Taiwan without mentioning China. "Such an implicit change is not a blatant violation of the one-China principle, but a subtle betrayal, so it is pretty annoying," a Sina Weibo user posted. 

"Are you implying that the embassy is only for the Chinese mainland?" said another. 

The logo of the US embassy on its Sina Weibo and Twitter accounts is based on the seal of the US, a bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in another, which remain the same in the new picture. A netizen commented, "The major message was preserved: the US, a greedy predator, is using an olive branch to cheat its allies and arrows to hunt for its own benefit." 

The change in the logo was made shortly after US Health Secretary Alex Azar's three-day visit to the island of Taiwan, with China-US relations deemed by many Western media outlets as being at a historic low since 1979.  

Analysts noted it is reasonable that Chinese netizens interpreted it as a provocation amid the US' latest adverse moves, including a senior official's visit to the island of Taiwan and closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. 

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that Chinese netizens are sharp, and they have well recognized American hostility. 

"The US has been playing petty tricks to provoke China, and the logo change may be one of them," he said. 

The US is unlikely to push bilateral relations to a complete collapse but it is more than willing to use such tricks to annoy China, Lü said. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, said that such a change, no matter what was the true intention behind it, was bad timing when bilateral relations were already near to derailment. 

Netizens well understood American animosity, and the strained bilateral relations convinced them to interpret the logo change as another provocation. But at the official level, China will make a cool-headed and sensible response to the impulsive moves made by the US, rather than dance to its tune, analysts said. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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