As tensions rise in the Taiwan Strait, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying posted a comment on Twitter on Aug. 7, saying “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei.” Adding, “Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home.” Proving that Taiwan has always been a part of China. Former U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus later retorted, “There are over 8,500 KFC [Kentucky Fried Chicken] restaurants in China. Palates don’t cheat. #China has always been a part of Kentucky. The long lost child will eventually return home.”

As soon as this was posted, it made netizens hotly debate. Taiwan’s New Talk has compiled many comments of netizens saying: “Without intellect, there will be no ridicule, without knowledge, there will be ridicule.”

Netizens left comments, “So as you say, there are many Chinese restaurants in the United States, are you saying that the United States belongs to China?”; “Chinese people also eat Indian food, which means China is part of India”; “How many McDonald’s and KFCs are in China, palates don’t cheat.”

Some netizens quipped, “Taipei has 128 pasta restaurants, palates don’t cheat, Taiwan is part of the European Union.”

Hua Chunying’s post caught the attention of politicians in Taiwan. According to Vision Times, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Wang Dingyu on Aug. 8 responded informally: “Do you want to count how many McDonald’s and KFC restaurants are in China or how many Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai restaurants there are in China! So … China has always been part of America, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand? Do you want to count how many Japanese, Korean, McDonald’s and KFC restaurants there are in Taipei? According to the naive inference of the Chinese spokeswoman, Taiwan is part of many countries!

The recent visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan once again sparked a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, and China immediately launched a large-scale military exercise around Taiwan. Claims by Global Times said that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan is destined to have a not-so-good ending. Public opinion is concerned that the CCP’s threat to “reunify Taiwan and use force if necessary” is true.

However, Germany’s DW quoted Bilahari Kausikan, a former Singaporean diplomat, as saying the hype was a lifeline for Xi, who could not appear weak on the eve of the Party congress. However, “the indisputable fact is that, despite all this bravado, China has failed to prevent Pelosi’s visit. So the CCP must turn the response into a performance.”

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