Removal of Taiwan flag from Erdoğan tweet due to China pressure - Taiwanese gov’t

The removal of the Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), flag from a thank you tweet by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to countries that offered support following the İzmir earthquake on Friday was due to pressure from China, the Taipei Times cited top Taiwanese government officials as saying on Monday.

Erdoğan’s initial message of gratitude to countries that reached out to Turkey in the aftermath of the quake  included the flag of the ROC, but was later removed, it said.

“According to information obtained by our representative office in Turkey, it was due to China’s meddling and pressure,” it cited Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu, as telling reporters in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Erdoğan has expressed his gratitude to nations offering help, but said the country had the situation under full control following the earthquake in Turkey's third-largest city, which has claimed over 90 lives and injured close to 1,000 as of Monday.

Turkey and China have expanded ties in recent years with the country's signing 10 bilateral agreements, including on health and nuclear energy, since 2016, according to the Turkish parliament’s official website

Moreover, China is intending to invest $6 billion in Turkey by 2021, doubling its investment made between 2016 and 2019, the Daily Sabah reported in March 2019.