Not a Glitch: ACLJ Files FOIA To Expose If Biden Administration Purposely Cut Summit for Democracy Video Feed During Taiwan Presentation To Appease China


Jordan Sekulow

December 23, 2021

5 min read

Foreign Policy



Despite his claims of strength and vows to protect Taiwan, President Joe Biden continues to demonstrate weakness to China.

The ACLJ just took action to expose more of the Biden Administration’s potential capitulation to China at the expense of an ally, filing an urgent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out if the video feed of a Taiwanese dignitary was intentionally cut to coddle China’s feelings.

Recently we told you how during President Biden’s so-called Summit for Democracy, the live video feed of Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang was mysteriously cut right after he showed a map that featured Taiwan as separate from China. Such a visual might very likely irritate China’s president or ruling Communist Party. Especially when the graphic Minister Tang was referring to in his presentation reportedly ranked China poorly for human rights:

Tang's presentation included a color-coded map from South African NGO CIVICUS, ranking the world by openness on civil rights.

Most of Asia was shown, with Taiwan colored green, making it the only regional entity portrayed as "open," while all the others, including several U.S. allies and partners, were labeled as being "closed," "repressed," "obstructed" or "narrowed."

China, Laos, Vietnam and North Korea were colored red and labeled "closed."

Under the “One China” policy adhered to by the Biden Administration, China is one government and Taiwan is merely one of its own (albeit autonomous) provinces, not an independent nation state. As we’ve said before, China seems poised to invade Taiwan and claim it for its own by force any day now. But why does the Biden Administration not want Taiwan to reassert its autonomy?

We already know that China was displeased that President Biden even invited Taiwan to his summit. According to reports, an official Chinese spokesperson indicated they would prefer our President follow their rules regarding Taiwan:

Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said the inclusion of Taiwan was a “mistake” and Beijing opposed “any official interaction between the US and China’s Taiwan region.” “This stance is clear and consistent. We urge the US to stick to the ‘one China’ principle and the three joint communiques,” she said.

For its part, the State Department has claimed that the cut video feed was just a glitch due to “technical problems.” But also curiously, when Taiwan’s minister finished his presentation, it was reportedly followed by a disclaimer on the screen stating: "Any opinions expressed by individuals on this panel are those of the individual, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States government." This is obvious. Of course the views of a foreign official speaking at a summit are not necessarily the views of the United States government.

It’s hard not to wonder if this was all orchestrated to appease the Chinese Communist Party. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time THIS YEAR that we’ve seen President Biden capitulate to a hostile government over the welfare of allies, or even American citizens. Remember when the Taliban drew a hard line for the U.S. to remove our military from Afghanistan? President Biden hastily withdrew our troops, leaving chaos and abandoning innocent Christians, Afghan allies who had advanced U.S. interests, and American civilians. And we’ve reported how the Biden Administration has since held “diplomatic” meetings with the Taliban. How can the U.S. have diplomacy with a terrorist organization that has been executing its own people for aiding U.S. Forces despite its empty promises of amnesty?

As ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs (and former Secretary of State) Mike Pompeo has stated, China has watched Biden’s weakness these past 11 months, and they are testing him, seeing just how far they can push. That is not the action of a competitor; that’s an adversary. China’s aggression must be challenged, not catered to.

Just as we filed a FOIA to expose President Biden’s failure in Afghanistan, we just filed a FOIA to discover if the Biden Administration intentionally censored Taiwan’s minister to keep China happy. We have requested all records regarding the video incident at the Summit for Democracy, as well as all records regarding the State Department’s response that it was just an “honest mistake.”  This sounds like the State Department’s line before, which we exposed, when it immediately claimed its deletion of 8 minutes of press briefing video was a “glitch.” We exposed the State Department then with our FOIA lawsuit, including a big win in court where the State Department was ordered to release to us an unredacted email showing Jen Psaki was part of shutting down the story – and we’ll do it again.

Clearly, we cannot take this Administration at its word – not when it puts the needs of other, hostile governments over its own people, let alone our allies. We will continue to pursue the truth in this situation and determine if the lost video feed was truly an accident, or was cut on purpose; and if so, who authorized it?