The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has refused to tender apology to China over publishing a satirical cartoon of a Chinese flag with the five gold stars replaced by the deadly coronavirus, reports The Telegraph.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, stepped in and said this is an act of freedom of speech. Defending the newspaper she said, "We have freedom of expression in Denmark - also to draw".
The communist government of China was very offended when a cartoon, published in Jyllands-Posten on Monday (23 March), depicted a Chinese flag with the yellow stars normally found in the upper left corner exchanged for drawings of the new coronavirus.
The Chinese embassy in Denmark called the cartoon an insult to China which "hurts the feelings of the Chinese people". They further added that the cartoon had crossed the "ethical boundary of free speech" and demanded that the newspaper and cartoonist Niels Bo Bojesen must publicly apologise to the Chinese people.
Jyllands-Posten chief editor Jacob Nybroe said, “We cannot apologise for something we don't think is wrong. We have no intention of being demeaning or to mock, nor do we think that the drawing does. As far as I can see, this here is about different forms of cultural understanding,"
The same newspaper back in 2005 had published cartoon of Prophet Mohammad which caused a huge uproar all over the world and led to some Arab countries boycotting Danish goods including violent demonstrations and riots in some Muslim countries.