China’s Luckin Coffee suspends employee for Taiwan independence comment

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Sept. 21 (UPI) — Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee Inc. reportedly suspended a Taiwan-based employee after the staff member said on social media Taiwan is an “independent country.”

Chinese state tabloid Global Times reported Monday the statement on Taiwanese sovereignty was published to Facebook. The statement was reposted to Chinese micro blogging site Weibo Sunday morning, allegedly angering Chinese social media users.

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In his Facebook post, the Luckin Coffee employee Wu Boyuan had referred to Taiwan as an independent nation, and said the Taiwanese are facing Chinese repression.

Luckin Coffee said in statement the company conducted an investigation into the Taiwanese employee then suspended the individual.

“We take a firm position on the principle of national unity, and we sincerely apologize for the confusion caused by this incident,” Beijing-based Luckin Coffee said.

Friction has grown between China and Taiwan as Chinese planes continue to violate the median line in the Taiwan Strait. The most recent incursions took place 40 times on Friday and Saturday, according to CNN.

The provocations prompted a response from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

“What we are seeing now is not just a situation across the Taiwan Strait, but a regional situation. China’s recent military activities, especially in the past few days, clearly constitute a threat of force, which is part of their verbal attacks and military threats [against Taiwan],” Tsai told reporters Sunday.

Under its One-China policy, Beijing does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty.

Wang Yang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, warned in a video address to the 12th Straits Forum in Xiamen, Fujian Province on Sunday that Taiwanese independence is a “dead end.”

“Even if Taiwan increases its presence by collusion with foreign nations, it only poses a risk to Taiwan that would be difficult to bear,” Wang said.