China wants Danish daily to apologise for virus cartoon

COPENHAGEN (AP) — China demanded that a major Danish newspaper apologise for a cartoon on the new virus outbreak in China.

Jyllands-Posten Chief Editor Jacob Nybroe, said the cartoon, which showed the Chinese flag with what resembles viruses instead of the normal stars, was not intended “to mock or ridicule China”.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen expressed its “strong indignation” and said the cartoon “is an insult to China”.

It added that the drawing “crossed the bottom line of civilised society and the ethical boundary of free speech, and offends human conscience”.

Nybroe said his newspaper “can’t apologise for something we don’t think is wrong…As far as I can see, there are two different types of cultural understanding here”.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said freedom of expression in Denmark includes cartoons.

“We have a very, very strong tradition in Denmark not only for freedom of expression, but also for satirical drawings, and we will have that in the future as well,” Frederiksen said.

“It is a well-known Danish position, and we will not change that.”

Following the news of the Embassy demanding an apology, people commented on social media for and against the cartoons.

Some noted Frederiksen’s comments that Denmark has freedom of expression while others demanded that the Danish daily apologises.

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of a new virus, with more than 100 deaths.

Most have been in the central city of Wuhan where the outbreak began last December.