ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

Danish coronavirus flag cartoon sparks outrage in Beijing

Jyllands-Posten newspaper defends decision with prime minister on its side

A satirical cartoon by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has sparked controversy in China.   © Reuters

BRUSSELS -- China has demanded an apology from Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing a satirical cartoon of the new coronavirus, though the paper is standing by its decision.

The cartoon, published Monday, replaced the yellow stars in China's national flag with yellow virus particles. The image is "an insult to China" and crossed the "ethical boundary of free speech," the Chinese Embassy in Denmark said the day it was published.

Despite the more than 130 deaths and over 6,000 infections attributed to the coronavirus in China, Jyllands-Posten chief editor Jacob Nybroe said the cartoon was not intended to ridicule the nation, and that the newspaper "can't apologize for something we don't think is wrong."

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen defended the paper on Tuesday. "We have freedom of expression in Denmark -- also to draw," she said.

Jyllands-Posten published a controversial cartoon in 2005 depicting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban. The cartoon triggered backlash and protests in the Muslim world.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media