China complains after Danish newspaper publishes image of Chinese flag with coronavirus

A security personnel in protective clothing seen at the entrance of a subway station in Beijing on Jan 28, 2020.
A security personnel in protective clothing seen at the entrance of a subway station in Beijing on Jan 28, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

The Chinese embassy in Denmark has demanded an apology after Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-posten published a graphic of the Chinese flag showing the coronavirus in place of the five yellow stars on the red flag.

"(This) is an insult to China and hurts the feelings of the Chinese people. Without any sympathy and empathy, it has crossed the bottom line of civilised society and the ethical boundary of free speech and offends human conscience. We express our strong indignation and demand that Jyllands-posten and Niels Bo Bojesen reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologise to the Chinese people," a statement released on Tuesday (Jan 28) read.

The paper has offended other countries before - in 2005 Jyllands Posten published several cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad, igniting protests across the Muslim world that killed at least 50. The Danish prime minister at the time called it the worst crisis for the country since World War II.