Taiwan President 'Extreme' Because She's Single: China Op-Ed

Tsai Ing-wen also labeled 'emotional,' 'erratic' in 'chauvinistic' Xinhua opinion piece
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2016 8:51 AM CDT
Taiwan President 'Extreme' Because She's Single: China Op-Ed
In this file photo taken Friday, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves as she delivers an acceptance speech during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in Friday as Taiwan's first female president, and she's already been labeled "extreme" by the news agency for China's Communist Party—in large part because she's not married, the Guardian reports. The Xinhua-run International Herald Leader ran an opinion piece accusing Tsai of having an "erratic style," per the BBC, and a radical platform that could threaten China's hold on Taiwan. "As a single female politician, she does not have the emotional burden of love, of 'family' or children," read the piece, penned by Wang Weixing, a Chinese official who handles Taiwanese matters. "So her political style and strategy tend to be emotional, [personalized], and extreme." He also called Tsai "two-faced" and noted she's "a complicated person who grew up in the twisted Taiwanese society and political environment," the Hong Kong Free Press reports. And, per the South China Morning Post, Wang tacked on another gem to what Shanghaist calls his "sexist pseudo psychoanalysis": that Tsai was insecure because her dad had more than one wife.

On the political front, an attempt by Tsai to break away from China wouldn't surprise anyone who's followed her career: The BBC notes her Democratic Progressive Party has been vocal in its push for independence. But it's the tone of the piece (published Tuesday and since removed from Xinhua's site, per CNN) and attack on Tsai's lifestyle that's rankling many on social media. "This was the stupidest and most offensive thing I have read in ages," a Beijing commenter on the Weibo network wrote, per the BBC. Others pointed out other successful single female politicians in Asia and accused Xinhua of suffering from "Straight Man Cancer," a Chinese term signifying a chauvinistic, denigrating attitude toward women, CNN notes. As for Tsai, her spokesman issued a "no comment" on the matter to the BBC. Interestingly, Xinhua's rant against a too "personalized" Tsai contrasts with a New York Times columnist who thinks Hillary Clinton should be just that. (CNN delves into whether discrimination against women in China is actually on the rise.)

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