As Taiwan voters went to the polls to reelect Ma Ying-jeou as president, observers on the mainland and around the world were watching keenly to see how the results will impact cross-Straits relations. The election is a big topic of conversation on Sina Weibo microblogging service; the following post is just an example of one Shanghai-based netizen’s view, which has been reposted over 20,000 times and received more than 3,000 comments:
@darkillzhou：Just now, a Taiwanese friend said to me at the end of our conversation, “I am going to vote tomorrow morning, and we will know who will be the President by the evening.” I suddenly do not know how to respond to him. Although there is no real communication barrier between us, I felt thoroughly ashamed in front of him. I could only say to him, “You guys are too backward. If we had to vote tomorrow morning, tonight we would already know who would be elected… ”
A couple of typical comments in response to this post: “Actually the whole world knows who our next term president will be.” And “We wouldn’t just know the night before, we would know five years ahead of time.”
CDT has translated additional comments on Sina Weibo about Taiwan’s election. Below are some examples:
@ABEL_OURDEN：转：王木木 : 台湾大选，今晚十点才能知道结果。大陆明年换届，可是我们现在已经知道结果了。 体现了无比的优越性。
@ABEL_OURDEN: RT Wang Mumu: For Taiwan’s election, you will only find out the results this evening at 10 o’clock. But as for next year’s transfer of leadership on the Mainland, you already know the results. Here is an incomparable advantage.
@时报翔哥: There are a full range of contractions, not only the ballot itself…… On the other side [of the Taiwan Strait] Mr. Ma had his whole family come out, everyone under the spotlight working their ass off begging for votes. On this side any information about the family members of Mr. Hu is “state secrets”, if one uploads a photo of his daughter it would be immediately deleted. On the other side we know who is the wife when he is running as a candidate; on this side, when they are being sentenced, we find out who his mistresses are……
@落雪是花博报: With ballots, Taiwan officials have to bow to voters; without ballots, “Fart People” have to kneel to them.
@十年砍柴: Years later, those of us on this side of the strait will remember: that year, we cursed the Ministry of Railway together, we drank poisoned milk together……
@haitaode ： 据说，大陆提供便利，助台商回台湾投票。真提供便利，不如让台湾三党在大陆设票箱……
@haitaode : It is said that the mainland provides convenience to help Taiwan businessmen to go back to Taiwan to vote. The real convenience we should provide is to let the three Parties in Taiwan to put ballot boxes in the mainland……
@旁观者马勇： No matter how it CCTV spins tonight’s new program, I believe Zhongnanhai and officials at every provincial level are as tense as everyone else on weibo and are thinking, what kind of impact Taiwan’s election without gunshots will have on the mainland. This impact definitely surpasses those flowers [Jasmine Revolution] because those flowers after all can be called social turmoil. But this time, people in Taiwan are truly great. Once and for all, they have destroyed the hundred year demonization of the Chinese people [that we cannot have democracy]. No matter who wins, it is a win for China. Democratic elections does not have to have violence.
@梁树新: Same Chinese Spring Festival, Taiwanese are lining up to vote in the sunshine; mainlanders are lining up to buy (train/airplane) tickets in the rain.
@李不三四: Watching the hot Presidential election on the other side of the strait, my heartfelt jealousy also arises like the ocean waves. I really want to shout loudly: the mainland is an inseparable part of China as well! *
* PRC propaganda slogan: Taiwan is an inseparable part of the China.
@yuen几件小事: there were two TV sets in the diner. The one on the left showed the Taiwan presidential election, the one on the right showed Two Conferences of Guangdong Province. Everyone in the diner was watching the TV set on the left.
[This post was updated at 9:30 pm PST January 14 to add additional weibo comments and to include election results.]