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Tsai, Tzuyu censored on China social media?

BIG WIN: Taiwan's President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (centre), celebrating her election victory at Democratic Progressive Party headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday. She took


    Jan 18, 2016

    Tsai, Tzuyu censored on China social media?


    TAIWAN'S pro-independence president-elect Tsai Ing-wen might appear in news around the world following her landslide victory on Saturday, but in one sphere, her name is almost non-existent - China's social media.

    A check on China's most famous microblogging site Weibo revealed that posts about her counted fewer than 10, the same as Chinese President Xi Jinping - who is apparently also a taboo subject for a different reason - but far fewer than outgoing Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou.

    Similarly, Tzuyu, a 16-year-old Taiwanese member of K-pop girl group Twice, has hardly any comments on Weibo.

    She apologised in a video clip on Friday for waving a Taiwan flag on a TV show late last year.

    The flag-waving incident had angered many mainland Chinese.

    For a young rising celebrity, Tzuyu's lack of mentions on Weibo is unusual.

    According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, it could not locate even one single post on Ms Tsai and Tzuyu on Weibo.

    China is very wary of the next government in Taiwan under Ms Tsai and does not expect future cross-strait relations to be smooth, said Yonhap.

    Ms Tsai secured 56.12 per cent of the vote in Saturday's presidential election, by far the biggest mandate ever won by a candidate from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

    The DPP also won 68 seats in the 113-seat legislature, gaining its first-ever majority and locking Mr Ma's pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) out of power for the first time since 1949 when KMT fled to Taiwan from the mainland.

    Following the results, China's Foreign Ministry was quick to stress that Taiwan was an internal matter for China, there is only one China in the world and the island's election neither changes this fact nor international acceptance of it.

    China's official Xinhua news agency also warned any moves towards independence were like a "poison" that would cause Taiwan to perish.

    Ms Tsai's victory came a day after the apology by Tzuyu, who declared that she was Chinese and recognised that there was only one China, following cancellation of the K-pop singer's shows on the mainland due to the flag-waving incident.

    But that stirred an outrage among many Taiwanese, who saw her apology as a case of China bullying a young girl with political and commercial pressure.

    Some Taiwanese media suggested the apology even helped increase Ms Tsai's votes by at least 2 per cent.

    "The incident has spurred many young Taiwanese voters to vote for Ms Tsai. What a perfect storm for the DPP," reported Taiwan's United Daily News.

    But the incident seems to be blowing over, as the mainland's flagship China Central Television has since aired a programme featuring Twice, including Tzuyu - an indication the ban on her show appearances could have been lifted.