China official attacks Tsai Ing-wen for being unmarried

Article on Chinese state media says Taiwan’s female president has an “extremist” style because she is unmarried.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen reacts after her address during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei
Beijing criticises Tsai for refusing to explicitly endorse the 'one-China principle' [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Taiwan’s new president is “extreme” in her politics because she is an unmarried woman lacking the emotional balance provided by romantic and family life, a member of China’s body for relations with the self-governing island has written in a newspaper opinion piece.

In Beijing’s harshest attack on Tsai Ing-wen since her inauguration last week, the new president was denounced as a flawed human being and strident advocate of Taiwan’s formal independence from China, something Beijing says it will use military force to prevent.

Tsai, Taiwan’s first female president, has been criticised by Beijing for refusing to explicitly endorse the “one-China principle” that defines Taiwan as part of China. But previous criticisms were not in such personal terms.

READ MORE: Tsai Ing-wen becomes Taiwan’s first female president

“As a single female politician, she lacks the emotional encumbrance of love, the constraints of family or the worries of children,” said the piece, written by Wang Weixing, an analyst with China’s People’s Liberation Army and board member of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, the semiofficial body in charge of contacts with Taiwan.

“Her style and strategy in pursuing politics constantly skew toward the emotional, personal and extreme,”
Wang wrote, adding that Tsai was prone to focus excessively on details and short-term goals rather than overall strategic considerations.

The piece appeared on Tuesday on the website of the International Herald Leader, which is published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency. The article has since been removed from Xinhua’s website, but can still be found on other news portals and micro-blogging accounts.

Analysts said Beijing’s “sexist” attack on Tsai is unlikely to change Taiwanese voters’ opinion on their new president.

“During the election many [Taiwanese] people I spoke to said it didn’t matter that she was unmarried or didn’t have children,” said Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown, reporting from Beijing.

“All that mattered was whether she could do her job as president.”

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Source: Al Jazeera, AP