by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Jan 21, 2016
The Facebook page of Taiwan's newly elected president Tsai Ing-wen has been flooded with tens of thousands of hostile comments, many of them demanding reunification with mainland China.
Tsai, chairwoman of the China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was elected Saturday in a sweeping victory by voters increasingly uneasy about warming ties with China under outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) party.
The posts, many of them written in simplified Chinese used on the mainland and not the traditional characters more commonly used in Taiwan, started to appear on Tsai's Facebook page on Wednesday evening.
"I don't care who becomes the president in Taiwan... the only one thing I care is [when] we can recover the little Taiwan," Chenxi Cui posted in English on Thursday.
Another, Lily Liao, said: "Loving mother country is a pride, harming mother country is shame."
Lawyer-turned-politician Tsai brushed off the attacks, and responded with a series of posts encouraging democratic debate on the island.
"Last night lots of netizens from the mainland visited my Facebook page. To this, I want to say 'welcome'," she wrote in a Facebook message.
It was not clear who was behind the barrage of comments, but Chinese authorities have been known to encourage an army of sometimes paid posters to write entries supportive of party policies.
Tsai also posted a photo of a supporter waving a flag of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official title, featuring the Chinese phrase: "What is great about this country is that every person is entitled to exercising their own rights."
Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy since splitting with China in 1949 after a civil war, but has never formally declared independence, and Beijing sees it as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
After her landslide win, Tsai pledged to maintain the "status quo" across the Taiwan Straits, but the president-elect has refused to recognise the "1992 consensus" -- a tacit understanding between the outgoing KMT and Beijing that has been the bedrock of warming ties since 2008.
Beijing responded to the election rout by warning that it would resolutely oppose any bid by Taiwan to seek independence.
Taiwan News at SinoDaily.com
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