Getting personal

Taiwan president accused of being “extremist” and “erratic” because she is single

Taiwan's new President Tsai Ing-wen during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei on May 20, 2016. (SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

An opinion piece on Chinese state media has generated outrage in response to its claim that Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen has an “extremist” leadership style because she is unmarried.

Senior military officer Wang Weixing’s commentary, originally published by Xinhua news agency but since taken down, credited the leader’s “erratic style” to her not having the “emotional burden” of a family. Wang, who commented also on Tsai’s “extremist political-style development” argued, “As a single female politician, Tsai Ing-wen does not have the emotional burden of love, of ‘family’ or children so her political style and strategies are displayed to be more emotional, personal and extreme.”

The piece was met with outrage on social media, after being reposted and discussed on popular Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo and Taiwan’s PTT forum.

“If Xinhua wanted to criticize Tsai Ing-wen, do it on fair grounds and look at her ability to lead Taiwan and revitalize areas like defense and the economy,” wrote one poster. “What does her private life have to do with the way she governs Taiwan?”

“They are probably threatened that a cat lady like Ms Tsai could beat any men she sets her mind to — they are intimidated,” argued another.

(Tsai’s passion for her two cats is well known — she even featured one of them in her Chinese New Year address last year.)

Tsai was sworn in as president on Friday.

Read the full story at the BBC.

Related:

Tsai Ing-Wen sworn in, becomes Taiwan’s first woman president

Tsai Ing-wen: What you need to know about Taiwan’s first woman president

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