Photos: Taiwan VS China: With or without an election ballot
January 12, 2012Jing Gao2 CommentsChiang Ching-kuo, cross-strait, cross-strait relations, democracy, Ma Ying-jeou, presidential election, republic of china, Taiwan, Taiwan Strait, Taiwanese, Taiwanese presidential election, Tsai Ing-wen, Xi Jinping
As the presidential election in Taiwan gathers steam, attention of people from across the Taiwan Strait is also running higher. However, despite the fanfare, mud-slinging, brouhaha and emotional speeches that give pro-government Chinese every handle to attack the election as nothing but a show, many Chinese netizens who keep a close eye on the election have found the beauty of democracy manifested by an election ballot.
The following photo collages have recently become viral on Sina Weibo, . The first set, titled “With an election ballet, the people are grandfathers (colloquial term, meaning ‘bosses’)”, shows Ma Ying-jeou, the incumbent president and head of the ruling Kuomingtang, and Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the opposition party and one of the presidential candidates, shaking hands with and bowing to the electorate while campaigning.
The second set, titled “Without an election ballot, the people are grandsons (meaning ‘stooges’ or ‘underdogs’)”, shows Chinese ordinary citizens, all of whom are petitioners or families of victims with grievances to redress, imploring local officials on their knees to hear their cases and uphold justice.
A month ago, a Chinese enthusiast from the remote Xinjiang province in the northwest even went so far as to paddle from a beach in China on a raft he made from styrofoam and bamboo through the sea all the way to Taiwan to witness Taiwan’s democracy materialize. He was arrested by the police in Taiwan for illegal entry and deported back to China. Upon hearing his impending deportation, he retorted by asking the reporter from a Taiwanese media, “Are Taiwan and China both parts of the Republic of China?”, referring to Taiwan’s official title. “If they are one country, then why am I illegal? Where are the human rights in Taiwan?” (Watch video in Chinese here)
Left: the raft made from styrofoam and bamboo. Right: the Chinese man who snuck into Taiwan for an opportunity to witness election and got arrested.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
名叫刀刀：We have election ballots too. But they require you to vote for none other than some one…
枯笔飞白：Pity that Xi Jinping is not Chiang Ching-kuo. “You really have to remain on your knees for another 500 years. ”
(Jing: Xi Jinping is believed to be China’s heir apparent and will take the throne this October. Chiang Ching-kuo, president of Taiwan from 1975 to 1988, was credited with loosening of political controls, lifting censorship, tolerating dissidents and paving way for democracy.)
小年糕糕：I saw my voter registration card for this year. When it was handed down, it was stamped with big words “Vote already cast”…
felix_jin：Nothing is good or bad but by comparison.
长跑者stone：The Global Times (Jing: a state-run Communist tabloid) would say, “Behind the smile of the former are ulterior motives of the capitalists. The latter are the people unwitting of truth and instigated by anti-China forces.”
雕虫小技29：So vivid!! Good and bad systems can be discerned at a glance.
张家干：The benevolent government and the tyrannical government are as different as the waters of Yellow River and Yangtze River.
草根之怒：Our royal court is in the phase of striving for the title of professional grandson! Guess the top (scene) will not ever happen if we don’t learn to stand up on our feet!
真老白：The politicians can even kneel down in front of you and call you grandfather at your behest in order to wangle your vote.
马不停蹄的溜达：Having been a grandson for long enough to be numb.
阿基里斯的黎明：How is soliciting votes possible without putting up a show? These shows serve no purpose other than projecting a populist image, elaborating their political agenda and seeking recognition from the people. Then they will vote for you. If you, after being elected, don’t set forth your political agenda, you will be distrusted by the electorate.
梦回民国100年：Handing state power back to the people is the priority!
川杨河彪彪: Election ballots are the bargaining chips of the citizenry.
足球弟：Sooner or later, they will become our grandsons.