China’s online community have said they were “touched” and “delighted” by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s comment this week that the mainland is “part of” the Republic of China, citing the Taiwanese constitution.
Bloggers and intellectuals, many eyeing Taiwan’s democracy as a successful model and yearning for a transition of their own, jumped at the opportunity to express their hope for the “return” of the Kuomintang to the mainland.
Ma said, while meeting with US officials in Taipei on Thursday, that the relationship between Taiwan and mainland China is not international but “special”. Ma cited the Republic of China’s constitution, which defines the ROC as “one sovereign country of which China is a part”.
His comments were picked up by newspapers and websites in the mainland, including the liberal Southern Metropolis Daily, and triggered enthusiastic discussion.
“Please reclaim the mainland as soon as possible,” many wrote, urging a reunification that would allow the Kuomintang to take control.
“Do come back to rule – for all my life I haven’t seen a single election vote,” wrote another.
“I support constitutional and multi-party rule in China should Ma return,” said one blogger, suggesting the Kuomintang and other parties could be allowed to run in elections for posts in the Beijing government.
Despite an overwhelming call for China to adopt “democracy” following Ma’s comments, some pointed out Taiwan might not be a perfect model to emulate.
“Taiwan’s ‘democracy’ is a joke – why doesn’t Ma simply resign, since his popularity has plummeted so miserably?” wrote one, “I don’t want this kind of ‘democracy’ for China.”
Ma’s recent attempt to expel a well-regarded legislative speaker has dragged his approval ratings down into single digits, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.