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China state media blasted for 'sexist' remarks about Taiwan president

China state media blasted for 'sexist' remarks about Taiwan president
An article published Tuesday by a Chinese Communist Party-linked newspaper has sparked outrage over its sexist comments about Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen, whom the article suggested was unfit to be president because she was single and childless.

"As a single female politician," Tsai's political style and strategies are often "emotional, personalized and extreme" because she lacks "the burden of love, family and children," according to the opinion piece by Wang Weixing, an analyst from the Academy of Military Science in Beijing and a board member of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

Wang said that because Tsai is single, she thinks less about strategic directions and more about tactical details, and cares more about achieving short-term goals than long-term ones.

Headed "Exposing Tsai Ing-wen," the article was published Tuesday on the website of the International Herald Leader, a newspaper affiliated with China's state-owned Xinhua news agency.

It has since been removed, however, from Xinhua's website and other news sites in China amid a storm of criticisms in the international media and from netizens in both China and Taiwan over what was called an overtly sexist tone.

"While the editorial tells us nothing about Tsai, it does say much about sexism and single shaming in the Communist Party-run People's Republic of China," a Washington Post article said Wednesday.

"Although a single op-ed in the party-controlled press does not represent an official or even a mainstream view, it does suggest that there are people with only the thinnest grasp of Tsai (and Taiwan) in positions of authority on the Chinese mainland -- and that is far more worrying than anything Wang raises on Tsai," the Washington Post said.

The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and BBC also reported on the views expressed by Wang in the opinion piece.

Social media users in China and Taiwan, meanwhile, wrote thousands of online messages condemning the article.

"This offended even the single women in China," a Taiwanese Internet user wrote. "There is no medicine for this level of stupidity."

A Chinese user said it was "complete nonsense."

"This is the kind of article published by an official agency?" the Chinese user wrote. "It will become a laughing stock if the news was spread to the world."

Commenting on the issue, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu of Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party said Thursday that remaining single is a life choice.

It has nothing to do with one's stance, abilities or professionalism, said Chen, one of the most prominent female politicians in Taiwan.