TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A week after the first same-sex couples legally wed in Taiwan, Western and Taiwanese netizens alike have been mocking the hypocritical and contradictory stance that China and its citizens have on Taiwan's status.
The basic gist of the memes is poking fun at Communist China's erroneous, baseless claim that Taiwan is currently a part of "one China," and, therefore, in effect a part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). In fact, Taiwan is a sovereign, independent nation with its own constitution, currency, army, free press, and democratically elected government.
The fact that Taiwan became the first country in Asia to do so, when its democratically elected government passed landmark legislation making same-sex marriage legal on May 17, was glaring proof that Taiwan is not part of Communist China by any stretch of the imagination.
Soon, English-language social media platforms were flooded with jokes posted by netizens about hypothetical conversations they would have with Chinese citizens about the new law. The premise was that because Chinese consider Taiwan a part of China, they would be confused if a person said that same-sex marriage had been legalized in "China," or that it had been legalized in Taiwan, but not China.
On Friday (May 17), a meme along these lines was posted on the social media platform Reddit and soon spread like wildfire. The post is titled, "My favorite setup is to do this to Chinese people that bother me," reads as follows:
"Hey. I heard China just legalized same sex marriage.
No we didn't.", replies the Chinese national.
But Taiwan just legalized same-sex marriage!
No… Taiwan is not… uh… Yes, China is … uh…"
On Monday, (May 27), it was reposted on the Jokes subreddit, and over the past four days has gained 24,700 upvotes and 1,200 comments. That same day, a Chinese translation of the joke soon spread to Taiwan's popular online messaging board PTT.
On Wednesday, (May 29), a meme surfaced on the Instagram page @alexandrian with a similar theme. In the first frame, a gray cartoon head with the flag of Communist China says, "Stop saying China legalized gay marriage. It was Taiwan." Then a white cartoon head responds by saying, "So you admit that Taiwan is not part of China?"
The gray head's face turns blank as it tries to process what was just said for a beat, and in the last frame it makes a vexed expression.
(Meme from Instagram user @alexandrian)