China is not a huge fan of the newly inaugurated Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is also the first ever woman to take office in the Asian country. Not only does the People’s Republic disapprove of her policies, it apparently has a problem with her single-dom as well.
A Chinese military official, Wang Weixing, has recently come under fire for calling Tsai “extreme” and “emotional,” all because she is unmarried.
In an op-ed for the state-run newspaper, the International Herald Leader, Wang, who is also a member of the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait, suggested Tsai is an untrustworthy politician who lacks the “burden of love” and would turn out to be an aggressive ruler.
“As a single female politician, she is unburdened by love, and lacks the constraint of family or concern for children,” Wang wrote in his sexist rant. “In political style and strategy, often she tends to be emotional, personal, and extreme. In terms of political tricks, she considers strategy less, tactical details more, and short-term goals are paramount, while long-term goals are less taken into account.”
While the remarks themselves are a slap in the face of gender equality and highlight the plight of female leaders in Asia and other parts of the world, they also came at a time when China is in a heated debate over “leftover women.”
The term is used to identify women above the age of 25 who are still unmarried. Though it is a widely used term in the communist state, the stigma only became of topic of national interest when a skincare company broached the sensitive subject in an ad campaign.
Domestic social media users also bashed Wang’s comments.
“This is from official media? Isn’t this personal attack and discriminating over women?” asked a Weibo users, while another wrote, “Although I also really hate DPP and Tsai Ing-wen, to attack someone’s personal life and singleness is not quite decent.”
People were also quick to point out that world leaders like South Korea’s Park Geun Hye and Russian President Vladmir Putin have good relations with China but are currently not married.
“Even if you do want to make a point of Tsai Ing-wen’s extremism, you don’t have any proof to say being single is a definitive cause of extremism. There are countless extremists out there who are married,” an upset online user commented.
The newspaper has since removed the sexist article from its website.