Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Ma’s run-in with vendor gets people talking in China

By Jake Chung  /  Staff Writer, with CNA

A report of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) being shooed away by a vendor when campaigning on Thursday has sparked discussion among Chinese academics and netizens on Taiwan’s democracy.

While canvassing for votes in a traditional market in Miaoli, Ma was shooed away by a pork vendor when he walked past the booth. The report was broadcast by the Phoenix Publishing & Media Network.

Reports of the incident sparked discussion among Chinese netizens and bloggers, with an article posted on a micro-blogging site by Beijing Banghe Wealth Research Institute director Han Zhiguo (韓志國), titled “Democracy Makes a Leader Humble,” receiving more than 300 replies. It was also reproduced on other Web sites more than 2,600 times.

According to Han, as Taiwanese would be voting in presidential elections on Jan. 14, Ma, who is seeking re-election, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) have been busy with campaign activities.

He said regardless of which candidate one listens to, there is “no bureaucratic language or posturing,” adding that the candidates were truly trying to meet the people and show what a democracy is.

“At a time like this, one can really see who is the servant and who is the master, and experience what a balanced system is,” Han wrote.

Han then went on to question when people in China would be able to see their politicians being shooed away by a pork vendor.

In response to the question, a Chinese netizen replied and said when “Taiwan unifies China,” while another wrote: “We can see the future of our people from Taiwan’s example.”

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