The recent detention of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law has caused a ripple in Chinese society, with many voices there expressing "envy" of Taiwan's democracy, a Japanese daily reported yesterday.
An article in the Sankei Shimbun said the People's Daily News and the Xinhua news agency had reported the detention of Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) on suspicion of insider stock trading with the aim of letting the Chinese people know how "corrupt" Taiwan's society is.
However, the reports had the opposite effect.
Many Chinese readers said they were "impressed" with the "true democracy" that they saw in reading about Chao's detention and about the recall motion initiated by pan-blue camp legislators to recall President Chen, the Sankei reported.
Many messages about Taiwan's "enviable" democracy and China's "true decay" appeared on Chinese chat rooms on the Internet in the days after the reports.
One Chinese citizen wrote that "in China, even the son-in-law of a village leader would not be arrested if he were to commit the same crime as Chao did."
"None of the children of high-ranking officials have been detained for insider trading or other kinds of corruption," he wrote.
The Sankei report also said that Beijing University had planned to invite Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who made the initial allegations about Chao, to give a speech to "help ignite an anti-corruption fire in China."
Chinese authorities, however, later decided not to allow Chiu to visit for fear that such a speech would have an "undesirable" impact on Chinese society, Sankei reported.
Chiu, who continues to appear on TV talk shows at home to make allegations against members of the first family, noted that he doesn't think that Chen would use his powers to deprive him of his freedom of speech.
Chiu's remarks have been spread online by Chinese Internet surfers, the Sankei reported.
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