Chinese Look On With Envy At Taiwanese Elections

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Conceding to her rival Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan’s heated presidential race, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen delivered what many consider to be one of the most moving speeches in the island nation’s six-decade history, reports New Tang Dynasty Television.

Addressing a teary-eyed crowd, Tsai appealed for “unity” and “faith” in a message that stirred both supporters and opponents, as well as Chinese netizens across the strait. "Taiwan,” declared Tsai, “cannot afford to be without an opposition voice or be without checks and balances."

Her speech has since been posted and reposted across both Taiwan and China’s blogosphere, the report noted, with one blogger on the mainland commenting that her words aroused a “strong democratic feeling.”

The final results of last week’s race showed the “Beijing-friendly” Ma, of the Nationalist Party (or Kuomintang), capturing 51.6 percent of the vote, as compared to Tsai, who finished with 45.6 percent. At the core of the election lay the question of just how close Taiwanese want to be with their larger and more powerful neighbor, China, with a majority settling on maintaining economic ties conducive to future growth.

While Tsai’s words moved even her most stalwart opponents in a country where political fissures run deep, for many in China they reflected the glaring absence of democratic institutions in their own country.

“All opposition voices [in China] are blocked out in the name of stability,” commented one blogger quoted in the piece, while another compared elections in the two countries. “In Taiwan, the ballot stands for dignity and human rights, while in China votes are bought and sold like train tickets.”