Monday, January 18, 2016

During Taiwan Elections Sina Weibo Begins Censoring "Taiwan"

On January 16, 2016, the state sponsored China Daily published an editorial entitled “Tsai Should Prove Sincerity About Peace Across Taiwan Straits.” Some excerpts:
Now that the Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen has won Taiwan's "presidential" election, she should waste no time to prove that she is sincere in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. She should work to make people in Taiwan feel safe, instead of creating anxieties with her ambiguous mainland policy.
. . . .
Many differences remain between the mainland and Taiwan, not only in lifestyle and social system, but also in how and when the two sides should be reunited. But under no circumstance should the differences be used as excuses to seek Taiwan independence, which means war, as the mainland's Anti-Secession Law suggests. The bottom line shall never be tested.

Any attempt to steer the island closer to independence will be a fool's errand.
On January 17, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Taiwanese Choose Tsai, Not Independence.” Some excerpts:
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Tsai Ing-wen won by a landslide in Taiwan’s “presidential” elections on Saturday, and the DPP she leads captured the majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan, with the Kuomintang once again becoming an opposition party.
. . . .
The vote is not a gauge of cross-Straits relations. The DPP’s victory doesn’t mean the majority of Taiwanese support Taiwan independence. Tsai and her party are aware of this, so in her victory speech, she was evasive about the current issues between Taiwan and the mainland, only scrupulously stating that she will be engaged in a “consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-Straits relations.”
. . . .
Tsai should keep in mind that if she revisits Chen’s dangerous path to cross the red line of cross-Straits relations, she will meet a dead end. We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence, and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland.
These screenshots show that on the day of the election, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “Taiwan General Election” (台湾大选).

These screenshots show that on the evening of January 16, Sina Weibo was in fact censoring all searches containing the word “Taiwan.” The following day Sina Weibo was no longer completely censoring all search results for "Taiwan," but was instead moderating search results when users selected “View All Search Results” (查看全部搜索结果) - in this case only one result was being shown.