Taipei, May 20 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration for a second term, which was streamed live on the Internet, created quite a stir among Chinese netizens Sunday, with some saying they support Ma's description of the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo as "one country, two areas."
The mainstream media in China gave only limited coverage of the event in Taiwan, referring to Ma as "the leader of Taiwan authorities." But some Chinese netizens said he should be called what he is -- the president of the Republic of China.
In some microblogs on www.people.cn and Baidu, two major news websites in China, it was reported simply that "President Ma Ying-jeou of the Republic of China has been officially sworn in."
Some bloggers supported Ma's statement in his inaugural address that the Republic of China comprises two areas (mainland China and Taiwan). But others said they were opposed to such an idea.
The majority of mainland Chinese netizens who expressed their views on Ma's inauguration said they support his policy of seeking peaceful development of cross-strait ties based on the 1992 consensus.
The 1992 consensus refers to a tacit agreement between Taipei and Beijing that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what 'one China' means.
Some of Chinese netizens said they hope to see a "Greater Republic of China" if mainland China and Taiwan are reunited.
Meanwhile, other Chinese netizens complained about "selective" reporting of Ma's inaugural speech on some websites, urging the editors to "publish the full text (of his speech) if you have the guts."
After Chinese media reported that the food and drink at Ma's inauguration party cost less than NT$1,600 (US$54) per person, quite a number of Chinese netizens said they were surprised at how "frugal" Ma was compared with Chinese officials who often go for lavish spreads.
While some Chinese netizens ridiculed Ma for pretending to be frugal, others said he has done a good job of exemplifying thriftiness and integrity.
Some used this "shining example" to make sarcastic comments, such as, "Wow, Taiwan has such a clean and competent leader. Alas, I can see the end of the days of a certain party (an indirect reference to the Communist Party of China)."
Another topic that was hotly discussed among Chinese netizens was a "state seal" that was handed to Ma. A Chinese reporter who covered Ma's inauguration posted this comment: "Who has ever seen our (mainland Chinese) state seal?" To which, a response read, "Could it be that it has sunk in the Yellow River?"
Probably to avoid a repeat of the democracy craze that followed the live streaming of Ma's election victory in January, few Chinese websites carried Ma's swearing-in ceremony or inaugural speech. Some sites removed footage of the event that had been posted earlier.
For example, on the popular Tudou site, the video on Ma's swearing-in was deleted. In its place, a notice appeared that said, "Alas, the page you are seeking does not exist."
(By Hsiao Pao-hsiang and S.C. Chang)