A Chinese nationalist unhappy that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected on Jan. 11, has suggested that she would not have won if all 1.4 billion Chinese in China had voted as well.
Chinese people should vote too
According to a now-deleted post by Weibo user called "Mr Pu's diary", the nationalist wrote that "all 1.4 billion Chinese should vote too" to overwhelm the Taiwanese voters, "as Taiwan only has about 20 million people".
He was implying that instead of Tsai, her opponent Han Kuo-yu would have won a popular vote should Chinese people have taken part in the election as well.
But, according to "Mr Pu", the nationalist's Weibo account got locked after his post went up.
There is no universal suffrage in China, and the people are not allowed to vote for their own president.
The irony of the post was not lost on the Taiwanese commenters.
"You can't even say the word "vote (in an election)" on the mainland, and now you want to decide who should be Taiwan's president, you poor thing."
"It's not rare to vote, but the Taiwanese people can scold their leader, y'all mainlanders are so far behind us that you can't even see our taillights!"
"What? (1.4 billion) people want to cast their vote? Isn't... isn't this a rebellion?"
Taiwan said Beijing shouldn't read too much into the election
Two days before the election in Taiwan took place on Jan. 11, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Beijing should not "read too much" into the election, and that Taiwan's election should not be seen as "its own victory or defeat", Reuters reported.
Should Beijing do that, it might "engage in military intimidation or diplomatic isolation or using economic measures as punishment against Taiwan", he added.
Chinese state media Xinhua has denounced Taiwan's election results, saying Tsai's victory came about due to "dirty tactics such as cheating, repression and intimidation".
It also claimed that "external dark forces" contributed to the election results.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a strongly-worded response to the election, said Taiwan separatists will be doomed to leave a "stinky" name behind them for 10,000 years -- a Chinese expression for going down in history in infamy.
No popular demonstrations allowed, even pro-China ones
Chinese authorities tend to shut down forms of expression that might potentially gain traction and inspire a mass movement, even if the act itself is borne from support for the government.
This is why they are particularly sensitive to any causes that might gather steam among the masses, going as far as banning them.
For instance, a Chinese nationalist took to Weibo and claimed that Shenzhen police had confiscated his banner that said "Hong Kong belongs to China forever" when he planned to unfurl it at the Lakers game, LA Times reported.
He also claimed the police handled him roughly and even brought him to a police station.
His post, where he asked if Chinese people will be "oppressed even for loving [their] country", has since been deleted.
Nationalism is a double-edged sword
While the Chinese Communist Party lets nationalistic expressions have a free rein on the Chinese Intranet, Chinese nationalism can be a double-edged sword for the one wielding it.
If not kept under control, it can go out of hand, and even challenge the party, especially if the party is seen as not being assertive enough in its foreign policy when it comes to protecting China’s interests.
Political scientist Jessica Chen Weiss told LA Times the Chinese government commonly stirs up nationalistic sentiments among the people, but then reel that in when nationalism has served its purpose.
Such a tactic could generate resentment against what appears to be government hypocrisy, she added.