Cross-Straits couples put into dilemma caused by DPP’s epidemic manipulation
Published: Jun 06, 2021 08:43 PM
Photo: Wang Xiaofei (right), a Beijing businessman, and Barbie Hsu, an actress from the island of Taiwan.

Photo: Wang Xiaofei (right), a Beijing businessman, and Barbie Hsu, an actress from the island of Taiwan.

The reported breakdown of a high-profile cross-Straits couple ignited online discussion over the weekend after the husband, from mainland, took to social media to vent his ire that his wife and children, staying in Taiwan, couldn't get vaccinated despite rising COVID-19 cases in the island. 

The event also highlights the dilemma of cross-Straits marriages amid Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities' political manipulation of the epidemic and a growing tension of the cross-Straits relations.

Wang Xiaofei, a Beijing businessman, and Barbie Hsu, an actress from the island of Taiwan, are one of the most well-known cross-Straits couples in the Chinese-speaking world. Many Taiwan media outlets reported the breakdown of the couple on Saturday.

Hsu admitted that they are going through the formalities of divorce, local Taiwan media reported. But Wang told mainland-based Sina Finance that he knew nothing of the divorce. 

The reports by Taiwan media claimed the reason was possibly related to Wang's posts on Sina Weibo, which criticized the Taiwan authorities' failure in curbing the COVID-19 epidemic. 

As Hsu is living in the island with two children, Wang needs to travel between the mainland and the island very often. On Saturday, Wang described in a post what he had seen after coming back to the mainland from the island. 

"My family cannot get vaccinated in the island of Taiwan. It's so shameful and low-class! This is the contrast with [the Chinese mainland] and the gap between [the cross-Straits]. 

"Our company is thriving in the mainland, while it is suffering in Taiwan. Thanks for your hard work, my colleagues in Taiwan. If you cannot keep going in the island, there are dozens of stores in the mainland waiting for you to be managers, and your salary will double," Wang wrote. 

Wang uploaded the third Weibo post on Saturday, saying he had written the earlier posts because he was so worried about his family, who he hopes could be healthy and safe. 

Since the outbreak of the new COVID-19 surge on the island of Taiwan, the DPP authorities have been denounced for multiple anti-scientific moves including refusing mass testing and snubbing vaccine assistance from the mainland, ignoring local cries and growing death toll. 

Taiwan's anti-epidemic command center reported 343 domestically transmitted cases and 36 deaths on Sunday, local media reported.

"The anxiety of getting vaccinated is affecting cross-Straits relations as well as disturbing cross-Straits marriages," Sheng Jiuyuan, director of the Taiwan Research Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

He said that the DPP authorities' obstructing local residents to get help from the mainland is a behavior to kidnap the will of people to serve political purposes, regardless of the safety of people's lives.

Wang Yunting, a vlogger from the island of Taiwan with more than 1.7 million followers on short-video platform Douyin, who is married to a man in Shanghai, condemned DPP authorities' tearing apart deep relations between cross-Straits people and especially couples. 

The vlogger lives in Shanghai but her other family members - including her parents - are still in the island. She told the Global Times on Sunday that just like Wang Xiaofei, she is worried about the safety of her relatives.

"I live in a safe condition, but my family is still in a tough environment that lacks vaccines and effective prevention measures against the coronavirus. They are also seeing water and electricity shortages. How can I help but worry?" Wang said.

Many netizens across the Straits called on the DPP authorities to accept support from the mainland as soon as possible, in order to protect the lives and safety of the Taiwan residents.

"Distant water cannot quench present thirst, which is so simple. As we are all Chinese, the mainland is willing to help the island with sincerity, this is different from other countries. 

"Taiwan, having over 23 million residents, needs more vaccines, so why not seek help from the mainland?" Wang Yunting asked.