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Translated by Wen-yee Lee

Due to the recent K-pop star Chou Tzu-yu incident, members of Baidu Tieba, the most popular online platform in China, organized a campaign to collectively breached China’s Great Firewall, aiming to bombard Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s Facebook page at 7 pm on January 20.

Facebook pages of Taiwan media, such as Liberty Times, Apple Daily and Sanlih E-Television, were also targets for these Chinese netizens. Tens of thousands of anti-Taiwan independence messages were posted on these Facebook pages. Regarding this, Tsai posted on Facebook later, saying, “The reason this country is great is everyone has the right to be themselves.”

Liberty Times reports, according to statements on Baidu Tieba, netizens from China claimed that they want to launch a messaging campaign on Taiwan’s Facebook pages, for example, by using the “report” button on Facebook. A Facebook group of “Di-ba’s Central Army” has emerged and has more than 10,000 members. In the group, many netizens use simplified Chinese to conduct the campaign, declaring that they are going to “fight” on the Facebook pages of Tsai Ing-wen, various Taiwanese media, and JYP Entertainment from South Korea.

Tsai’s Facebook page was bombarded with messages from Chinese netizens. UDN reports, Tsai’s posts, such as the one about “neutralizing chairman of the congress” on January 20, were flooded with more than 20,000 messages within three hours. Most of these messages were about “anti-Taiwan independence.”

Discussions have emerged on Internet platforms in China regarding this messaging campaign. On one of them, Zhihu, a Chinese netizen commented, “Too many VPN accounts have been exposed during this campaign, so it may be hard to have a good Internet connection afterwards.”

Another Chinese netizen says, “Even though there is a Firewall in China, many Chinese people care about international politics and sometimes we will breach the Wall to see what is happening in the real world. There’s no Wall in Taiwan, but many Taiwanese people only care about their own little happiness instead of the real world. They especially ignore big changes in China. Their bias is their wall.”

Edited by Olivia Yang