By Jean Cao Junchen
Frank Hseih, ex-premier and former chair of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, was on Weibo for almost 24 hours, opening his account on Tuesday only to see it be deleted on Wednesday afternoon.
The exact reasoning behind the elimination of Hsieh’s account is unclear, though some netizens speculated that his posts on the importance of free speech touched a nerve with Sina’s censors.
The Global Times reported that some netizens believed Hsieh was using social media to test the limits of free speech in mainland China.
Hsieh had more than 50,000 followers by midday on Wednesday, and was praised by netizens for talking about the constitution and freedom of speech.
“The freedom of expression should not be about the freedom to criticize high-ranking officials or authorities, but whether people will lose the freedom after criticizing.”
“Constitution is a worldwide trend, so most countries have constitution. However, in some countries, the constitution is only used in the examination, not implemented or implemented partly, and cannot implemented to control government’s rights. That is where people’s suffering comes from.”
Hsieh himself seems unfazed, he told Taiwanese blog ETToday “it’s fine [that my account] disappeared … I will open a new one.”