Tsai Ing-wen
Tsai Ing-wen is Taiwan's first female presidentReuters

Taiwan's newly-elected president is extreme and erratic because she is an unmarried woman, a senior Chinese military officer has claimed in an editorial published by state-run media that sparked outrage online.

The misogynist attack on Tsai Ing-wen, a staunch supporter of the self-governing island's independence from China and its first female president, was penned by Wang Weixing, a member of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the head of the foreign studies at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Sciences.

"As a single female politician, Tsai Ing-wen does not have the emotional burden of love, of 'family' or children so her political style and strategies are displayed to be more emotional, personal and extreme," Wang wrote in piece published by International Herald Leader, a publication run by China's official Xinhua News Agency.

The author went on to argue that the 55-year-old former law professor's personality had been negatively impacted by her father marrying more than once and her policies were influenced by her "erratic behaviour".

The article was pulled from Xinhua's website after it drew a torrent of criticism on social media, with users expressing their disgust at what some said was an example of the sexism pervading Chinese society.

"This was the stupidest and most offensive thing I have read in ages," a user wrote on microblogging site Sina Weibo, the BBC reported. "Many women abroad admire Ms Tsai's tenacity and drive, especially the fact she is strong and independent and does not need a man to rule."

Tsai Ing-wen, a London School of Economics graduate, was sworn in on 20 May, becoming the Taipei's first pro-independence leader in 20 years.