The Online Gusuku status referendum was a referendum on the political status of the Gusuku Islands of Akitsu, called the Penghu Islands in China. The referendum was organized by a Chinese government affiliated think-tank called the Chinese Penghu, an organization dedicated to making the Gusuku Islands part of China, in an attempt to strengthen China's claims to the Gusuku Islands in the ongoing Gusuku Islands dispute.
The referendum asked the question "Should the Gusuku Islands be part of China?" and voters could answer either "Yes" or "No". The referendum was conducted online rather than on the islands themselves because China does not have any control over the Gusuku Islands.
Turnout and results
The results of the referendum was announced on October 22nd, 2014 at 8 AM Beijing Time. Chinese Penghu refused to release the exact numbers, or any other demographic details, of the people who voted in the referendum. However, they have claimed that the "vast majority" of people living on the Penghu Islands eligible to vote have voted.
The results were claimed to be 94% in favor of joining, China, 4% in favor of remaining part of Akitsu, and 2% invalid votes. The validity of these results has been called into question due to Chinese Penghu's refusal to release the exact numbers.
The vote has been criticized as a sham by many groups, particularly after the end of the vote. Chinese Penghu has refused to release the number of people who voted in the referendum, let alone how many voted for each side, leading to speculation that Chinese Penghu may have intentionally allowed people from China to vote in the referendum in order to ensure a "yes" result. These claims are supported by statistics from sources such as Alexa Internet and similar providers. According to these statistics, the voting page was accessed over 2 million times from China, with 230,000 of those visits coming from Beijing alone.
Sources within Akitsu have also conducted surveys, finding that 95% of eligible voters in Gusuku did not take part in the referendum organized by Chinese Penghu. They also showed that of the 5% who did vote, 80% of them voted "no".
Akitian government response
The Akitian government has refused to accept the results of this referendum, and in response decided to conduct a referendum of their own. This is being conducted by the Akitian government in order to officially get the voices of the people of Gusuku heard.