Oh, Hou! Young political satirist captures hearts across the Taiwan Strait

TAIPEI: A young Taiwanese man has become the latest Internet sensation across the Taiwan Strait.

Hou Han-ting’s self-made video mocking Taiwan’s new government under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is winning hundreds of thousands of followers from Taiwan and China.

Emulating China’s Internet sensation Papi Jiang, the 27-year-old postgraduate student plays different roles in short videos to poke fun at politicians. Mr Hou started producing his comedy videos just three months ago, but his latest video has already received more than five million hits.

“My original idea was to copy Papi Jiang’s style and make fun of politics and mock these brainless government officials and lawmakers,” he said. “I’m surprised at how well my videos have been received. It makes me want to take it to the next level.”

PRO-CHINA TONE NOT MEANT TO INFLUENCE OTHERS: HOU

Mr Hou’s sarcastic tone has apparently struck a chord with netizens on both sides of the strait. He now has nearly 150,000 followers on Facebook and 100,000 on his Weibo account. 

As a member of the China-friendly New Party, Mr Hou is one of the few young Taiwanese who supports eventual reunification with the mainland. He attributes his political belief to his family background as his grandfather came to Taiwan with the Kuomintang (KMT) after losing the civil war in China in 1949.

He added that he has always considered himself both Chinese and Taiwanese. Despite his pro-China position, Mr Hou said he never meant to change others’ political leanings through his videos.

“I simply state my perspective, like the DPP’s wavering position and flip-flopping policies,” said Mr Hou. “I use my video to present these facts. I didn’t mean to purposely try to persuade young people to support the pan-blue coalition or the KMT.” 

His growing popularity is giving hope to the pan-blue coalition, led by the KMT. Earlier this year, the party suffered its worst-ever defeat in the presidential and legislative elections.

At the heart of its collapse was its failure to appeal to young voters – especially after the 2014 Sunflower Movement during which students occupied Parliament in protest against a trade deal with China. The incident has highlighted the growing unease and sense of disconnection among young Taiwanese towards the mainland.

RECONNECTING WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION

Now Mr Hou’s …

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