Opinion: What is the charisma of Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao? 

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"Courage" is the first impression that Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) leaves on people.

During his recent interviews with local media outlets, Yao fearlessly blasted China for bullying Taiwan to the greatest extent, from pressuring Taiwanese coffee chain 85C Bakery Cafe to "apologize" over its U.S. employees' friendly gesture towards Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen during her short visit and to declare its support of the 1992 Consensus, to encouraging El Salvador to switch allegiance from Taiwan to China. 

Yao also raises questions on his rival, the current mayor of Taipei, for shying away from voicing criticism against China's political bullying. The Communist regime’s state media strikingly gave special and positive coverage of Ko, leading Yao to accuse Beijing of meddling in Taiwan's local elections. 

Yao's concern does not come out of nowhere, as the government is aware of growing fake news on social media ahead of the election, which relentlessly attack the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and its candidates with misleading information. Yao is one of the victims. 

As Ko seems to prevail in election poll three months prior to the election, let's not forget the revolutionary approach to 3D spatial visualization that Yao applies to present his blueprint for Taipei City reform, as well as his strengths, which share more similarities with other popular politicians around the world, as follows: 

  • He can adapt to changes; he is passionate, courageous and sincere. 
  • He is friendly, but powerful and dominant if needed. 
  • He is good at leveraging new media for his political campaign, and is followed by young advisors and loved by young people. 

As young voters are not satisfied with the status quo, the candidates not complying with the norm are becoming more popular among netizens. Anyhow, we shouldn't forget to differentiate a populist leader from a genuine leader. At the same time, Yao's team should also strive to develop and promote his charisma to help Yao win the November election.