President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has teamed up with Taiwanese YouTube host Tsai A-ga (蔡阿嘎) in two short videos.
One was titled “Ga with Celebrity to Talk about Taiwanese” and the other “What is the President up to?” Within 24 hours of being posted on Tuesday, they received 670,000 and 220,000 views respectively.
It was the first time that Tsai Ing-wen had worked with a Taiwanese YouTube celebrity, and many people have said that this is the first time they have seen the president loosen up and show that she has a funny side.
In one video, Tsai A-ga joked with the president, saying that he had mistaken her for Masa (瑪莎), the bass player for Mayday.
He also jokingly called her “English Tsai,” a direct translation of her name, which can be taken as meaning “poor English,” and went on to joke that “I am the first YouTuber in the world to diss a nation’s president in person.”
The two traded banter, while the president also gave quick replies to short questions, and discussed interesting uses of Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) words and phrases.
The president later admitted that she was somewhat nervous at the beginning and even held her hands tightly, as it was the first time that she had taken part in this sort of entertainment.
Some netizens said that the videos are symbolic of Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.
“After watching this, I feel proud to live in a free, democratic society in Taiwan,” one person wrote.
“No matter if you like her or not, we should appreciate the liberties and freedom of speech we enjoy in Taiwan,” another wrote.
Other commentators said that Taiwan has what many other countries do not.
“It is impossible for China to have these kinds of videos,” one person wrote.
In the second video, the president gave the Republic of China flag to Tsai A-ga at the Presidential Office, and announced that the YouTuber has been chosen to represent the nation later this summer in New York.
The New York Mets baseball club is hosting a Taiwan Heritage Night at the team’s Citi Field, with a pre-game ceremony featuring Tsai A-ga.
“We look forward to Tsai A-ga taking our flag to the New York Mets’ stadium,” Tsai Ing-wen said.
Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said that the president regularly posts messages on her Facebook page and she shares photographs on Instagram.
Her official Line messaging app account has gained more than 200,000 followers in two months, Lin said.
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