Incoming Taipei mayor Wayne Chiang can attract younger support for opposition Kuomintang, say observers

Mr Chiang’s victory has ignited hopes that his young age and popularity could inspire more youth to join or support the party. A good performance as Taipei’s mayor will also help the KMT gain grounds for the 2024 presidential election.

“If his governance can meet the expectations of young Taiwanese, it would encourage more to join the party,” Mr Lai said.

The newly-elected Taipei mayor hails from a long line of politicians. His great-grandfather Chiang Kai-shek and grandfather Chiang Ching-Kuo were both former presidents.

Mr Chiang was a corporate lawyer in the United States before returning to Taiwan and entering politics several years ago.


The once-struggling KMT party won 14 of the 22 cities and counties in November’s local mayoral and county elections.

While the DPP retains control of southern regions including Tainan and Kaohsiung, the KMT has swept the ruling party out of power in the northern half of Taiwan.

The opposition’s victories outperformed expectations, even though they usually fare better than the DPP in these local elections.

The ruling party has in recent years struggled with discontent from the public, who are increasingly unhappy with the government’s domestic policies, including a sluggish economy and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voters are also concerned with rising cross-straits tensions with China.
KMT traditionally favours closer ties with China although the party denies being pro-Beijing. It has also accused the DPP of being over confrontational with its powerful neighbour.
“I support this party because it’s a neutral party that takes care of the people. And it protects the Chinese culture. Most importantly, it helps maintain cross-strait peace. Nobody wants a war with China,” said KMT member Mike Yang.


Mr Yang has been a member of the KMT for 30 years.

The 70-year-old military veteran had once lost faith in the opposition party after KMT lost power in 2016. However, the recent gains led by Mr Chiang, the incoming Taipei mayor, has rekindled the his hopes.

“Chiang Wan-an’s victory in Taipei gives a big boost to KMT’s morale, especially since he is young, handsome and a family man, whose outstanding performance at the legislature has won public recognition. He is the KMT’s future hope,” Mr Yang said.