Foxconn's Pro-China Billionaire Founder Launches Bid For Taiwan Presidency

Terry Gou is the billionaire founder of Foxconn, a main supplier of Apple, and this week he announced he's seeking the presidential nomination of Taiwan's China-friendly opposition party for the second time. 

The Kuomintang (KMT) party favors close ties with China, and has long been seen as one of Beijing's best hopes at achieving 'peaceful reunification' with the mainland, as Beijing's official policy has long been articulated.

Terry Gou, Getty Images
Terry Gou, Getty Images

A 2019 bid by Gou, during which time he had stepped down as Foxconn CEO, failed to cinch the nomination. On Wednesday he weighed in forcefully concerning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's visit with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Simi Valley, California.

"We must honestly tell young people that it is dangerous to vote for the [Democratic Progressive Party], which 'exalts Taiwan independence and hates and opposes China'," Gou said of the ruling party.

And further according to BBC, "He added that the only way to avoid war with China was to lessen tensions between Washington and Beijing and get Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) out of office."

The KMT has actually been the ruling party for most of the last half-century, but its adherents attribute soaring tensions with China and regional instability of late to Tsai's DPP and irresponsibly allowing Washington to make deeper inroads into Taiwan, through weapons sales and visits of officials.

Gou announced he's running for president fresh off his own tour of the United States in an attempt to bolster external support

The tycoon was likely to discuss the eight-day journey which took him to Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and to present his ideas for the future under the theme "Taiwan needs a fantastic CEO." In speeches during his trip, he emphasized the role that technology and economic development should play in determining the future of the country.

Gou has been named as a contender for the Jan. 13, 2024 presidential election, with the hope he could return to the Kuomintang (KMT), the party he quit ahead of the previous election in 2020.

He's also clearly running on a platform that seeks peace and restoration of positive relations with Beijing, amid frequent PLA military drills which threaten the self-ruled island. "Peace is not taken for granted, and people need to make the correct choice," he said at the Wednesday press conference, without taking questions.

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