Taiwan: Foxconn Boss wants to be become new President

Taipeh – Taiwan’s richest man, the boss of Foxconn, Terry Gou, announced on Wednesday he will likely run for the Taiwanese presidency. The party he intends to run for favors closer ties with Beijing, which would likely help with Gou’s massive business interests in China.

A senior adviser to President Tsai Ing-wen told Reuters he thought Gou’s business ties with China could compromise national security. “He’s very pro-China and he represents the class of the wealthy people. Will that gain support from Taiwanese?” Yao Chia-wen, said.

Zhang Baohui, a regional security analyst at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, said: “This is something entirely fresh for Taiwan politics — here is a candidate who sees everything through the pragmatic angle of a businessman rather than raw politics or ideology.”

The billionaire 69-year-old is is Taiwan’s richest person, according to Forbes. He started a business in 1974 producing television parts, eventually turning it into the world’s biggest contract electronics producer, best known for producing the iPhone. He supports the Beijing-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party.

If nominated, Gou will be running against incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen, 62, of the Beijing-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 11 polls. However, she faces an internal party challenge from pro-independence former premier William Lai. The DPP will announce its candidate later this month. The DPP has been struggling in opinion polls following defeats at local elections at the end of last year.

Taiwan and China: China and Taiwan split in 1949 after Chinese nationalists fled to the island when the communists took power. The nationalists set up power on the island and since then, Taiwan has seen itself as an independent state while China sees it as part of its territory. It has never formally declared independence. Relations have deteriorated further since the independence-advocates DPP took power in 2016, with China running frequent military drills near the island. Since then, Taiwan has gradually lost its few international supporters in its fight against the One China policy. The KMT has pledged to sign a peace treaty with China.

Before running in the primaries, Gou will need to follow the party’s nomination procedure. He is scheduled to meet with KMT officials later on Wednesday. (AFP, Reuters, AP) Foto: AT