Foxconn founder Terry Gou announces his candidacy for the presidency of Taiwan
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Apple Inc’s main supplier Foxconn, said on Monday he is entering the race to become Taiwan’s next president as an independent candidate in the 2024 election.
Zhou stepped down as Foxconn chairman in 2019 and made a presidential bid that year, but withdrew after failing to win the nomination of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, which traditionally favors close ties with China.
He made a second bid to be the KMT’s candidate for the presidential election scheduled for January earlier this year, but the party chose Hu Yu-ae, mayor of New Taipei City, instead.
Jo has spent the past few weeks touring Taiwan and holding campaign-style rallies, fueling speculation that he was planning to run as an independent.
“Under the rule of the Democratic Progressive Party in the past seven years or so, internationally, they have led Taiwan toward the danger of war. Domestically, their policies are full of mistakes,” said Gu, adding that the “era of business rule” is over. I started.
“Give me four years and I promise that I will achieve 50 years of peace in the Taiwan Strait and build the deepest foundation of mutual trust across the straits,” he said in an appeal to Taiwanese voters.
“Taiwan should not become Ukraine, and I will not allow Taiwan to become the next Ukraine.”
Gu must collect nearly 300,000 signatures from voters by November 2 to qualify as an independent candidate, according to election regulations. The Central Election Commission will review the signatures and announce the results by November 14.
Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai, the presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, is the favorite to win the election because he is ahead in opinion polls.
Former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-jie of the small Taiwan People’s Party is generally keen on getting second place in opinion polls, while Hu comes in a distant third.
The main theme of Zhou’s sham campaign events was that the only way to avoid war with China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, was to drive the DPP out of office.
China especially hates Lai for comments he made in the past about him being a “worker” for Taiwan independence, a red line for Beijing.
The Democratic Progressive Party defends Taiwan’s separate identity from China, but the party-led government has repeatedly offered talks with China, only to be rejected.
The run-up to the elections comes at a time of heightened tensions between Taipei and Beijing, as China holds regular military exercises near the island to assert its sovereignty claims.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Michael Berry)