Taipei: Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn, a prominent supplier for Apple Inc., revealed his intention on Monday to vie for Taiwan’s presidency in the 2024 elections. Gou’s decision stems from his desire to prevent Taiwan from following the path of becoming “the next Ukraine.”
Presently, Gou is the fourth individual to join the competition for the January elections. However, his pre-announcement poll numbers positioned him as a distant contender compared to the front-runner, William Lai of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who presently serves as the vice president.
Stepping away from his role as Foxconn’s chief in 2019, Gou initially pursued the presidency that year but withdrew after failing to secure the nomination from Taiwan’s primary opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT). Traditionally, the KMT has favoured maintaining close relations with China, which claims Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory.
In recent weeks, Gou has embarked on a tour across Taiwan, conducting rallies that resemble campaign events, fueling speculation about his potential independent candidature.
Addressing an audience at a conference centre in Taipei, flanked by two prominent Taiwanese flags, Gou criticised the DPP’s rule. He remarked, “Over the past seven years under the DPP’s leadership, Taiwan has been pushed towards the brink of war internationally. Domestically, their policies have been riddled with errors,” Gou stated, heralding the dawn of an “entrepreneur’s rule.”
Pledging to the Taiwanese voters, he asserted, “Give me four years, and I pledge to usher in 50 years of peace in the Taiwan Strait, while forging a profound bedrock of mutual trust across the strait. Taiwan should never emulate Ukraine, and I am committed to ensuring that Taiwan avoids such a fate.”