Foxconn founder Terry Gou announced on Monday, Aug. 28 that he intends to enter Taiwan’s 2024 presidential elections.
According to Taiwan News, Gou will be running as an independent candidate.
Lost bid for KMT
Gou lost the nomination bid for Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), according to Reuters.
On May 17, the KMT appointed New Taipei City mayor Hou Yu-ih as its presidential candidate instead of Gou.
The KMT favours good relations with China.
Gou is the fourth candidate who intends to enter the presidential race.
Apart from Hou, the other two candidates are Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je.
Gou’s main pitch is to encourage voters to vote for him so as to avoid war with China.
Gou criticised the DPP, saying,
“Under the rule of the Democratic Progressive Party in the past seven years or so, internationally, they lead Taiwan towards the danger of war. Domestically, their policies are filled with mistakes.
Give me four years and I promise that I will bring 50 years of peace to the Taiwan Strait and build the deepest foundation for the mutual trust across the strait.
Taiwan must not become Ukraine and I will not let Taiwan become the next Ukraine.”
Wants Taiwan to surpass Singapore
The 72-year-old tech billionaire also pledged to boost Taiwan’s economic and technological development if elected as president, hoping surpass Singapore’s economic progress “within 20 years”.
According to Nikkei, he said: “If Singapore can do it, so can Taiwan.”
Gou must gather close to 300,000 voter signatures by November 2 to be qualified as an independent candidate, according elections regulations.
The Central Election Commission will review the signatures and announce the results by November 14.
Aims to resolve high China-Taiwan tensions
Gou’s announcement as a presidential candidate comes amid high tensions between China and Taiwan.
China has been escalating displays of military might in proximity to Taiwan.
On Aug. 26, China sent aircraft and vessels toward Taiwan, just days after the U.S. approved a US$500 million (S$680 million) arms sale to Taiwan, as reported by Associated Press.
On his Facebook post on Aug. 28, Gou wrote, “Taiwan needs truth-telling politics, a future government, a country without war, and a capable president.”
In a poll conducted by Taiwanese media outlet My Formosa on Aug. 25, Gou has a current support rate of 12 per cent.
Taiwan’s presidential elections will be held next year on Jan. 13, 2024.
Top image from Terry Gou/Facebook.