Foxconn founder Terry Gou vows to preserve peace between Taiwan and China if elected president
Richard Fox, a 72-year-old billionaire, pledged to “preserve peace” between Taiwan and China at a rally held in the run-up to the January 2024 presidential elections. Fox is the founder of technology giant Foxconn, a significant provider of components for Apple’s iPhones. In April, he announced his bid for the presidential nomination from Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang party, which advocates for warmer relations with China.
His first-ever rally, held in Kaohsiung, a city traditionally affiliated with Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), boasted an attendance of over 10,000 supporters. Fox criticised the current government during the event, stating that the administration seemed blind to the sufferings of Taiwan’s citizens. “People’s primary worry is that war might erupt at any time,” he said.
Fox went on to claim that his ability to maintain peace surpassed that of incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen and sitting Vice President William Lai, the DPP’s candidate. “Allow me to work towards peace on everyone’s behalf,” he said. “Permit me the opportunity to preserve it.”
The Taiwanese business magnate previously attempted a political career in 2019 but did not secure the Kuomintang party’s nomination. His impressive journey from an impoverished background to thriving entrepreneur parallels the economic success of the island nation itself. However, critics have voiced concern over Fox’s perceived familiarity with Beijing’s leaders due to the many large factories he owns on the mainland.
Under President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, Taiwan’s relationship with China has deteriorated. The self-governing island is continuously under threat of potential invasion from mainland China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory that must be taken back by force if necessary. In recent years, China’s intimidation tactics have become more frequent, with warplanes invading Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on an almost daily basis.
Last month, the Chinese government conducted war games around Taiwan in response to a meeting between President Tsai and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
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