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The Guardian: Trump 2.0 - Taiwanese billionaire runs for president

28-8-2023 |

The billionaire founder of tech giant Foxconn, Terry Gou, has announced he will run for president of Taiwan as an independent candidate, pledging to fix cross-strait relations and boost Taiwan’s economy.

At a press conference on Monday, Gou – a well-known and outspoken businessman – announced what he called “the era of entrepreneurs’ rule”.

“I have decided to join the 2024 presidential race,” he said, touting his business and finance experience, including dealings with China.

“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.”


Photo:
閻文韜 / AP

Gou will need to collect 290,000 signatures by early November to qualify as an independent candidate.

China’s government has vowed to subsume Taiwan into the Chinese state, under what it calls “reunification”, but which is overwhelmingly rejected by Taiwan’s people and its major political parties. Under Xi Jinping’s rule, China has grown increasingly aggressive towards Taiwan. It cut communications with Taipei after president Tsai Ing-wen’s election win in 2016, and in recent years has sent increasing numbers of war planes and ships into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

On Saturday the Chinese military appeared to stage a total encirclement of the main island, launching 32 aircraft and nine ships, including weaponised drones, fighter jets, reconnaissance aircraft, and bombers. It prompted both Taiwan and Japan to scramble their own warplanes in response.

On Monday, Gou blamed Tsai’s ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) for escalating tensions, calling them arrogant and corrupt.

“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,” he said.

In his speech Gou called for an anti-DPP coalition and a softer policy towards China.

Source: The Guardian