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Terry Gou enters presidential race

by on29 August 2023

Will sort out all these problems with China in four years

Foxconn's billionaire founder, Terry Gou, has announced he intends to enter Taiwan's 2024 presidential race as an independent.

Touting his business and finance experience at the tech giant, Gou is pledging to boost the country's economy and fix its relations 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." The Guardian reports:

Gou has hinted at running for several months after not being chosen as the candidate for the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT).

He pledged support for the KMT's chosen candidate, Hou Yo-ih, but continued to hold public campaign-style events. Gou must collect 290,000 signatures by early November to qualify as an independent candidate.

The entrance of Gou into the campaign adds further intrigue to what was already an unusual race. Lai Ching-te, the current vice-president and presidential nominee for the ruling DPP, is polling ahead of both the KMT's Hou, the current mayor of New Taipei City and a former police chief, and Ko Wen-je, the former mayor of Taipei City and nominee for the Taiwan People's party he founded.

A poll last week found Lai's support was at 43 per cent, compared with 27 per cent for Ko, and just 14 per cent for the KMT's Hou. More than 16 per cent were undecided or ran away from the person holding the clipboard.

In his speech Gou called for an anti-DPP coalition. Ko, Hou and Gou are all considered to be from the pan-blue side of Taiwanese politics which adheres more closely to a Chinese identity. However, the initial reaction from analysts was that Gou's entry into the race would probably split the blue vote further and instead benefit the DPP.

Last modified on 29 August 2023
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