Foxconn founder and Taiwan billionaire Terry Gou announced an independent bid for 2024 Taiwan’s presidential election on Monday (28th), three months after losing out to New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih in the Kuomintang (KMT) primary election. He vowed to beat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and “integrate the power of opposition parties”, claiming that “only through integration can victory be achieved.”   

At a press conference today, Guo outlined three major targets if elected: ensuring cross-strait peace for 50 years, leading Taiwan to surpass the economy of Singapore in 20 years, as well as boosting Taiwan’s economy at more than a doubling growth rate.

“Give me four years and I promise that I will bring 50 years of peace to the Strait and build the deepest foundation for the mutual trust across the strait.” Guo stressed on maintaining stability and preventing Taiwan from being war-struck, “Taiwan must not become Ukraine and I will not let Taiwan become the next Ukraine."

Holding a diplomatic, non-antagonistic attitude towards China, Guo was previously seen as in line with KMT, and had joined the party’s primary election both in 2019 and this year. After losing out to KMT candidate Hou this May, Guo expressed support for his bid of presidency.

When asked about inconsistency of his support for Hou, Guo replied that there has always been “communication” between the opposition parties. He then pledged to KMT candidate Hou Yo-ih and TPP candidate Ko Wen-Je about establishing “an integrating platform” of all opposition parties.   

Guo also replied to a multiple of foreign press about his entrepreneurial background and the potential conflicts of interests with China’s economic market, The News Lens reports.

Gou was questioned by Reuters on how he would deal with pressure from China if he were to take office in the future. Terry Gou responded that if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were to say, “If you don't listen to me, I will confiscate Foxconn,” he would say, “Yes, please do it.” 

He vowed that he could forgo his personal wealth, as long as China does not attack Taiwan. He also mentioned that he has never been under the control of the CCP and will not be threatened by them, further stating that he has not entered into any joint ventures with any Chinese companies; it is “entirely self-funded."

Terry Gou is the fourth person to declare running for the next January’s election, although there had been poll listing him just one position behind the frontrunner, vice president William Lai Ching-Te, who represents the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).  

Gou must gather close to 300,000 voter signatures by November 2nd to be qualified as an independent candidate, according to election’s regulations. The Central Election Commission will review the signatures and announce the results by November 14th.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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