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Home / Business / Terry Gou of Foxconn follows Trump's example of Taiwan's election

Terry Gou of Foxconn follows Trump's example of Taiwan's election

If selected, Gou will likely compete with reigning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the January 11 elections.

Tsai announced that she would be competing in February of this year after violating local electoral losses in 2018. Her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saw referenda across the island.
The DPP has traditionally taken steps to formalize Taiwan's de facto independence from China. Since assuming power in 2016, Tsai has been trying to diversify the island's economy and not be too dependent on her big neighbor, while resisting Beijing's aggressive expansionism.
In return, Beijing has exerted pressure on Taiwan by carrying out extensive military exercises across the island, including the liaoning of the aircraft carrier Liaoning through the Taiwan Strait. In his speech in January, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to welcome the "peaceful reunification" with China and said independence was a "dead end".

If he becomes president, Gou is likely to be called upon to repair this relationship while Taiwan's traditionally close ties with Washington are maintained.

He will have a better claim than many candidates to do so. Foxconn has made billions through its deep involvement in the Chinese economy, where many of its manufacturing sites are located, and electronics for many American technology companies, most notably Apple.

Gou himself has close ties with the United States and has met US President Donald Trump, who has called him "a friend of mine" and "one of the world's most successful business people."
The People's Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, said Wednesday that "Gou has a unique advantage in dealing with relations between Taiwan and mainland and the US."
Taiwan elects its next president January 1
1, 2020.
  US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Foxconn leader Terry Gou at the groundbreaking ceremony for Foxconn Technology Group's display on June 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, Wisconsin.

Blessings of a Goddess

Gou announced his candidacy this week after visiting a temple in Taipei belonging to the Taoist deity Mazu, the guardian angel of the sailors.

With a bright red vest and a baseball cap bearing the flag of the Republic of China – Taiwan's official name – Gou said Mazu blessed his candidacy.

"When Mazu says you should step up, it's not for the sake of money or personal pleasure," Gou told reporters. "I tell you, I'm like a godson for Mazu … I'll definitely respect Mazu and follow him."
Later he spoke at KMT Headquarters and still wore his cap. Gou said he was ready to participate in the primaries. "

" I am not ready to be appointed (without being elected), I am definitely not ready to be appointed. If I am elected, I will represent the Kuomintang in the 2020 competition, "he said." If I am not elected, that means I have not struggled enough. "

In a statement, Foxconn said that Gou was only for would preside over the president, "if the primary process – which is still determined by the party leadership – is open, transparent and grounded.

"If and when this decision is made, Mr. Gou will run into the KMT's main team to seek the nomination of the party for the president," said a spokeswoman.

  A statue of the goddess Mazu (front) can be seen after returning to the Jenn Lann Temple after being carried in a limousine during a nine-day Mazu pilgrimage on April 23, 2018 in Dajia, near Taichung, Taiwan. ]

In addition to Mazu, Gou may have been inspired by another source: Trump, in several media reports it is reported that Foxconn's chairman was inspired by Trump's run in 2016 and thought that he, too, could be president. [19659005] Margaret Lewis, a Taiwanese expert on the law school of Seton Hall University, compared Gou's candidacy with Trump's and warned against underestimating the Taiwanese billionaire.

"Even though he is obviously flawed as a candidate in many ways, populism can be powerful," she said. "It would be a mistake to treat his course too easily."

Gou is definitely an outsider candidate – according to the state media, he has not been a KMT member since 2000. He is, however, supported by important party figures. Ma Ying-jeou, the former leader and president of Taiwan, said he was "an ideal candidate".

Lev Nachman, expert on Taiwanese politics at the University of California, Irvine, said that Gou has one thing in particular, what the KMT needs: financing.

"Terry Gou is one of Taiwan's richest businessmen and could essentially fund his own campaign," he said. "That's a big deal for the KMT right now."

  Followers celebrate at DPP headquarters when Tsai Ing-wen announces victory in 2016 presidential elections in Taiwan.

Support from Beijing

Although once a civil war with the Communist Party prevailed over China – before the defeat forced the Republic of China's government to retreat Taiwan back – the KMT has been the party of closer relations and engagement with Beijing in recent decades.

Former President Ma held historic talks with Chinese Xi in 2015, and his government intensified economic activity across the straits, including a controversial trade agreement that sparked mass protests known as the Sunflower Movement's DPP to the presidency.
The connections from Gou to China are many. His company Foxconn employs hundreds of thousands of people in factories and manufacturing facilities throughout China.

"Gou is a key player in the Chinese economy, and when he becomes president, he could tie Taiwan very closely to China's economy, as Tsai fought against her new policy in the South, which sought to overtake Taiwan's trade in the righteous However, Foxconn could also be a potential problem for voters.

So far, the company has been beyond what a Gou presidential candidate would mean for its relationship with the company it set up , unwise.

A spokeswoman said that Gou is currently chairman and "will continue to provide strategic direction and guidance" as he seeks to win the KMT.

"That's the million dollar question. Who is Gou loyal to? Taiwan? Foxconn? Both? If Foxconn or both is the answer, Taiwan is in bad shape with Gou as president because Foxconn's success is forcible or compulsive Not the Chinese state, "said Nachman.

" Just like Trump, when he became president, only slightly I would not expect Gou to withdraw from his business, "he added.

" I would be very worried about Gou's ability to separate his business from his political efforts. Given Foxconn's position in the Chinese economy and Gou's political ideals, I am not sure he can or will do so. "

Lewis, the Seton Hall professor, also warned against assuming Gou – or any other KMT president – could magically set up relations with Beijing.

"Ma Ying-jeou met with Xi Jinping, but I do not think it's appropriate to have the Xi Jinping from 2013 with the Xi Jinping of 2019, "she said," In recent years he has been able to take a more assertive position. "

Can he win?

Gou has repeatedly said that he is not easy as a KMT Candidate wants to be anointed and fight against the party's party.

This could be a close run for the billionaire, with several other candidates and potential candidates, including Han Kuo-yu, whom Gou himself said he would be a "terrific" president.
Han, an extremely popular KMT mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung, has not officially announced his candidacy, but has been seen as the leader of the party's electoral victory in recent weeks. He recently toured the US and met with legislators and business leaders. This is a traditional first step to choosing the president.

"Han Kuo-yu is a very interesting, unusual person," said Lewis. "He has not laid down any clear guidelines and has come out with a much more conspicuous attitude:" I am something else, even if you do not know what that is. "

As mayor of Kaohsiung, Han has strengthened and expected relations with China A similar course to Gou Lewis described as "a general willingness to engage with China particularly economically, and the belief that this commitment is possible limited to the economy. "

" Han has an unrivaled level of popularity in Taiwan at the moment, "said Nachman," and Han, just as during his recent trip to Hong Kong, has shown that he is ready, like Gou, to build strong ties with the CCP and be on an agenda

With both Gou and Han favoring closer ties with China, Nachman said there was even a small chance that they could work together, with a ticket that policies within both the KMT and Taiwan

"That would be the most blatant unification team ever seriously considered for the presidency," he said. "It could well lead to the end of the current status quo as we know it."

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