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

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

If elected, Gou will probably meet with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in the 2020 election, scheduled for January 11.

Tsai announced that she intended to run in February this year after blowing local electoral elections in 2018 so her democratic progressive party (DPP) hemorrhaging votes the island.
DPP has traditionally preferred features towards formalizing Taiwan's de facto independence from China. Since she took power in 2016, Tsai has been trying to diversify the island's economy from being too dependent on her big neighbor while pushing back on what she sees as Pant's aggressive expansionism.
In turn, Beijing has maintained pressure on Taiwan, which is carrying out large-scale military exercises around the island, including sailing the Liaoning airline through the Taiwan Strait. Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to Taiwan in January to embrace "peaceful reunification" with China, saying independence was a "death".

Should he become president, Gou will probably be challenged to repair this relationship, while keeping Taiwan's traditionally strong ties with Washington.

He wants a better statement than many candidates to do so ̵

1; Foxconn has made billions through deep involvement in the Chinese economy, many of its factories are based, producing electronics for many American tech companies, most especially Apple .

Gou himself also has strong ties to the United States, and has met US President Donald Trump, who has called him "a friend of mine" and "one of the most successful businessmen in the world."
People's Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, said Wednesday that "Gou has a unique advantage in dealing with Taiwan-Mainland relations and the United States."
Taiwan will elect its next president on January 11, 2020.
  US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Foxcon's CEO Terry Gou pioneering Foxconn Technology Group data carrier on June 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, Wisconsin.

Blessings from a goddess

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

Having a bright red bag and a baseball cap showing the flag of the Republic of China – the official name of Taiwan – Gou said that Mazu had given her a blessing to his candidacy.

"If Mazu says you're going up, it's not for making money or for personal enjoyment," Gou told reporters. "I'm telling you, I'm like a god to Mazu … I'll definitely respect and follow Mazu's will."
Speak later at KMT's headquarters – still wearing his hood – Gou said he was "willing to to participate in the primary election. "

" I am not willing to accept being appointed (without being elected), I am definitely not willing to be appointed. If elected, I will represent the Kuomintang in the 2020 competition , "he said. "If I'm not selected, it means I didn't try hard enough."

Foxconn said in a statement that Gou would only lead to the president, "if the primary process – still determined by party leadership – is open, transparent and grounded."

"When and if this provision is made, Mr. Gou ran in KMT's primary to seek the party's nomination for president, "a spokeswoman said.

  A statue of the goddess Mazu (front) appears in the Jenn Lann temple after returning after being carried in a chair on the 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. According to several media reports, the Foxconn leader is rumored to have been inspired by Trump's 2016 race, and began thinking that he could also be president.

Margaret Lewis, an expert at Taiwan at Seton Hall University School of Law, compared Gous's candidacy to Trumps, and warned against underestimating the Taiwanese billionaire.

"Although he is obviously wrong in many ways as a candidate, populism can be strong," she said. "It would be a mistake to treat his races too easily."

While Gou is definitely an outside candidate – according to state media, he has not been a KMT member since 2000 – he has received support from key figures, with former leader and president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, he said was "a ideal candidate. "

Lev Nachman, an expert in Taiwan's politics at the University of California, Irvine, said that Gou had one thing in particular that KMT needed: Financing.

"Terry Gou is one of the richest businessmen in Taiwan and will mainly be able to fund his own campaign," he said. "It's a great deal for KMT right now."

  Fans celebrate at DPP's headquarters as Tsai Ing-wen declares his victory in Taiwan's presidential election in 2016.

Despite once in the struggle against a civil war with the Communist Party of Government over China – before the defeat, the Republic of China forced the government to resign to Taiwan – KMT has in recent decades been the party of closer ties and engagement with Beijing .

Former President Ma held historic talks with China's Xi in 2015, and his administration massively raised the upper body of economic activity, including a controversial trade agreement that triggered mass protests known as the sunflower movement, which is credited with helping carry Tsai and her DPP to the presidency.
Gous's connections to China are diverse. His company Foxconn employs hundreds of thousands of people in factories and production facilities throughout China.

"Gou is an integrated player in the Chinese economy and becomes president would enable him to tie Taiwan closely into China's economy in ways Tsai has fought against, such as her New Southbound Policy, which sought to expand Taiwan's trade beyond. only China, Nachman said.

However, Foxconn may also be a potential concern for voters.

So far, the company has been tight over what a Gou runs for president, will mean exactly for his relationship with the company he founded.

A spokeswoman said Gou is still chairman of the board and will "continue to provide strategic direction and guidance," as he seeks the KMT nomination.

"That's the million dollar question. Who is Gou loyal to? Taiwan? Foxconn? Both? If the answer is Foxconn or both, Taiwan is in a bad position with Gou as president because Foxconn is bound to, forced or not the Chinese state, Nachman said.

"Just as Trump only marginally disposed of his assets when he became president, I would not expect Gou to really move away from his (company)," he added.

"I would be very keen on Gou's ability to separate his business from his political endeavors. Given Foxcon's position in the Chinese economy and Gou's political ideals, I am not sure he can or will himself."

Lewis, the Seton Hall professor, also warned against assuming that Gou – or any other KMT president – would be able to fix the relationship with Beijing.

"Ma Ying-jeou met Xi Jinping, but I don't think it's reasonable to compare Xi Jinping of 2013 with Xi Jinping in 2019," she said. "He has been able to assume a more confident position in recent years."

Can he win?

Gou has said several times that he will not be simply anointed as a KMT candidate and will fight against the party's primary.

This could be a close run for the billionaire, with several other candidates and potential candidates, including Han Kuo-yu, whom Gou himself said earlier would be an "awesome" president. He, a very popular KMT mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung, has not officially announced his candidacy, but had been seen in recent weeks, which betray any party's choice. He recently toured the United States, meeting with lawmakers and business leaders, a traditional first step to declaring a race for president.

Han Kuo-yu is a very interesting, unusual person, Lewis says. "He has not presented clear guidelines, goes with a much more flashy," I am something different even if you do not know what it is "approach."

As Kaohsiung Mayor, He has increased his engagement with China, and is expected to follow a similar path to Gou, as Lewis described as a "general willingness to engage with China, especially financially, and a belief that this commitment can Be limited to the financial. "He currently has an unparalleled level of popularity in Taiwan right now," said Nachman. He has also shown, especially during his recent trip to Hong Kong, that he, like Gou, is willing to build strong ties with the CCP and push for a more association agenda.

When both Gou and Han favored closer ties with China, Nachman said it once was a small possibility that they could end up working together, on a ticket that could transform the policy dramatically both within the KMT and Taiwan.

"It would be the most blatant association team to be seriously considered for the presidential election," he said. "It can very much lead to the end of the current status quo as we know it."

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