The claim for a place in the presidential race of Taiwan for the Foxconn founder Terry Gou has been endorsed by the Chinese sea goddess Mazu, said the business tycoon.
He had been encouraged by the goddess to “come forward” to support peace across the Taiwan Strait, said the billionaire while talking to reporters following a visit to a New Taipei City temple on Wednesday.
Just a day ago, he had commented that he was contemplating whether to run for the presidential elections in Taiwan with the opposition Kuomintang. His main challenger would be President Tsai Ing- of the Democratic Progressive Party – one that is an advocate of breaking away from Mainland China in a more decisive manner. The presidential elections are to be held in January next year.
Tsai is also facing a challenge for the DPP nomination by her former Prime Minister William Lai Ching-te, a vocal advocate of asserting the island’s formal independence.
Gou, 68-year-old, has is amongst the richest man in Taiwan and has a personal wealth of about $4.4 billion. Foxconn is the largest contract manufacturer in the world and its builds electronic gadgets that are stamped and sold in their own name by other companies. Foxconn is amongst the largest assemblers of Apple’s iPhones and other devices.
Foxconn was also amongst the first Taiwanese companies to set up factories in China to take advantage of the low wage and land costs. In 2016, Foxconn also purchased Japan’s Sharp Corp. in the hopes of boosting its advanced screen technology.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gou is the 442nd richest person in the world. his business reputation and wealth could help him to be very easily recognized as being different among the contenders for the presidential position that includes the likes of former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu and former legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.
This presidential race has also assumed importance in Taiwan and elsewhere because of the recent increased pressure from China and the increased Chinese rhetoric of taking over and making Taiwan a part of the mainland. Earlier this year, Chinese president Xi Jinping had commented that there4 should be a beginning of “in-depth democratic consultations” on unification between China and Taiwan.
“The scrutiny has always been there, as the DPP is wary of China’s influence on Taiwan society and politics,” said Yuan-kang Wang, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University. “The upcoming elections might have created some sense of urgency in curbing Chinese influence.”
China has for decades claimed Taiwan to be its territory and has said warned multiple times that any effort on Taiwan’s part to formalize its status as a sovereign state would amount to an invasion by China despite the fact ha the two regions have been ruled as separate regions for since the 1940s.
Among the pan-blue contenders, improving China ties has been a unifying theme.
“Like other Kuomintang candidates, Gou also supports Taiwan’s economic links with China,” said Austin Wang, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Where he differs from other party rivals is that he has business experience.
(Adapted from JapanTimes.co.jp)