TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The British news site Financial Times has labeled Foxconn founder and recently announced presidential candidate, Terry Gou (郭台銘), Taiwan’s “disrupter-in-chief.”
Claiming that Gou is “off to a fine start” if his goal is to emulate U.S. President Donald Trump in his approach to electoral politics.
The article notes that Gou, even before announcing his presidential bid, made an impact and grabbed headlines by causing a stir at a regional security conference when he began “ranting against Taiwan’s political establishment and the country’s most important ally (the U.S.).”
At the 2019 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue, hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Gou became angered by DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) for being "rude," because Gou claimed that she refused to make eye contact when he asked her a question. The question was which country is more important for Taiwan’s economy and the country’s ability to participate in regional organizations, the U.S. or China?
When the DPP legislator declined to answer Gou’s question directly, Gou suggested that Hsiao was disrespecting the Republic of China. He then stood up, and before leaving in a huff yelled “I’m no longer participating in this conference. I will tell the White House! This is what the DPP is like!” reports Financial Times.
Gou has also characterized the U.S. as a country that is manipulating Taiwan, “duping” them with old weapons sales, and which seeks to interfere in the upcoming elections.
The Financial Times quotes an anonymous Foxconn executive in Shenzhen who says Gou is brash and not afraid to display bad taste, bad manners, and make people uncomfortable. Other media outlets have used similar descriptions calling his leadership style “dictatorial.”
The article observes that while many Taiwanese may be willing to support a man who displays a brash but entrepreneurial spirit, there are significant doubts about his loyalty and commitment to safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty, given his substantial business ties and investments across China.
While some believe that Terry Gou may be a formidable political opponent, others have identified Gou’s candidacy as a spoiler that would likely benefit the DPP candidate in a general election.
A China-based political analyst recently declared that Terry Gou “will not be Taiwan’s Trump.”