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Taiwan Foxconn founder pushes back after contentious Anti-Infiltration Act comment

Gou has drawn fire over remarks about highly controversial bill aimed at preventing Chinese meddling

Former Foxconn Technology Chairman Terry Gou.

Former Foxconn Technology Chairman Terry Gou. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) has rebutted allegations that he opposes the Anti-Infiltration Act (反滲透法), a contentious bill aimed at warding off political interference by foreign powers.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Dec. 25), the business tycoon sought to clarify his remark on a talk show that he would organize a protest outside the Legislative Yuan should the bill be approved. The former Foxconn chairman is reportedly concerned about the adverse effect the bill's passage would have on the company’s operations in China.

Gou, who entered the presidential race earlier this year but dropped his bid in September, claimed he was one of the victims of Chinese meddling and what he called “unfair media coverage.” He would, therefore, absolutely support measures to counter any espionage activities, he insisted.

He elucidated that it is not the legislation he opposes, but the process of its enactment. He lamented the lack of legislative debate and enforcement details pertaining to the bill, which should be pushed through in a more rigorous and prudent manner.

In light of the controversy surrounding the bill, Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made an effort to explain to the public the essence of the Anti-Infiltration Act. He posted on Facebook on Wednesday that the law would not hamper normal exchanges with China.

Only actions and illegal activity found to have been instructed, commissioned, or sponsored by foreign powers to influence Taiwanese society will be penalized in compliance with the regulation, Lin said. The law targets “virtual acts,” not speech nor ideologies, he added.