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UMC founder Robert Tsao ditches Singapore citizenship for Taiwan

A vehement critic of China, Tsao has announced a plan to donate US$100 million to help boost Taiwan’s combat capabilities

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UMC founder Robert Tsao. 

UMC founder Robert Tsao.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chip tycoon Robert Tsao (曹興誠) said on Thursday (Aug. 25) that he will soon restore his Taiwan citizenship and he is ready to die in the country as a show of solidarity against Chinese coercion.

Founder of United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), a leading global contract chipmaker, the Taiwan-born semiconductor guru acquired Singapore citizenship in 2011 but has recently suggested he will renounce it for Taiwan.

Tsao said in a Free Radio Asia interview on Thursday that he will become a Taiwanese citizen “in a couple of days” as his application is being processed. “It’s all about morale,” the 75-year-old businessman stressed, saying he will not be a hypocrite asking everyone to counter the Chinese Communist Party (CPP) while he himself hides somewhere else.

The vocal critic of Beijing said he is determined to die in Taiwan and stand with its people. He joked that he could die ill, die fighting a war, or die laughing – if the CPP “were to collapse, its atrocities exposed, and all the Chinese people rise up against its rule.” In no case will he live to see Taiwan become another Hong Kong, he added.

Earlier this month, Tsao pledged to donate US$100 million to Taiwan’s defense amid China’s military drills around the country following the visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He has said his two sons, both of whom hold Taiwan citizenship and live in the country, would fight the Chinese military in the event of an invasion.