TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) appeared at a 10 a.m. press conference on Monday (Aug. 28) in downtown Taipei to announce his bid for the 2024 presidential election.
Gou formally entered the race today as an independent candidate. He reiterated his desire to unseat the Democratic Progressive Party and pledged to protect peace across the Taiwan Strait, as well as work for the interests of citizens as it pertains to protecting labor and health insurance funds.
In the past week, Gou held private meetings with Taiwan People’s Party presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Kuomingtang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), discussing the possibility of a united ticket, though Gou’s announcement today has put to rest any such speculation. Current polling puts Gou's support at around 10%, well behind previously mentioned opposition candidates, as well as current front-runner Vice President and DPP candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德).
Gou is still required to collect 290,000 signatures to officially qualify as a presidential candidate within 45 days of completing his application. In his remarks today, Gou was not dissuaded by his languishing poll numbers as he believes his official entrance into the race will boost his support level. Gou is also no stranger to the campaign trail, as he participated in the 2020 presidential election.
"If you give me four years as president, I will guarantee 50 years of peace," said Gou. He also pledged not to allow Taiwan to become another Ukraine and would work hard to revitalize Taiwan’s economy.
Following his speech, he took a number of questions from reporters in the audience. One question centered around his choice of a vice presidential candidate, with Gou responding that a decision has been made, but will make a public announcement when the time is appropriate.
A Reuters reporter then asked if his involvement in Hon Hai (Foxconn) could make him susceptible to manipulation and coercion from Chinese authorities. Gou sidestepped the question by saying that he has delegated these duties to successors, is not involved in the day-to-day activities of these companies, and would refrain from such actions for four years.
"Hon Hai has 10 million shareholders. Each person who owns a single share is like a chairman. So if you freeze these assets, you are taking from all of these shareholders, including people in New York, London, and elsewhere."
Gou said that Chinese authorities would not dare disrupt investor rights as well as Hon Hai’s important customer base, such as Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and NVIDIA, for the sake of politics.
In concluding remarks, Gou said that on a recent trip to the U.S., he billed himself as a "problem solver" and someone who could ensure peaceful relations with China. He noted that Taiwan’s upcoming election is not only important to the people of Taiwan but for the entire region, urging the public to "choose the candidate and not the party" when they go to the polls.