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Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou to decide soon on 2020 presidential run

2019/04/16 11:51:47

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘), the head of the company that churns out iPhones for Apple, said Tuesday he will decide "in a day or two" whether to run for president in 2020.

Asked on the sidelines of an Indo-Pacific security conference whether he will run in 2020, Gou said the presidential election will be critical to determining Taiwan's future over the next 20 years in the political, economic and defense spheres.

Gou said he did not sleep Monday night thinking about what he could do for the country if he were president, and stressed he would not run for personal gain but to do something for Taiwanese in their 20s to 40s, as the next 20 years will be critical to those generations.

Asked when he will decide whether or not to run, Gou, one of the richest people in Taiwan, said he will make the decision "in a day or two."

Should he ultimately decide to run, he would take part in the presidential primary process of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) rather than mount an independent bid, said the 68-year-old Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest electronic manufacturing services provider.

Gou was attending the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue that was also to feature addresses by such heavyweights as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan.

Asked for a reaction to Gou's possible run, President Tsai, who is locked in a difficult primary battle within her own party, said she had no comment and would respect whatever Gou decided.

Gou's comments came a day after he said Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the KMT would be a "terrific candidate" for 2020.

Also on Monday, during a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in Taipei, Gou asked American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty to clarify the role of the delegation led by Ryan sent to Taiwan.

He wondered if the delegation was in Taiwan just to attend the TRA 40th anniversary events or to endorse the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the Jan. 11, 2020 presidential election.

In response, the AIT chair said the U.S. was not endorsing any party.

"We would respect whatever choice the Taiwanese people make," Moriarty said.

"I hope I'm being clear. We do not plan to get involved in the Taiwan election. That is not the goal of the U.S. The U.S.'s goal is to have a free and fair process that accurately reflects the will of the people and then it could partner with whatever administration is sitting here in Taipei in 2020."

(By Joseph Yeh)
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