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Taiwan should not take sides in U.S.-China trade war: Hon Hai chief

2019/06/03 22:13:57

Taipei, June 3 (CNA) Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is seeking to run for president next year, said on Monday Taiwan should not take sides in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

Gou, who held a press conference in Taipei to address the impact Taiwan could face amid the U.S.-China trade war, said Taiwan must acknowledge the issue, but should not and cannot let itself be embroiled in the dispute.

The two economic giants are in the middle of a bruising trade dispute, with both sides continuing to exchange threats of increased import tariffs and other punitive measures.

In a bold speech, Gou said the U.S-China trade war has evolved into a large-scale confrontation and that it was the next biggest thing after the global financial crisis which occurred over a decade ago.

He warned that Taiwan could fall into unpredictable danger if it chooses to side with either country.

"If the government does not deeply understand the significance behind the actions taken by China and the U.S. at this critical moment, Taiwan's economy will only perish at its own peril," he added.

The self-made entrepreneur criticized President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for being overly optimistic, considering Taiwan's depreciating currency against the greenback in May, and the lackluster performance of the local stock market.

He also urged Tsai not to douse the public with news of so-and-so Taiwanese company returning to invest, but instead focus her attention on finding a solution to help prevent Taiwan from being sacrificed in the U.S.-China dispute.

Gou said instead of taking sides, Taiwan should remain in the middle and make use of its advantage in the global supply chain.

The Monday conference came a day after China released a white paper stating its position on the U.S.-China trade dispute.

In the policy document, Beijing explained the current situation of the trade dispute, blamed the U.S. for the breakdown in talks and accused it of making unreasonable demands.

"Striking a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement serves the interests of China and the U.S. and meets the expectations of the world," the report concluded.

On Sunday, the Hon Hai executive expressed concerns over the global economy, which he predicted will soon change drastically, and will witness a tsunami bigger than that seen in 2008 financial crisis.

Gou predicted that the spillovers of the trade war will not only be in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, but also in share prices, exchange rates, SMEs and even the future consumption economy.

After making phone calls to several of Hon Hai's clients and suppliers in the U.S. and Japan, as well economists and financial experts, Gou said their views were very pessimistic.

He cannot imagine how big the blow would be if the two largest economies fail to end the ongoing trade dispute, Gou added.

The Hon Hai chief also stressed that he was worried Taiwan's government would sit idly by and overlook the impact the U.S.-China trade war could have on Taiwan.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Ko Lin)