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    Taiwan election: Foxconn founder Terry Gou picks Netflix actress as running mate


    Sep 14, 2023

    HONG KONG — Foxconn founder Terry Gou has chosen actress Tammy Lai as his running mate in the Taiwan presidential election.

    Today’s announcement has shocked many as Ms Lai has no political experience.

    Gou is running as an independent after failing to secure the nomination from main opposition Kuomintang.

    Taiwan has been a democracy since 1996. China remains a key factor as it claims the island as its territory and does not rule out the use of force to achieve unification.

    Considered pro-China, Mr Gou’s ratings is falling behind William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party, Ko Wen-je of Taiwan People’s Party and Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang in multiple polls.

    Ms Lai, 60, has been in show business for decades. She played a presidential candidate – a character seemingly inspired by President Tsai Ing-wen – in the Netflix show Wave Makers. The series has sparked a Me too movement in Taiwan earlier this year.

    Ms Lai’s father is a US veteran who was deployed to Taiwan. However, he had left the island before she was born, according to local magazine Business Today.

    Gou has been appealing to voters with his business success and experience in working with China. He started Foxconn in 1974 and the company has become a main supplier for Apple.

    “I was being open-minded,” Ms Lai said. “After meeting Mr Gou a few times, I find him to be someone I can cooperate with because he’s very interesting.”

    There are speculations about Ms Lai’s nationality, because Taiwan laws do not allow presidential candidates with dual nationalities. A spokesman said Ms Lai would answer the question herself later.

    Dennis Weng, an associate professor at Sam Houston State University in the US, said it was a good move for Mr Gou, but it might not affect the results of the January election eventually.

    “Tammy Lai had a great performance in Wave Makers, and most of the audience are young people. But young people do not support Terry Gou,” he told BBC Chinese. — BBC

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