Arthur I. Cyr
- Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of “After the Cold War.” Contact him at [email protected]
Terry Gou, founder and long-time chief executive of electronics giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, well known by the trade name Foxconn Technology Group, has dramatically declared as a candidate for the presidency of Taiwan. His blunt, argumentative style is already prominent in political and other public events.
Gou started the company in 1974 as a small manufacturer of plastic control dials for television sets. Foxconn has steadily expanded relentlessly over the last four and a half decades to become a global giant. The company has achieved great success in electronic gaming, computers, smartphones and other tech sectors. Competition is ruthless in these markets.
A massive new investment in Southeast Wisconsin by Foxconn is both an economic opportunity and source of ongoing political controversy. Currently there is an indication the company may cut back the projected investment. Wisconsin government underwriting of the investment of approximately $3 billion, along with the disruptions that accompany Foxconn construction, has fueled the controversy.
Elsewhere in the world, Foxconn has run into trouble regarding working conditions. In mainland China, there have been incidents of some workers committing suicide.
Gou is seeking the nomination of the conservative Kuomintang (KMT) Party. His father was a provincial police officer who fought for the Nationalist army of General Chiang Kai-shek in China’s long civil war with the Communists. Gou’s business success from poor beginnings is striking.
Exactly three years ago, Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated as president of Taiwan. She is the first woman to hold this top government position, a historic milestone of tremendous importance.
Her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is formally committed to independence from China. So far, both sides have peacefully…