Thu, Apr 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Cross-strait ties are more difficult than doing business: Ko

CONSTERNATION:Asked about Hon Hai’s Terry Gou, Taipei’s mayor complained about often being asked to weigh on other people’s intentions to run for office

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Dealing with cross-strait relations is harder than doing business, as companies will change their policies to make money, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

Ko, who is widely considered to be a presidential hopeful, but has not announced a bid for next year’s election, made the remarks when asked by reporters whether he thinks Hon Hai Precision Industry (鴻海) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) — who yesterday announced that he would join the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary — could be the Taiwanese version of US President Donald Trump, given that both are successful businessmen.

The mayor, who has said that Trump is “more practical” than he is, was asked whether he thinks Gou is equally as practical as the US president.

Ko made an impatient expression and complained that he is often and repeatedly asked to comment on other people’s intention to run in election, but also said that “businessmen are usually practical, because companies must be very practical to survive.”

Handling cross-strait ties is more complicated and difficult than just doing business, he said.

Asked about Gou’s dominant personality and whether it would leave no room for negotiation in cross-strait relations if he becomes president, Ko said: “I do not think so, because companies are usually more flexible.”

“The ultimate goal of companies is to earn money, so they change from this to that frequently to make money,” he said.

Asked about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) decision on Tuesday to implement control measures and even refuse entry to any foreign citizens entering the nation to advocate China’s “one country, two systems” framework or “armed invasion,” or to undertake endeavors that threaten the safety of the Taiwanese public, Ko said: “This would be hard to determine.”

“Taiwan has good immunity and should not be afraid of one or two germs... I do not know how it can be implemented, because how would you know what they will say before they arrive in Taiwan?” he said.

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