Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday announced plans to provide at last US$20 million in funding for initiatives to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait, amid continued speculation he would launch an independent campaign for next year’s presidential election.
One of Gou’s plans would be to establish Kinmen County — which lies just 2km off China at its closest point — as a center for regular cross-strait dialogues, he said during a visit to Kinmen.
Gou said that he would create a think tank and a new media platform to collect and disseminate messages from around the world to help cross-strait peace efforts.
He also said he would facilitate dialogue between academic institutions and think tank experts on both sides of the Strait, while fostering relations and dialogue with peace organizations through scholarships and lectures.
Gou arrived in Kinmen yesterday for a two-day trip to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the 823 Artillery Bombardment, a prolonged shelling campaign by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army against the islands in 1958.
His visit coincided with that of New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate.
During a visit to Kinmen in May, Gou released a “peace declaration” calling for a resumption of talks between Beijing and Taipei based on the so-called “1992 Consensus.”
The “1992 consensus” — a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Gou has yet to officially declare that he would run against Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate, as well Hou and former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the Taiwan People’s Party presidential nominee, in the election on Jan. 13 next year.
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