Terry Guo, a Taiwanese billionaire and politician, has called for dialogue between Taiwan and China and criticized the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for not engaging with Beijing.
Guo, founder of the tech giant Foxconn, said in an op-ed for The Washington Post that Taiwan should not abandon the 1992 Consensus reached between Taipei and Beijing. In 1992, Taipei and Beijing both agreed to accept the framework of One China, although the two sides have differing interpretations of what that means.
Guo said that by accepting that framework, the two sides were able to hold talks and reach productive agreements. “But shortly after Tsai Ing-wen became Taiwan’s president in 2016, China cited her refusal to accept Beijing’s interpretation — which includes Taiwan as part of China — as a justification to end the cross-strait talks, and they have not resumed,” he wrote.
Guo is a member of the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which is more friendly toward the mainland than Tsai’s DPP. Guo criticized the DPP’s candidate for the 2024 presidential election, Vice President Lai Ching-te, for his calls to reduce trade with Beijing and rejection of the One China framework.
By rejecting the One China framework, Guo said the DPP leaders have “greatly aggravated the threat of war, isolated Taiwan internationally, damaged our economy, scared away investors and made Taiwan less secure.” Guo said that he has “long advocated the immediate resumption of direct cross-strait negotiations between Taiwan and China as the only way to truly ease tensions and to preserve Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and rule of law.”
Guo thanked the US for the support over the years but said Taiwan must take responsibility for itself. The US has been increasing support for Taiwan in recent years, angering Beijing and resulting in more Chinese military pressure on the island.
“Taiwan has to take control of its destiny, strengthen deterrence capability and, at the same time, deliver an approach to peace that benefits the region and the globe, but most of all itself,” he wrote. “It can do so only by working with China directly on the basis of the One China framework.”
Earlier this year, Guo announced that he was seeking the nomination to be the KMT’s presidential candidate for the 2024 election, which is scheduled to be held on January 14. But the KMT has since nominated New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, and Guo has vowed to support his candidacy.
Polling has shown that, for the first time, a third political party in Taiwan is a contender for the presidential election. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), which was founded in 2019, has been leading the KMT in recent polls, while the DPP has been the frontrunner. The South China Morning Post described the TPP as “relatively Beijing friendly.”