Foxconn Technology Group’s billionaire founder Terry Gou chose an actress famous for portraying a presidential candidate in a recent Netflix series as his running mate in his bid to become leader of Taiwan.
(Bloomberg) — Foxconn Technology Group’s billionaire founder Terry Gou chose an actress famous for portraying a presidential candidate in a recent Netflix series as his running mate in his bid to become leader of Taiwan.
Gou announced Lai Pei-hsia as his vice presidential running mate at an emotional briefing in Taipei on Thursday. Lai is best know to Taiwanese audiences as a singer and as the actress who played a presidential candidate in the Chinese-language Netflix political drama Wave Makers, which is credited with triggering the #MeToo movement in Taiwan.
“This presidential election is a critical turning point for Taiwan and of crucial importance to Taiwan’s future,” Gou said when explaining the choice of Lai as his running mate. “I, Terry Gou, an entrepreneur with almost 50 year’s of experience, together with Lai, an outstanding, all-round writer and spiritual mentor, we have no political baggage, and we are deeply concerned about the needs of the people.”
Gou and Lai face an uphill battle to reach the presidential office in January’s election. Gou has consistently polled in last place among the four declared candidates. Vice President and ruling Democratic Progressive Party candidate Lai Ching-te, no relation to Lai Pei-hsia, currently leads the race with 30% support, according to a survey released by broadcaster TVBS earlier this month.
Ko Wen-je of the young Taiwan People’s Party polled second with 23% and the Kuomintang’s Hou Yu-ih had 19%. Gou trails the others with a support rating of 14%.
In a tearful speech, Lai laid out her qualifications for vice president, touting her skills as a communicator. As well as a career as a singer and an actress, she has spent much of the past 30 years studying psychology, during which time she has written several books on relationships and communication.
“Before September, I didn’t understand much about Taiwanese politics,” Lai said at Thursday’s briefing. “I’d read the headlines but I wasn’t used to the way the media here communicates so I didn’t really watch the trends in Taiwan politics too closely, that was until Chairman Gou invited me to be his running mate.”
Gou, who’s platform is based on forging better ties with China, acknowledged both he and Lai were newcomers to politics but insisted it was a strength, rather than a weakness, of his campaign.
“We are both political amateurs,” he said. “But the public told me they have doubts about current politicians, as is the case in other countries.”
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