Terry Gou was in no mood to hold back at the meeting on Monday. (Photo/Yen Chien-lung)
Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou launched a scathing attack on Taiwan's government at a shareholders meeting on Monday, stressing that he still believes in further taxes for the wealthy and that academics have too much sway in setting government policy. "Idiots! The issues lie in the economy, the problem is that scholars really don't understand the economy," Gou said, according to our sister newspaper China Times.
Hon Hai is the parent company of Foxconn, the world's largest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics.
In his remarks, Gou also indicated that he would be willing to purchase the Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea to resolve the ongoing sovereignty dispute between Taiwan, China and Japan and allow the three parties to jointly develop resources in the area.
On the issue of Hon Hai's long-running litigation with Chinese automaker BYD, Gou said that if the cross-strait ECFA trade deal signed in 2010 could not protect intellectual copyright, the agreement has no use.
With Terry Gou having recently called for the introduction of higher taxes for the rich, some shareholders at the meeting suggested the Hon Hai chairman remain low-key on the issue. Gou said he decided to take a stand because "Taiwan cannot be run by scholars anymore, they have no practical experience, they learned all their knowledge from books."
If the US can make a Forbes rich list, why can't Taiwan? Gou asked, saying that if real estate assets are included, there must be many people in the country much richer than him.
As Hon Hai recently became a major shareholder in Sharp, more Japanese media outlets came to cover the company's shareholders' meeting than last year. Gou used this opportunity to send a message to Tokyo that he is willing to buy the disputed islands in the East China Sea that are known as the Senkakus in Japan, Diaoyu islands in China and the Diaoyutais in Taiwan. It would be better for Taiwan, China and Japan to work together to develop oilfields there, Gou said. The city government of Tokyo has recently begun a public fundraising drive to purchase the islands from a private family in Japan that reportedly owns the deeds, a move which will have no effect on the national sovereignty claim by Taiwan and China.
With a meeting to be held between the top negotiators for China and Taiwan to be held on June 28, Gou also called for caution in the negotiation of a cross-strait investment protection agreement to defend the rights and interests of investors. If these rights can be effectively guaranteed, Taiwan will be able to attract greater Japanese investment to enter the mainland China market, Gou said.
Terry Gou 郭台銘