Foxconn billionaire founder Terry Gou announced Monday that he will run for Taiwan's presidency as an independent candidate.
Gun made his fortune by turning Foxconn into the world's largest producer of electronics, including equipment used for Apple's iPhones.
He has long aspired to become the leader of the self-governing island, and this year failed in his bid to be the opposition Kuomintang's candidate for the January elections.
"I decided to join the 2024 presidential campaign," he said in a barefoot conference.
"I appeal to the people of Taiwan to give me four years. I pledge that I will bring peace to the Taiwan Strait for the next 50 years and build the deepest foundation of mutual trust between the two sides," he added.
China considers Taiwan part of its territory and vows to take it back by force if necessary.
President Tsai Ing-wen, whose second and final term is nearing the end, refuses to accept this situation, while Beijing has intensified diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since it came to power in 2016.
"The Democratic Progressive Party has been in power for seven years and brought the threat of war to Taiwan," Gu said, referring to Tsai's party.
He added that he would "never" allow Taiwan to become the next Ukraine.
But Foxconn has built huge factories in China, and Gu's opponents point out that he maintains friendly relations with the leadership in Beijing.
In 2019, Gu stepped down as chairman of Foxconn to run for the presidency, but failed.
When asked on Monday about his relationship with the Chinese government due to Foxconn's large investments in the mainland, Gu said he had not established a relationship with the company's management for four years.
"I have never been under the control of (the Chinese Communist Party)," he told reporters. "I will not be threatened."
Gu, 72, needs 290,000 signatures to qualify as an independent candidate.
In recent months, he has held campaign-like events across Taiwan, such as organizing campaign rallies in various major cities and commemorating important events.
The Kuomintang chose Ho Yue-ye, a former police chief who became mayor of New Taipei City, as its candidate for the 2024 elections. But opinion polls indicate that he is not doing well.
Lai Chung-ti, the vice-president and candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party, is the front-runner according to opinion polls.