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Former New Taipei mayor to visit U.S.

2019-02-13  English News
Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu / Photo courtesy of CNA
Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu / Photo courtesy of CNA
Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu said Tuesday that he will embark on an eight-day visit to Silicon Valley in the United States Thursday to seek a boost for Taiwan's economy.

Chu, who has expressed interest in seeking the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) nomination to run in the 2020 presidential race, explained the upcoming trip, titled "Power up Taiwan: Taiwan New Economy," during a tour of the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei.

The KMT heavyweight said the focus of the trip will be on business because building a new economy for Taiwan is his goal and the main driver behind his election campaign.

Over the past month, Chu said he has listened to many young people about the steps taken to start up their businesses and has heard the opinions of major industrial players on how Taiwan should seek to improve its economy.

The country's leader must find a new direction that all people can move toward, Chu said, adding that the startup economy is the path Taiwan should take. He expressed hope that his U.S. trip will help connect Taiwan's talent to the world and bring talent from around the world to Taiwan.

During the trip, Chu is scheduled to visit several world-leading enterprises, including Apple, AirBnB, Facebook, Google, Tesla, live streaming video platform Twitch, private American software company Palantir Technologies, and other startups in Silicon Valley.

He will also visit Taiwanese businesses in Silicon Valley, U.S. venture capital firms and tech startups and talk with Taiwanese who work or have started businesses in Silicon Valley on how to bring Taiwanese professionals back to Taiwan and attract foreign enterprises to invest in Taiwan.

He will also meet with Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube.

In addition, Chu will hold talks with Francis Fukuyama, a professor at Stanford University, and visit the Hoover Institution at the university.

While at the university, Chu will deliver a speech titled "Taiwan New Economy: Innovation, People, Government Effectiveness" at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Stanford University's premier research institute for international studies.

Chu said that during his nearly 20-year political career, he has met with representatives from U.S. think tanks and Congress during several visits to the country.

Asked whether presidential candidates should choose sides between the U.S. and China, Chu said that Taiwan should not take sides but should maintain a balance between economics and geopolitics.