Taiwanese microchip tycoon renounces S'pore citizenship

Robert Tsao had initially renounced his Taiwanese citizenship in 2011 and moved to Singapore.

Matthias Ang | September 02, 2022, 12:56 PM

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One of Taiwan's richest and most successful businessmen, Robert Tsao, has renounced his Singapore citizenship, Lianhe Zaobao (Zaobao) reported.

Tsao: Taiwanese must resist China's aggression

Speaking at a press conference on Sep. 1, the 75-year-old founder of microchip maker United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) wore a bulletproof vest and said that he was "so excited" to regain his Taiwanese citizenship, Taiwanese media Central News Agency reported.

The tycoon added that in returning to the island, he would stand with his fellow countrymen against an invasion by China.

In calling on the Taiwanese to resist China's aggression, he said, according to Zaobao, "I have returned to Taiwan and I will die in Taiwan."

He added, "I will never live to watch the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) turn Taiwan into Hong Kong."

In response to Zaobao, Tsao said that he does not find it a pity to renounce his Singapore citizenship as he has "more important things to do [in Taiwan]".

"Singapore is very well-managed, it doesn't need me," he added.

Will donate S$27.4 million to train 3 million "civilian warriors"

Tsao also unveiled a plan to donate NT$1 billion (S$45.7 million) to train 3.3 million people in support of Taiwan's defence against China, Reuters reported.

The tycoon elaborated that NT$600 million (S$27.4 million) will go towards a programme to train three million "civilian warriors" to support Taiwan's military.

Meanwhile, the remaining NT$400 million (S$18.3 million) will be used for training 300,000 civilian "marksmen".

Earlier in August, Tsao had also pledged to donate NT$3 billion (S$137.3 million) to help enhance the island's defences, following the launch of military drills by China around the island in response to a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Originally supported Taiwan's reunification with China through peaceful means

Central News Agency further reported that Tsao had initially renounced his Taiwanese citizenship in 2011 and moved to Singapore after he became unhappy with government legislation that prevented UMC from investing in China.

These regulations had been introduced in 2000 by then-President Chen Shui-bian from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Tsao also advocated for Taiwan's reunification with China through peaceful means, including via a national referendum on the issue, should the mainland Chinese government provide favourable conditions.

However, he eventually became an outspoken critic of China's government in recent years.

The press conference on Sep. 1 also saw Tsao declare that anything coming from the CCP is a "hoax".

Reuters further reported that UMC distanced itself from its founder's remarks by highlighting how Tsao had retired from the company over a decade ago and therefore had nothing to do with it.

Top screenshot via AFP/YouTube