Terry Gou Proposes Unconventional Solution to Taiwan's Declining Birth Rate

In an unorthodox approach to tackle Taiwan's plummeting birth rate, Terry Gou, Foxconn's founder and CEO and now a presidential candidate, has suggested awarding pets to couples who decide to have children

by Faruk Imamovic
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Terry Gou Proposes Unconventional Solution to Taiwan's Declining Birth Rate
© Wikimedia Commons

In an unorthodox approach to tackle Taiwan's plummeting birth rate, Terry Gou, Foxconn's founder and CEO and now a presidential candidate, has suggested awarding pets to couples who decide to have children. Speaking at the Taipei City Temple, Gou proposed that gifting new parents with a cat or a dog could potentially counteract the declining birth rate, a statistic where Taiwan has earned an unfortunate reputation of being among the world's lowest.

Many experts attribute Taiwan's birth rate problem to socio-economic factors like the high cost of living and entrenched gender norms. The repercussions of this demographic trend are grave. An aging population might not only stress the economy but also the nation's defense capabilities.

Pets or Kids? Why Not Both?

An intriguing twist to this narrative is the soaring popularity of pets in Taiwan. With pet purchases on the rise, it seems that many couples are gravitating toward furry companions rather than offspring.

But Gou envisions a society where the joys of parenthood and pet ownership aren't mutually exclusive. After a recent visit to an animal shelter, Gou expressed, "to give birth to a child, to raise an extra pet”. He emphasized his offer by saying, “having a child will allow you to keep one more pet, cats, dogs, and two.

I’ll raise a couple for you”. This offbeat proposal has stirred the pot, drawing both skepticism and criticism. Some government officials and animal welfare groups have expressed concerns about the viability and ethical implications of the idea.

This isn't the first time Gou has ventured into solutions for the declining birth rate. During the last presidential campaign, he pitched government subsidies to offset child-rearing expenses until the child reaches six years of age.

Regrettably, this proposal never saw the light of day.

The Road Ahead for Gou

While Terry Gou's pet proposal has grabbed headlines, his political journey continues. He must amass 290,000 signatures by November to cement his presidential nomination.

Only time will tell if his unconventional solutions resonate with the electorate, but one thing is certain – Gou has once again made sure he's at the epicenter of Taiwan's most pressing debates.

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