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Robert Tsao, Founder of UMC Pledges to Donate USD 100 Million to Taiwan’s Military Cause Ep 229

By Felicia Lin

In December we spoke with Robert Tsao, founder of UMC, who in August of 2022 pledged to donate 100 million U.S. dollars to help Taiwan defend itself. In 2011 he moved to Singapore and became a citizen there, but in September of last year he renounced his Singaporean citizenship, and reinstated his citizenship in Taiwan.

We talked about what motivated him to decide to make the donation to defend Taiwan, why he’s been perceived as pro business investment in China, and about his support for a referendum on unification between Taiwan and China.

We even asked him about his early support in 1993 for the New Party (Xin dang), a political party in Taiwan that had a pro Chinese unification stance.

Mr. Tsao also shared his thoughts on the Chinese Communist party today and why he thinks it’s important protect Taiwan from an attack by the Chinese Communist People’s Republic of China.

This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women’s Association.



NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is:


  1. to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women’s dignity,
  2. to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality,
  3. to fully develop women’s potential and encourage their participation in public affairs,
  4. to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan,
  5. to reach out and work with women’s organizations worldwide to promote peace for all.


To learn more about NATWA visit their website:


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • Mr. Tsao’s thoughts on the November 2022 local elections in Taiwan
  • Mr. Tsao’s thoughts on whether the local elections will impact Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election
  • Mr. Tsao’s donation of 100 million U.S. dollars for Taiwan’s defense and what it will be spent on
  • Why Mr. Tsao decided to make the donation of 100 million U.S. dollars
  • Taiwan’s first direct presidential election was in 1996
  • How to protect Taiwan’s freedom and democracy
  • President Chen Shui-bian’s Task Force on cross-Strait Relations, headed by Academia Sinica President and Nobel prize winner Professor Lee Yuan-tseh
  • Mr. Tsao’s suggestion regarding a referendum on Taiwan’s reunification with China in 2001
  • Taiwan’s independence
  • How Taiwan is unlike Hong Kong which was returned to China
  • The July 21, 2019 attacks at the Yuen Long MTR station in Hong Kong
  • Mr. Tsao’s thoughts on the Chinese Communist party
  • Parallels between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine and the possibility of China’ President Xi Jinping attacking Taiwan
  • Questions about Mr. Tsao’s thoughts on investment in China, and his support for a referendum on unification between Taiwan and China
  • Mr. Tsao’s support in 1993of the New party, a political party in Taiwan that had a pro-Chinese unification stance
  • How Mr. Tsao considers himself Taiwanese
  • The protests by people in China over strict COVID restrictions
  • Name rectification and constitutional reform for Taiwan
  • How much of a deterrent Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is to China attacking Taiwan
  • Military reform in Taiwan
  • Mr. Tsao’s thoughts on the unification of Taiwan and China


Related Links:


Robert Tsao:


Democracy Crackdown Moved Taiwan Chip Pioneer to Oppose Beijing (an article from Bloomberg):


Robert Tsao pledges money to make 1m combat drones (an article from the Taipei Times):


EDITORIAL: Tracking Robert Tsao’s trajectory (an article from the Taipei Times):


DPP (Democratic Progressive party aka Min Jing dang):


Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen:


Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Twitter:


DPP picks Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien to run for Taoyuan seat (an article from Focus Taiwan):


NTU committee determines ex-Hsinchu mayor plagiarized thesis (an article from Focus Taiwan):


Chiang Wan-an:


President Tsai resigns as DPP chairperson after election setback (an article from Focus Taiwan):


KMT (Chinese Nationalist party, Kuomintang, Guomintang):


Taiwan’s first direct presidential election in 1996:


Former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian:


Professor Lee Yuan-tseh:


Cross-Strait Task Force vs. National Unification Council (an article from the Taiwan Communique):


Chinese Communist Party:


People’s Republic of China:


Taiwan independence movement:


Hong Kong’s Handover/Return to China:,expires%20after%20ninety%2Dnine%20years.


2019 Yuen Long attack:


News reporting on the July 21, 2019 attacks at the Yuen Long MTR station in Hong Kong:


Hong Kong Marks Second Anniversary of Bloody Yuen Long Attacks (an article from Radio Free Asia):


Vladimir Putin, President of Russia:


Xi Jiping, President of the PRC:


New Party (新黨, Xin dang):


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari:


Mao Zedong:


Kuma Academy:


FAPA (Formosan Association for Public Affairs):

Courtney Donovan Smith of Taiwan Report Shares His Analysis on Taiwan’s 2022 “Nine-in-One” Local Elections Ep 227

Dr. Bo-Chheng Lin: Taiwan’s Semiconductor Industry and the Current Chip Shortage Ep 160

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Taiwan Cares Humanitarian Efforts for Ukraine Raise $9000 in 24 Hours Ep 176

Taiwan’s Civil Defense Preparedness: T.H. Schee on How to Prepare for the Threat of an Attack Ep 178

Eric Chan Discusses What Led the Taiwan Military to Shoot Down a Chinese Civilian Drone Ep 206

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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