Taiwan is home to some of the world’s most advanced and largest semiconductor companies. Over half of made-to-order chips and an estimated 90% of sophisticated processors are produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Taiwanese firms supply 63 percent of worldwide semiconductors, compared to 12 percent from American firms.
Xi Jinping, China’s president, is well aware of the technological might waiting around the corner. China’s chip production initiatives have received billions of dollars, but the country is still years behind TSMC. There is no replacement for relying on Taiwan’s proven world-class skills. The Chinese Communist Party may supply itself and refuse distribution in a single fast movement.
China’s military has conducted assault maneuvers on the coastline closest to Taiwan, which it wishes to capture and control. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported 56 Chinese fighter planes passing through its Air Defense Identification Zone in a single day. “I believe this is the biggest degree of danger against Taiwan that I have ever seen,” General Michael Flynn said. He believes Taiwan, like Hong Kong, will be absorbed by China. He claims that China’s stance toward the Biden administration reflects China’s perception of an “apathetic and weak” White House.
It is required by every aircraft, battleship, submarine, and many ground-based weaponry and missiles. The American ban on Japan’s imported supplies provoked the assault on Pearl Harbor. Allied bombing in Europe aimed to deprive the Nazi machine of the oil that powered its gears.
Moreover, in August, China conducted a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile test. It circled the globe in a low-altitude orbit that was more difficult to protect before missing its target by a few dozen kilometers. It shocked the world into realizing that it could only be done with American software and Taiwanese processors.
In June, Congress granted $52 billion for domestic semiconductor production, but it may be too late. The CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing claims that his business is spending $100 billion in new capacity but that “it won’t be enough.” TSMC and Samsung can only make the most sophisticated 5-nanometer chips. It is impossible to withdraw two-thirds of the world’s semiconductors from the market without causing catastrophic consequences for military and civilian users. Even if they are accessible for purchase, chips from other countries pose a security concern. Not only do these chips manage physical goods, but they also govern the downstream systems that rely on them.
After a furious retort from China, the White House has softened its stance on Taiwan. A representative for the United States reaffirmed the US commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, a Carter-era pact that removed the US duty to protect Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, warned of “catastrophic” repercussions if the island falls to China.