Saturday 13 May 2023

Taiwan pushes back, won’t let US destroy semiconductor factories to prevent them from falling into Chinese hands

 The Taiwanese government is resisting what is quickly coming into favor among a growing number of American leaders and diplomats: The destruction of the island’s highly advanced semi-conductor plants, in order to avoid having them fall into the hands of invading Chinese forces.

“Taiwan’s defense minister on Monday pushed back against the idea of the US bombing the island’s semiconductor factories in the event of a Chinese invasion,” reported this week.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) recently made a statement suggesting that the United States should convey a strong message to China about the consequences and “make it very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we’re going to blow up TSMC” — referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which produces the majority of the world’s advanced semiconductors.

Taiwanese Defense Minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, responded to Moulton’s comments by stating that the island’s military would not allow such an occurrence.

“It is the military’s obligation to defend Taiwan and we will not tolerate any others blowing up our facilities,” he said, according to The South China Morning Post.

The concept of targeting Taiwan’s chip manufacturing facilities to prevent them from falling into Chinese control is gaining traction in Washington. A 2021 paper published by the US Army War College proposed that the United States and Taiwan should strategize for “scorched-earth” tactics that would make it “not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain.”

The paper went on to say that it could be done “most effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the most important chipmaker in the world and China’s most important supplier.”

The chipmaker is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, with a market capitalization of over $500 billion. Founded in 1987, the company has become a key player in the global technology industry, producing chips for some of the biggest names in electronics.

TSMC’s success can be attributed to its focus on innovation and customer satisfaction. The company invests heavily in research and development, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in semiconductor manufacturing. TSMC is also known for its customer-centric approach, working closely with clients to develop customized solutions that meet their specific needs.

One of the key factors driving TSMC’s success is its advanced manufacturing processes. The company uses cutting-edge technology to produce chips with smaller and more intricate components, allowing for faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. TSMC is also known for its commitment to sustainability, using renewable energy sources, and implementing environmentally-friendly practices throughout its operations.

TSMC has also played a key role in Taiwan’s economic development. The company is one of the largest employers in the country, with over 50,000 employees worldwide. TSMC’s success has also helped to attract other high-tech companies to Taiwan, creating a thriving ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship.

In recent years, the company has seen significant growth in the automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) markets, as well as in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G technology. TSMC has also expanded its operations globally, opening new facilities — interestingly, in China, as well as the United States and Europe.

Meanwhile, Robert O’Brien, who served as President Trump’s national security advisor, told the outlet Semafor in March: “The United States and its allies are never going to let those factories fall into Chinese hands.”

He made a parallel between a historical event and the current situation, referring to the British bombing of the French naval fleet off the coast of Algeria in 1940. The purpose of that attack was to prevent the ships from falling into the hands of Nazi Germany. However, it resulted in the unfortunate loss of nearly 1,300 French sailors’ lives.

“The Brits didn’t allow the French fleet to remain intact so that it could have potentially gone to the Germans and changed the balance of power for the battle of the Atlantic,” he said.

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