Why is Taiwan so important to China and the United States?


The chips of this country have become one of the most relevant elements of the clash between the two powers

There are three pillars on which the always delicate relationship between the United States and Taiwan is based, an island whose independence it does not recognize for its respect for the ‘one China policy’, but with which it maintains ties in several areas: security, the economy and governance. The first and the last are the ones that most anger China, the giant claiming for itself the sovereignty of ancient Formosa. But the economy is really what makes the difference. And for this reason, the President of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has focused much of her speech on it during her controversial lightning visit to Taipei.

In addition to making it clear that the US superpower will not abandon Taiwan to a hypothetical invasion by China, and that its presence along with the president of the de facto independent island of Tsai Ing-wen reflects unconditional support for a democratic system that it sees as ” exemplary” in the region, Pelosi has had an impact on two key issues: a possible free trade agreement with the island and the participation of Taiwanese companies in moving chip production to the United States.

On the hypothetical treaty, he’s only said it’s “an opportunity that will hopefully arise soon,” but on semiconductors, he’s gone deeper. “We have just passed the Chip and Science Act, which opens the door for us to strengthen our relations in this field,” he stated as Tsai nodded. “I know there are major Taiwanese companies that are planning to invest in factories in the United States because the knowledge they have in an industry where they are very successful is a model for us,” he explained.

Not surprisingly, Taiwan is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, a key component for technology sectors as varied as the automotive industry, which has suffered in the flesh from the shortage caused by the rebound in demand after the pandemic. , or electronics, which require increasingly smaller and more sophisticated components. The number of products equipped with chips is constantly growing and advancements in their technology are critical, even in sensitive areas like the military. For this reason, and bearing in mind that 75% of world production is concentrated in Asia, both Europe and the United States have proposed billionaire investment to become self-sufficient and lead the way in China.

The old continent has ambitious plans to build factories, and Washington has passed the bill Pelosi mentioned with the aim of “ensuring that the United States is prepared to lead the world in science and innovation.” According to the official text, the superpower has set itself the goal of “increasing semiconductor production in America, resolving vulnerabilities in the logistics chain, and reinvigorating scientific research and technology leadership, thereby enhancing economic and national security within the world.” – and abroad.”

Taiwan, a geopolitical partner increasingly important in the face of China’s rise, could be a key player in realizing US ambition, which is also shared by Beijing’s eagerness to reduce reliance on foreign countries in key industrial sectors. to decrease. Although the Asian giant has made significant progress in the sector thanks to the efforts of companies such as SMIC or Huawei, the sanctions weighing on key components and the lack of knowledge mean that it is still one step behind and that Taiwan is still the main actor. in that everyone is chasing it.

Source: La Verdad


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