- Sputnik International, 1920
US-China Tensions Over Taiwan
Tensions between China and the US have escalated following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei in early August. China views Taiwan as part of its territory and says any country's interaction with Taipei is interference in China's internal affairs.

Report: US Contingency Plan for 'Chinese Invasion' of Taiwan Includes Airlifting Out Chip Engineers

© AP Photo / Chiang Ying-ying Two soldiers fold the national flag during the daily flag ceremony on the Liberty Square of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, July 30, 2022
 Two soldiers fold the national flag during the daily flag ceremony on the Liberty Square of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, July 30, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.10.2022
Since February 2022, the Biden administration has drawn up new contingency plans for a possible Chinese intervention into Taiwan, which Beijing considers a Chinese province in rebellion.
Among those preparations are plans to evacuate Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) computer chip engineers, who manufacture advanced microchips, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed “people familiar with the Biden administration’s deliberations.”
The outlet also noted that the US National Security Council expects a $1 trillion impact to the world economy by supply disruptions in the event of an attack - equivalent to twice the annual value of the global semiconductor industry’s sales.
"The only country in the world that is a source of the most advanced semiconductors is Taiwan," US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last month. "I would regard that as a resilience risk and also a national security risk."
TSMC makes around 55% of the world’s contract-made computer chips and nearly all of its most advanced processors, according to Time. The US only makes around 10% of the world’s computer chips but produces half of the world’s semiconductors, which are used to make chips. That means Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, also major chip makers and US allies, are key components in the supply chain, and is why the Biden administration signed into law a massive $280 billion law in August to buttress their collective production chains.
To mitigate part of the danger, TSMC is building a $12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona, another in Japan, and is reportedly considering one somewhere in Europe as well.
However, China is the world’s largest consumer of computer chips, using them to produce 36% of the world’s electronics.
The Biden administration has never made clear why Taiwan being reunited with China would affect the supply of those chips, although having plans to evacuate chip engineers virtually ensures that vital staff at the chip foundries will leave if Chinese sovereignty returns, much as essential medical and technical staff left Cuba when the US-backed government was overthrown by a socialist revolution in 1959.
Washington has made moves in recent years to block US buyers from accessing various technical products made in China, claiming that various firms’ proximity to the Chinese government makes them possible security liabilities. The Pentagon has also looked to decouple its supply chains from adversary countries such as China, so that a future political or military conflict doesn’t affect them as much.

A Useful Ideological Bludgeon

Beginning in 2017, the US shifted its primary strategic focus toward “great power competition” with Russia and China, identifying Taiwan as a key battlefield in that struggle. The island’s capitalist system and 25-year-old democratic system have been used as ideological bludgeons against Chinese “authoritarianism” and socialism, with Western governments claiming they must defend Taiwan from China.
Several times in the last two years, US President Joe Biden has been forced to walk back claims the US was bound to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack, disrupting a 43-year policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the subject that’s designed to keep both Beijing and Taipei uncertain about the effects of changing the status quo.
The US has consistently claimed China is more likely to make a move against the government in Taipei after Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine in February, despite repeated Chinese pleadings to the contrary. In August, the US tried to push the issue by sending US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the third-highest-ranking US politician behind the president and vice president, to visit the island.
Beijing has been clear that it believes a peaceful reunion between Taiwan and the mainland is the island’s destiny, as it was for the other remnant territories of the old Republic of China that was overthrown in the 1949 socialist revolution, such as Tibet and Hainan. Beijing has offered a “one country, two systems” solution to the impasse, but it fears the US is provoking the most dangerous independence-minded parts of Taiwanese society by continuing to provide support, such as weapons, to the Taiwanese government.
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