The meeting of Chinese and US top leaders was aimed at easing tensions over the Taiwan issue. A significant portion of semiconductor components are manufactured in Taiwan, and stability in the region is extremely important to the overall global economy. Some experts believe that if Taiwanese companies shut down completely, the semiconductor industry will take five years to recover.
With similar assessments in his interview Barrons shared by the author of the book “War for the Chips: The Battle for the World’s Most Important Technology” Chris Miller is a professor at Tufts University in the USA. In his opinion, the American authorities underestimate the possible consequences of a regional conflict that could put Taiwanese companies out of action. Not only are up to 90% of advanced semiconductor components manufactured on the island, but in general local chip production is so great that no other region in the world can yet compete with it. According to the expert, up to a third of the annual increase in computing power worldwide is provided by Taiwanese companies. If Taiwanese chip production is stopped, it will take at least five years and huge sums of money to restart it.
The semiconductor crisis of 2020-2021, which paralyzed the functioning of the global auto industry, is only a pale shadow of the likely problems an armed conflict with Taiwan would cause, the professor says. Even “non-violent” methods of China’s influence on the island’s economy can have a significant impact on Taiwan’s leadership’s determination to maintain independence.
Chris Miller emphasizes the role of qualified personnel in the development of the modern semiconductor industry. The same founder of TSMC, Morris Chang, according to the book’s author, is the person to whom the whole world should be grateful for the technologies that are now available to us. It remains important for the United States to maintain a sensible immigration policy because many executives of large technology companies are migrant workers or their direct descendants, and their role in the development of US industry and economy is difficult to dispute.