The challenge between China And United States for Taiwan it necessarily goes through i chip, a real treasure of the Pacific island. But if Taipei is the hottest front of this challenge for the semiconductors that divides Washington and Beijing, the question goes beyond the “simple” control of the island, also extending to American territory.
The confirmation of the importance of this clash and of the value given to semiconductors in the imperial logic of the People’s Republic of China and the United States is the bipartisan bill Chips and Science Act 2022: a measure worth 52 billion dollars that aims to strengthen research and development of semiconductors in the US. President Joe Biden explained the importance of this proposal by explaining that the chips are “at the base of the modern economy “and recalling how” once the United States had 40% of global production, but then with the decline of our manufacturing, production moved overseas “.
The objective of the democratic administration is twofold. On the one hand, there is the more temporary and contingent one of moving production indoors for clear electoral reasons: to activate factories on the national territory, in full election campaign for midterm elections and with a Biden in crisis in the face of the republican wave, it is a signal of the will to recover ground in public opinion. Not by chance, on the day of the approval of the law, the US company Micron announced an investment of 40 billion dollars which will materialize, according to the US giant, in 40 thousand new jobs. Lifeblood for a presidency that appeared very fragile and destined to suffer a heavy backlash.
But net of the electoral question, albeit fundamental, there is the most important issue which is that of the clash with China. The confirmation of this international importance of the Chips and Science Act signed by Biden comes from two reactions of a diplomatic nature. The first, internal, is represented by the note published by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. The head of US diplomacy defined the bipartisan provision as “a fundamental step forward to prepare our economy for what will be the challenges of the 21st century”. While from the opposite front, the Chinese one, came harsh words of condemnation. As reported Agithe spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbinattacked the American measure denouncing “restrictions on normal investments and economic and commercial activities of relevant companies in China” and reiterating that these measures defined within the Chips and Science Act “have a strong geopolitical color and are another example of US economic coercion.”
The issue in recent days has also become important for the strengthening of the so-called alliance of “Chips 4”, a semiconductor cooperation platform between the United States, Japan and Taiwan that South Korea seems to be joining. According to the South Korean press, the president said that all ministries involved are evaluating the issue “through the lens of interest. national “, even if the Minister of Industry, Lee Chang-yang, has currently denied the participation of Seoul because” it does not intend to join an exclusive group that ostracizes certain countries, such as China “. For South Korea, it is a question of balancing two opposing interests: that of its major military ally and that of its major economic partner. The Asian government does not want to be included in a system in which the challenge to Beijing risks compromising its economy. But it is clear that now the semiconductor game is becoming more and more central to the Indo-Pacific logic. And Taiwan, real “Eldorado” of the chips, was a very clear warning. As reported Linkiesta, Taiwan today “produces 20% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most technological chips”: chips that are also used in the most important electronic systems of the US military, but also by the most important giants of the national industry. Having the ability to independently produce this technology and prevent China from controlling its production and trade is an essential goal. And Washington is perfectly aware of this.