GT Voice: US Governor’s provocative Taiwan-area trip won’t attract chipmakers

TSMC file photo

Doug Ducey, the governor of the US state of Arizona, arrived in the Chinese region of Taiwan on Tuesday for a “trade mission”. Ducey is traveling with the head of the state’s economic development agency, and the purpose of their trip is to woo suppliers for the new $12 billion Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) plant being built. in the state, reported Voice of America (VOA). .

China has consistently and firmly opposed any form of official exchanges between any country and the island of Taiwan, which is an inalienable part of China.

Relevant US officials should honor the three China-US joint communiqués and commitments made by the US side, and avoid sending the wrong signal to the separatist forces of “Taiwan independence.”

If Arizona officials attempt to establish formal exchanges with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and establish the state’s “first foreign trade office” on the island of Taiwan, treating it as shorthand to boost cooperation with Taiwan’s semiconductor industry and make Arizona an alluring “semiconductor powerhouse,” those American politicians would be dead wrong. Such underhanded and provocative interactions between US officials and DPP authorities can do nothing to help Arizona attract semiconductor-related investment, but will hamper normal business cooperation and disrupt the semiconductor supply chain. drivers.

In 2020, Arizona persuaded TSMC to agree to establish a facility in the state by offering favorable policies in an effort to attract more Taiwan-based semiconductor vendors to invest in the state, which is already home to a major Intel chip factory. However, the whole process does not seem to go smoothly. So far, announced supplier investments have only reached around $1 billion.

Manufacturing a semiconductor is one of the most complex manufacturing processes, requiring a complex and comprehensive supply chain. If Arizona fails to establish a full ecological chain for the semiconductor industry, TSMC’s investment could become nothing more than a vanity project. Eventually, TSMC’s factory may struggle to survive due to high import costs for components and parts.

It’s no secret that the US economy faces major challenges in re-establishing a full semiconductor supply chain. Provocative exchanges with the DPP authorities will not help the US economy solve its practical problems, but rather add serious fire to the current economic difficulties. If Arizona officials want to politicize semiconductor supplier investments and tie them to the Taiwan issue, which is the most sensitive issue at the very heart of China-US relations, this will seriously reduce the willingness of suppliers to semiconductors to invest in the US state.

As tensions escalated in the Taiwan Strait following a succession of visits by US officials to the island, many semiconductor suppliers, especially small and medium-sized ones, are treading carefully when are planning to invest in the United States and try to avoid getting involved in the geopolitical tensions caused by the United States. In that sense, Ducey’s visit to the island is a direct blow to Arizona’s longstanding ambition to become an attractive “semiconductor powerhouse.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing on Wednesday that China urges relevant parties in the United States to uphold the one-China principle and cease all forms of corruption. official contact with Taiwan. “China will take strong measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao warned.

No one should underestimate China’s determination and ability to defend the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Some U.S. politicians are trying to play a dangerous game to drag semiconductor suppliers to Taiwan into the rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait. But in the end, it will certainly cause self-inflicted damage to the US economy.

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