Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is the first U.S. governor to visit post-pandemic Taiwan. With several cooperation agreements between the island nation and the state of Indiana covering economics, trade, science, technology, industry, and education, this visit strengthens bilateral relations between the two countries.
The CCP is still not recovering from the repercussions of Nancy Pelosi’s visit. It continues with its military exercises dangerously close to Japan and Taiwan. However, when this article was written, the communist regime did not express anything about the U.S. governor’s visit.
Eric Holcomb wrote on his Twitter account, “I am energized to spend this week building new relationships, reinforcing long-standing ones, and strengthening key sectoral partnerships with Taiwan and South Korea.” The governor will hold meetings with Taiwanese semiconductor fabs. The island nation is home to one of the world’s largest fabs, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), which is building a $12 billion plant in the U.S. state of Arizona.
The Taiwanese semiconductor industry is strategically important, especially for the United States and China. Semiconductors form a crucial part of the electronic components of smartphones, notebooks, desktop computers, home appliances, Iphones, the automotive industry, and the military industry. With the development of new technologies applied to producing 5-nanometer chips, the Taiwanese company TSMC and the Korean company Samsung are the only companies producing this type of microchips.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd manufactures the most advanced semiconductors in the world, producing 90% of them. Many industries and countries depend on their production, including China, which buys 60% of its chips from Taiwan.
During Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the island nation, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives visited TSMC and met briefly with the company’s CEO Mark Liu.
Since Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, the CCP deployed all its resources to make its presence felt so that the world would somehow recognize that Taiwan does not exist as a country, that it belongs to China, and that any country that defies this mandate “will suffer the consequences.”
In this sense, the CCP launched measures against Taiwan during Congresswoman Pelosi’s visit, such as suspending the import of Taiwanese fruits and fish, intensifying military exercises in the China Sea, and cutting diplomatic communications with the United States since Aug. 4.
However, the communist regime did nothing regarding the import of semiconductors from Taiwan.
U.S. President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS Act in August, providing subsidies to boost advanced technology semiconductor manufacturing and thus reposition the country in world production. However, factories with links to China will not be eligible for subsidies.
Thus, the CHIPS Act will grant more than $50 billion to companies with expertise in manufacturing nanotechnology chips that set up their manufacturing facilities in the United States. One of these companies is TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which started building an industrial site in Arizona that will be completed in 2024.
Meanwhile, China is trying to keep pace with the semiconductor race, and in 2020 some Chinese companies, such as SMIC, managed to produce chips with more sophisticated technology. However, they are still too far away from catching up with TSMC.
China’s goal is to achieve self-sufficiency in semiconductor production by 2025. However, the country’s measures delay the industry’s goals and prevent the supply chain from running smoothly.
US strengthens strategic alliances with semiconductor industry
The visit of the governor of Indiana to Taiwan reflects the strategic partnerships of the United States with one of the most important industries today and the exclusion of China as a supplier.
In this context, President Tsai Ing-wen’s welcome to the U.S. delegation reflects more than diplomacy and good manners. The official statement published on the Indiana government website informs that Eric Holcomb will meet with the world’s fourth largest Taiwanese semiconductor producer, Mediatek.
Recently, the Taiwanese company announced that it would partner with Indiana’s Purdue University to create a new semiconductor manufacturing center and provide academic support for a new educational center focused on microchip engineering, design, and manufacturing.
Is China waiting for the moment to act?
After all the CCP’s display during Pelosi’s visit, what is the reason for the communist regime’s silence in the face of a new U.S. visit to Taiwan?
Last Aug. 14, more U.S. officials arrived in the island nation, and China deployed six warships and 22 military aircraft moments before the plane landed on Taiwanese soil.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying declared: “When people like Nancy Pelosi try to collude with Taiwanese pro-independence forces to use Taiwan to contain China, to undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, … it will not stop China’s reunification process.”
In this sense, Beijing focused on criticizing the statements of the U.S. ambassador to China, who said that China’s reaction was “exaggerated” to Pelosi’s visit and that the Chinese regime aggravated bilateral relations between itself and the U.S.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “it was the U.S. that blatantly infringed on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and trampled on China’s red line.” The United States does not recognize Taiwan as a free nation and favors “one China,” so Beijing’s criticism reflects the country’s contradictory diplomacy.