Taiwan, USA and China against: the global chip factory at stake

The island is strategic for its technology and its position. It is an essential junction

Any technological product that needs a chip to work owes its existence to Taiwan. And much of the maritime transport to and from the East passes through Taiwan. These two basic information are enough to understand how strategic the island is and how in the tense relationships between China and the United States weigh your fate.

Taipei not only exports technology, and most of the components needed to produce it elsewhere, but also controls a substantial portion, about 10%, of the ships that carry it around the world. The other significant data are those that describe the widespread distribution of its commercial interchange at a global level: China (26%), USA (13%), Japan (11%), Hong Kong and EU (8%). The island is not a place of passage for routes, it is one of the main hubs that feed global trade. The consequence, on the operational level, is that a crisis in Taiwan risks stopping a substantial part of the globalized and interconnected economy.

Any geopolitical implication, even in the case of a confrontation that has a thousand stratifications such as that between China and the United States, cannot ignore the economic strength of a place as small as it is indispensable. Every tension, every threat and every hypothesized retaliation must deal with the catastrophic consequences that a crisis capable of blocking Taiwan would have.

“Today our delegation is in Taiwan to make it clear that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and that we are proud of our lasting friendship.” In the words of Nancy Pelosiwith the president of the island, Tsai Ing-wen at his side, there is all the sense of a position that has evidently taken into account the anger of Beijing for the visit of the speaker of the US House of Representatives on the island , called “a farce” by the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi.

Other words, this time from the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, outline the contours of an opposition that is now traveling on the brink of a new potential conflict. “I cannot say what their motivation was, but there is no doubt that it reflects the same policy we are talking about with respect to the Ukrainian situation – he said, according to statements reported by the Tass agency – It is a desire to demonstrate to everyone their impunity and illegality. ‘I do what I want’, that’s more or less like that. “

The juxtaposition between Ukraine and Taiwan, obviously instrumental in Russian propaganda, sounds like a warning. Because if the degeneration of the crisis in Ukraine, on the western front, could have been foreseen by reading with greater attention the maneuvers and steps of rapprochement made by Putin in recent years, an escalation on the eastern front of Taiwan would come after an equally planned ‘preparation’.

With a substantial implication that concerns the size. Not the geographical ones but the economic ones. If the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is seriously endangering the global economy, a crisis in Taiwan would add an unsustainable blow to its resilience to that of global trade. For the strategic strength of Taipei and for the crucial role it plays in relations with the entire industrialized world.

(from Fabio Insenga)