Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Chips are really on the line as China speaks of war preparedness

Do you remember the terrible feeling in your gut when Russia started amassing troops along its border with Ukraine?

Well, I have that same pit in my stomach as I look at China and its position regarding Taiwan.

And if China decides to assert control over Taiwan, we could be in for some painful lessons linked to western civilization’s over-reliance on an island across the Taiwan Strait from China for computer chips.

Roughly two-thirds of the world’s computer chips are made in Taiwan. Having already experienced major supply-chain issues created by recent chip shortages, imagine the chaos if China were to close off chip shipments from Taiwan.

Deciding which outlet to plug in our smartphone would no longer be our biggest technology challenge.

The U.S. has historically supported a one-China policy, which precludes the U.S. from supporting Taiwanese independence. However, last year, President Joe Biden indicated that the U.S. would send troops to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion(Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion).

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said that China was “strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to Biden’s comments and lodged a formal complaint, warning that China reserves the right to take all necessary measures to counter separatism.

The U.S. also poked the bear last summer when Nancy Pelosi, who was U.S. House Speaker at the time, visited Taiwan’s capital city Taipei. Beijing responded by launching military exercises around Taiwan, firing ballistic missiles over the island, conducting air and naval operations on the edge of Taiwan’s territorial waters, and engaging in cyber attacks on Taiwanese interests.

More recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s military-focused words have signalled that he is preparing his country for conflict – Xi Jinping Says He Is Preparing China for War

As for Canada’s position, given recent reports documenting election support from China of Liberal candidates, it’s hard to even tell which side the federal government would support.

Regardless, it’s a good time to take a refresher course on Taiwan and China China and Taiwan: A really simple guide– and brace yourself for conflict that could make the Ukraine war look like a Sunday afternoon tea party.

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.
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