December 27, 2021

T-DAY: The Battle for Taiwan

Featuring Martijn Rasser

Source: Reuters

Journalists David Lague, Norihiko Shirouzu, Yimou Lee

On the front line of the superpower struggle between the United States and China, Taiwan has fashioned a defensive masterstroke. It has become indispensable to both sides.

In dominating the fabrication of the most advanced semiconductors, the giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd (TSMC) has captured a technology that’s crucial to the cutting-edge digital devices and weapons of today and tomorrow. TSMC accounts for more than 90% of global output of these chips, according to industry estimates.

Both superpowers now find themselves deeply dependent on the small island at the center of their increasingly tense rivalry.

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As China ratchets up its military intimidation of Taiwan, Washington is signaling anxiety over U.S. chip dependency.

“The big concern in Washington is the possibility of Beijing gaining control of Taiwan's semiconductor capacity,” said Martijn Rasser, a former senior intelligence officer and analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. “It would be a devastating blow for the American economy and the ability of the U.S. military to field its (weapon) platforms,” said Rasser, now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Read the full story and more from Reuters.

Authors

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Rasser served as a senior intelligence officer a...