Tag Archives: Taiwan

Big Chip in US-China Crisis, by Maria Ryan

The “prize” in Taiwan is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips: Taiwan Semiconductor. From Maria Ryan at consortium.news.com:

For the U.S., it is unthinkable that semiconductor behemoth TSMC could one day be in territory controlled by Beijing, writes Maria Ryan.

An employee at Intel Corporation’s wafer fabrication facility in Chandler, Arizona, moves through its cleanroom in her industrial “bunny suit,” 2018. (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

One aspect of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan that has been largely overlooked is her meeting with Mark Lui, chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC). Pelosi’s trip coincided with U.S. efforts to convince TSMC – the world’s largest chip manufacturer, on which the U.S. is heavily dependent – to establish a manufacturing base in the US and to stop making advanced chips for Chinese companies.

U.S. support for Taiwan has historically been based on Washington’s opposition to communist rule in Beijing, and Taiwan’s resistance to absorption by China. But in recent years, Taiwan’s autonomy has become a vital geopolitical interest for the U.S, because of the island’s dominance of the semiconductor manufacturing market.

Semiconductors – also known as computer chips or just chips – are integral to all the networked devices that have become embedded into our lives. They also have advanced military applications.

Transformational, super-fast 5G internet is enabling a world of connected devices of every kind (the “Internet of Things”) and a new generation of networked weapons. With this in mind, U.S .officials began to realise during the Trump administration that U.S. semiconductor design companies, such as Intel, were heavily dependent on Asian-based supply chains to manufacture their products.

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The Pledge, by William Gudal

A different take on Taiwan from SLL contributor William Gudal.

Every Magic Act Consists of Three Parts

Is there even the tiniest of doubts that Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was approved if not mandated by the CIA, NSA, FBI, Pentagon, Bill Gates, George Soros, Michelle Obama, Susan Rice or whoever else is running US foreign policy? The question is why. What was the purpose of the mission? We are clearly in a world where nothing is what is seems on the surface. This is the Pledge, there are two acts to go.

Ms. Pelosi’s venture into the Taiwanese theatre triggers a number of talking points. First of all, does anyone really care what happens to Taiwan, and if you do, how much do you care? In circumstances like this, I apply the double leg test. You are on a landing craft just off the coast of Taiwan. You have a choice: you are told you have a significant chance of losing both your legs due to combat or you can turn around and leave the theatre. I thought so.

Another little nagging question is this: “we” are saving Taiwan from what? Almost every business in America has all of its products manufactured in China. Business is excellent, really excellent. China is the top sender of international students to American universities, with 317,000 last year. Chinese scientists work in industry throughout America. Eighty percent of the ingredients contained in American pharmaceutical drugs come from China. American consumers can’t get enough Chinese goods, e.g. all of the dumbbells and barbells in your fitness center are manufactured in China. Thank the Chinese for keeping you healthy. Fauci and his cohorts are happy to conduct their virological experiments in China. And don’t forget America’s newest kicks, fentanyl, virtually all of which originates in China. Annual NBA revenues derived from China reportedly range between $5 and 10 billion. America’s number one love boat product, Apple, is mostly Chinese. This is a short list.

In short, since the United States and China are now totally entwined in a double helix, what is the problem with integrating Taiwan as a partner if through the US it isn’t already integrated into this happy family? Why keep Taiwan from getting in on this gravy train? Given all this, please explain the point of intentionally or accidentally reducing your grandchildren to nuclear shadows on the sidewalk, all over a distinction without a difference. This is the Turn; please provide the Prestige. Exeunt.

DiaperedLosi, by Eric Peters

It seems only appropriate that Nancy Pelosi wore the symbol of mindless fear—a facemask—on her “bold” trip to Taiwan. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The sight of Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan – fully Face Diapered, along with her entourage of Sickness Kabuki Players – is almost as risible as the nasal sound of Anthony Fauci’s voice whining about how awful it is that Americans won’t “adhere” to his counsel regarding “public health measures.”

Is there any better barometer of the Failed State of these United States?

Either the “leadership” cadre is almost unimaginably stupid – and bullheaded, which is a peripheral characteristic of the very stupid – or they are almost unimaginably evil, as this column has suggested previously.

At this point, the only people who wear “masks” by choice are very stupid people, possibly rendered so by a near-three-year pounding of stupidity, via such as Anthony Fauci – a medical doctor who continues to urge people to wear them, despite the fact that he has got to know better.

Unless, of course, he is almost unimaginably stupid – or too stupidly stubborn to admit he was wrong and should have known better.

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The US Military Was Just Used To Help A Dementia Patient Try To Start WW3, by Caitlin Johnstone

Is there a mind left in the democratic party? Among its gerontocrats, is there anyone not severely afflicted with dementia? From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after a brief but diplomatically corrosive visit, the aftereffects from which may be felt for years to come.

Toward the end of her speech alongside Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi’s brain underwent one of its increasingly common software glitches, causing her to begin babbling inarticulately.

Here is a transcript of what Nancy Pelosi’s brain said:

“In our earliest days at our founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin, our presidency, said, freedom and democracy. Freedom and democracy, one thing, security here. If we don’t have- we can’t have either, if we don’t have both.”

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Is Taiwan’s Independence Worth War? by Patrick J. Buchanan

The question in the title assumes that Taiwin’s independence would be preserved if we went to war to secure it. That’s a dangerous assumption. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Why would we risk our own peace and security for Taiwan’s freedom and independence, when we would not risk our own peace and security for the freedom or independence of Hong Kong?

When a man knows he is about to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully, said Dr. Samuel Johnson.

If there is any benefit to be realized from the collision between China and the U.S. over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed trip to Taiwan, it is this: America needs to reflect long and hard upon what it is we will fight China to defend in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

China, after all, is a nuclear-weapons nation with a manufacturing base larger than our own, an economy equal to our own, a population four times ours and fleets of warships larger in number than the U.S. Navy.

An air-naval-and-missile war in the Western Pacific and East Asia would be no cakewalk.

A massive barrage of anti-ship and hypersonic missiles launched by China could cripple and conceivably sink the U.S. carrier Ronald Reagan now in the South China Sea. The Reagan carries a crew of thousands of sailors almost as numerous as the U.S. casualty lists from both Pearl Harbor and 9/11, the worst attacks in and on the U.S. outside of such Civil War battles as Gettysburg and Antietam.

What in East Asia or the Western Pacific would justify such losses?

What would justify such risks?

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Washington Is Making the Same Blunder Regarding Taiwan That It Did in Ukraine, by Ted Galen Carpenter

It must be remembered that in Washington, nothing succeeds like failure. Many prominent men and women in government do not have a single success to their names. From Ted Galen Carpenter at antiwar.com:

Tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are rising sharply over the Taiwan issue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stated intention to include a stop in Taipei to meet with Taiwanese officials during her forthcoming trip to East Asia is the latest source of trouble. Pelosi apparently escalated that provocation further by inviting other prominent members of Congress to join her in that stop. Her actions have caused even the staunchly pro-Taiwan Biden administration to quietly press her to change her plans. Conversely, congressional hawks are urging Pelosi not to back down.

The reason for the administration’s caution are readily apparent. Beijing has reacted with unusually intense anger to the prospective visit, with President Xi Jinping warning the United States not to “play with fire” on the Taiwan issue. Pelosi’s visit is the latest – and most serious – in a series of U.S. actions over the past several years that have infuriated PRC leaders. The Biden administration needs to exercise even greater wariness about Pelosi’s venture than it already has. Indeed, Washington needs to back away from its overall hardline policy toward the PRC.

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Provoking Beijing, by Moon of Alabama

The U.S is dancing on the edge of war with Russia and now Washington wants to do the same with Beijing. It’s a mark of the delusions gripping Washington that they think this can end well. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China:

The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration.Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall she put it off after coming down with Covid) all on her own. The Pentagon gave her a face-saving out by saying they didn’t recommend it.

China, which is routinely screechy when it is upset about what it perceives to be foreign transgressions, has managed to find new registers in its objections the proposed Pelosi visit.

Pelosi is not only number two in line but has been hostile to the Chinese government for more than 30 years. In 1991 she and two other members of Congress made a stunt on the Tiananmen square where two years before protests had taken place.

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China Is Issuing The Same “Red Line” Warnings About Taiwan That Russia Issued About Ukraine, by Caitlin Johnstone

Mostly what comes out of the Biden administration is hubristic fluff and bullshit. They can’t understand people like Putin and Xi who mean what they say. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to pour gasoline on the foreign policy dumpster fire that is her planned visit to Taiwan next month, now reportedly encouraging other members of congress to come along for the ride.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has invited a small group of lawmakers on her official trip to Taiwan, including the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” NBC News reports.

This trip, which Beijing perceives as an egregious transgression of Washington’s longstanding one-China policy, is already so incendiary that the Pentagon is now planning to send in fighter jets and other war machinery to protect Pelosi’s plane in case of attacks by the Chinese military.

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Biden “Misspeaks” In Vow To Respond Militarily If China Attacks Taiwan, White House Walks Back, by Tyler Durden

Another day, another Biden gaffe, another hasty effort to repair the damage. Nothing major, just the U.S.’s relations with China. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update(7:41am ET)Biden’s Taiwan statements are now being presented as yet another high stakes moment wherein the ageing president “misspeaks” – according to Bloomberg.

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While on a visit to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, President Joe Biden said that American troops would defend Taiwan if it came under attack from China.

“You didn’t want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?” a reporter asked Biden during a news conference. “Yes,” Biden replied.

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China Might “Be There Tomorrow” – Warns Chinese State Pundit In Dire Taiwan, Ukraine Comparison, by Tyler Durden

Has the Russian invasion of Ukraine given China any ideas about Taiwan? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update(11:28am): The influential former editor and current commentator for China’s state-run English daily Global Times issued a shocking comment hours into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Hu Xijin weighed in on Thursday’s PLA fighter jet breach of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone by saying “Get used to it. There may be more PLA aircraft fly[ing] there tomorrow.”

While the prominent state-linked English language pundit is known for trolling the West and denouncing Washington policy in Taiwan and the South China Sea broadly, he also typically echoes the thinking of top CCP officials in Beijing.

Did he just warn the West that China is about to move on Taiwan – at a “perfect storm” moment that all eyes are on the war in Ukraine? Did Putin just set the example for near-term Chinese military action? 

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Taiwan was quick to issue official statement vehemently condemning Russia’s early morning launch of war on Ukraine. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou denounced the attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty, at a tense moment that Beijing continues to eye Taiwan as its own territory

“Ukrainian cities like Kyiv has been attacked by gunfire, leading to fears of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine,” she said. “We call on all sides to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose the use of violence or coercion to change the status quo.”

At the same time China’s initial reaction noticeably failed to condemn the invasion, with the Chinese foreign ministry calling for all sides to “exercise restraint” – while ultimately castigating the United States for “fueling fire” in the build-up of tensions.

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