Taiwan has quietly urged the U.S. to tone down the rhetoric about the dangers of relying on chips made by the island’s biggest semiconductor giant amid fears that Xi Jinping may invade Taipei.
What Happened: Washington is concerned about the possibility of China attacking Taiwan and is seeking ways to decrease its reliance on chips produced by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co TSM.
Taiwan officials feel that the Biden administration’s actions are excessive, anonymous sources familiar with the Taiwanese government’s stance told Bloomberg.
According to the report, in quiet conversations and back-channel warnings, Taiwan has asked its American counterparts to tone down their rhetoric regarding the reliance on Taiwanese-manufactured chips.
The government is particularly unhappy with the U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has called America’s dependence on Taiwanese chips “untenable” and “unsafe.”
The top Republican lawmaker, Michael McCaul‘s comments, also caused unease among officials in Taiwan. During a recent visit to Taipei, he said the island’s semiconductor industry is a strategic asset that is “very vulnerable to invasion.”
“The window’s closing,” McCaul said about a U.S. push to move the chips supply chain out of Taiwan.
“We don’t have a whole lot of time.”
Why It Matters: Chinese government has been ramping up military and political pressure to try and get Taipei to accept Beijing’s sovereignty, including staging war games near the island and warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone.