TSMC contingency plans against Chinese invasion of Taiwan

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The prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is a nightmare scenario that keeps western intelligence agencies awake at night, and there are growing concerns that this could happen in 2027.

With the US legally obliged to defend Taiwan, the potential consequences could be catastrophic, placing two of the world’s biggest superpowers at war. But among the less extreme scenarios that have been modelled, one of them is what happens if China gets its hands on TSMC’s chipmaking capabilities …

Growing fear of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan

As if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weren’t enough of a problem for world leaders, an additional concern was that the action might embolden China’s ambition to invade Taiwan.

Putin just demonstrated that the West cannot take any kind of military action to defend the Ukraine; the threat of all-out nuclear war is just too terrifying. All our military forces can do is sit back and watch, and hope the economic sanctions and weapons support will ultimately prove effective. 

The same would be true of Taiwan. Yes, the US is theoretically committed to help Taiwan defend itself against invasion, but there is what some have called “strategic ambiguity” in the wording of the act. Since exactly the same risk of escalation to nuclear war would exist with China as it does with Russia, the prospect of the US doing very little in practice had always seemed likely.

And right now, China has pretty solid evidence from the Ukraine invasion that Western military intervention would be unlikely were it to do the same in Taiwan.

US and UK security services later gave an “unprecedented warning” that this was a real possibility. Those fears were heightened when China actually rehearsed a military blockade of the island – the likely first step toward an invasion – and again when China announced plans to reach new military heights by 2027, the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army,

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said Beijing may want to be ready for an invasion of Taiwan by that year.

Plans to remotely kill TSMC chipmaking machines

While China getting access to TSMC’s advanced chipmaking capabilities might seem rather minor compared to the threat of WW3, Bloomberg reports that there are defense concerns.

[TSMC plants can] print the smallest microchip transistors in existence — creating chips that have artificial-intelligence uses as well as more sensitive military applications.

For this reason, TMSC and its Dutch chip machine supplier ASML have made joint plans to remotely disable the machines in the event of an invasion.

ASML reassured officials about its ability to remotely disable the machines when the Dutch government met with the company on the threat, two others said. The Netherlands has run simulations on a possible invasion in order to better assess the risks, they added […]

TSMC Chairman Mark Liu [previously] hinted in a September interview with CNN that any invader of Taiwan would find his company’s chipmaking machines out of order.

“Nobody can control TSMC by force,” Liu said. “If there is a military invasion you will render TSMC factory non-operable.”

With 100% of Apple’s A-series and M-series chips made by TSMC, the contingency plans underline the importance of building US plants with more advanced capabilities.

Photo: People’s Liberation Army soldier by Mil.ru/CC4.0

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TSMC contingency plans against Chinese invasion of Taiwan


The prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is a nightmare scenario that keeps western intelligence agencies awake at night, and there are growing concerns that this could happen in 2027.

With the US legally obliged to defend Taiwan, the potential consequences could be catastrophic, placing two of the world’s biggest superpowers at war. But among the less extreme scenarios that have been modelled, one of them is what happens if China gets its hands on TSMC’s chipmaking capabilities …

Growing fear of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan

As if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weren’t enough of a problem for world leaders, an additional concern was that the action might embolden China’s ambition to invade Taiwan.

Putin just demonstrated that the West cannot take any kind of military action to defend the Ukraine; the threat of all-out nuclear war is just too terrifying. All our military forces can do is sit back and watch, and hope the economic sanctions and weapons support will ultimately prove effective. 

The same would be true of Taiwan. Yes, the US is theoretically committed to help Taiwan defend itself against invasion, but there is what some have called “strategic ambiguity” in the wording of the act. Since exactly the same risk of escalation to nuclear war would exist with China as it does with Russia, the prospect of the US doing very little in practice had always seemed likely.

And right now, China has pretty solid evidence from the Ukraine invasion that Western military intervention would be unlikely were it to do the same in Taiwan.

US and UK security services later gave an “unprecedented warning” that this was a real possibility. Those fears were heightened when China actually rehearsed a military blockade of the island – the likely first step toward an invasion – and again when China announced plans to reach new military heights by 2027, the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army,

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said Beijing may want to be ready for an invasion of Taiwan by that year.

Plans to remotely kill TSMC chipmaking machines

While China getting access to TSMC’s advanced chipmaking capabilities might seem rather minor compared to the threat of WW3, Bloomberg reports that there are defense concerns.

[TSMC plants can] print the smallest microchip transistors in existence — creating chips that have artificial-intelligence uses as well as more sensitive military applications.

For this reason, TMSC and its Dutch chip machine supplier ASML have made joint plans to remotely disable the machines in the event of an invasion.

ASML reassured officials about its ability to remotely disable the machines when the Dutch government met with the company on the threat, two others said. The Netherlands has run simulations on a possible invasion in order to better assess the risks, they added […]

TSMC Chairman Mark Liu [previously] hinted in a September interview with CNN that any invader of Taiwan would find his company’s chipmaking machines out of order.

“Nobody can control TSMC by force,” Liu said. “If there is a military invasion you will render TSMC factory non-operable.”

With 100% of Apple’s A-series and M-series chips made by TSMC, the contingency plans underline the importance of building US plants with more advanced capabilities.

Photo: People’s Liberation Army soldier by Mil.ru/CC4.0

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.



Source link

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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