According to Bloomberg, a top Chinese economist suggests invading Taiwan to seize global chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) if the U.S. imposes Russia-like sanctions on China. 

Chen Wenling, a chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, made the suggestion last month at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University.

She said, “If the U.S. and the West impose destructive sanctions on China like sanctions against Russia, we must recover Taiwan. Especially in the reconstruction of the industrial chain and supply chain, we must seize TSMC.”

Chen added, “They are speeding up the transfer to the U.S. to build six factories there. We must not let all the goals of the transfer be achieved.”

Chen’s comment is the latest move from Beijing on the Taiwan semiconductor industry, reflecting the strategic position of Taiwan in the global chip market. 

TSMC is the world’s largest chipmaker, and the company makes over half of the semiconductors manufacturing capacity of the world. It’s making chips for big names in the industry such as Apple, AMD, Broadcom, and others. 

TSMC reportedly plans to build six chip fabs in the U.S. The company has announced just one has been built so far.

Earlier this year, a top U.S. Army War College paper suggested that Taiwan should destroy TSMC in the event of a Chinese invasion. The paper noted that “If done correctly, such a strategy could discourage a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.”

Beijing is trying every move to take on the island’s vital industry, including poaching chip talents. Last month, Taiwan raided 10 Chinese companies in multiple locations across the nation for allegedly poaching chip engineers and high-tech talents.

In recent years, achieving global semiconductor dominance has become a hot race between superpowers. 

The Chinese regime has pushed up its ambition to achieve global chip dominance as a part of its Made in China 2025 plan. 

To help the chip industry, in 2014, the communist regime set up a National Semiconductor Fund of 23 billion dollars. Another 30 billion dollar investment was announced in 2019. Local governments have spent at least 25 billion dollars more into their own funds. In 2020, the government also put out ten years of corporate-tax exemption for the most advanced chip makers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. plans to invest 52 billion dollars in semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and bolster U.S. competitiveness with China’s technology.

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