Chen Wenling, chief economist at the state-run China Center for International Economic Exchanges, has said openly and without hesitation that if the United States and its Western partners tighten their sanctions against the country, the country should respond with an intervention to gain full control of Taiwan, and also to seize TSMC.
Wenling’s words may surprise us, but in reality this economist has only limited himself to saying directly and publicly something that China has valued for many years, and that has given rise to important controversial tensions between the Chinese government and the Taiwanese government on more than one occasion. It is understandable since, in the end, the first is a dictatorship and the second a democracy, and because both hold opposing positions.
In short, China continues to consider Taiwan to be just another part of its territory, with all that this entails for the purposes of sovereignty, while Taiwan has been saying the opposite, and is positioning itself as an independent state. It is not the first time that a real threat has been seen by China to launch an attack on Taiwan, but if this were to happen, the United States has already confirmed that it would not sit idly by, and this could lead us to a new world war.
The consequences of such a possible military invasion of Taiwan could be unpredictable, but what if there were only a Chinese seizure of TSMC? Since this company manufactures about 54% of all semiconductors that are used worldwide, it is clear that Western countries will not wait to see them coming.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has already said last year that Taiwan is not a stable zonea warning that ultimately indicates that we have an excessive dependence on that country in the manufacture of semiconductors, and that a possible war on the island could have a huge impact on the technology industry, since it would reduce the capacity of global chip supply by more than 50%, as we have seen.
It is impossible to predict what will happen in the short and medium term, but China has been quite peaceful so far and has preferred to continue betting on diplomatic channels before taking measures that, in the end, could lead to very damaging situations for its economy, or that could even compromise the continuity of the communist party as the undisputed ruler of the country.