August 12, 2022
TSMC chief warns global supplies will be devastated ahead of possible Nancy Pelosi visit

The head of Taiwan’s tech giant TSMC warned that invading the island would render his factory “unoperable” as tensions mount ahead of a possible visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On Monday, Pelosi embarked on an Asia tour shrouded in secrecy with much speculation but no confirmation on whether she will be staying in Taiwan.

Beijing, which considers self-ruled Taiwan its territory – to be one day seized by force if necessary – said it would treat Pelosi’s visit as a major provocation.

Beijing’s saber-rattling has increased in recent years, and the prospect of an invasion has intensified under Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In a rare interview with CNN that aired on Monday, TSMC President Mark Liu warned that “no one can control TSMC by force”.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is one of the world’s main suppliers of the most advanced microchips — used in everything from smartphones and cars to missiles — and its factories are running at full capacity to mitigate global shortages.

“If you take a military force or attack, you will not operate the TSMC factory,” he said.

“These are such sophisticated manufacturing facilities. It depends on real-time connections with the outside world, with Europe, with Japan, with America.”

With customers including Apple and Sony, the Taiwanese firm dominates more than half of the global semiconductor market.

“From the materials to the chemicals and spare parts, to the engineering software diagnostics, it’s everyone’s effort to operate this factory,” Liu said.

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