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Mark Liu, chairman of foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., has said that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would render the foundry “not operable.”

TSMC is a leading chip manufacturer in terms of technology and holds more than 50 percent of the foundry market. It is a vital supplier to electronics companies such as Apple and Sony.

Liu was speaking during an interview with CNN ahead of a planned visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry of the People’s Republic of China had said that if Pelosi made such a visit the Chinese military would not sit by idly.

Liu was re-visiting an idea raised at the beginning of the year and put forward by US military academics as the “broken nest” strategy (see Destroy TSMC if China invades, to make Taiwan ‘unwantable’, says US military paper).

Not operable

Speaking to CNN Liu said: “Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force or invasion you will render a TSMC factory not operable.” He said: “Because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility it depends on the real-time connection with the outside world, with Europe, with Japan, with the US; from materials to chemicals to spare parts, engineering software, diagnosis. And it’s everybodies’ effort to make the factory operable. So if you take it over by force you can no longer make it operable.”

Liu said that China represents only 10 percent of TSMC’s business and that it only works with consumer applications and not with military. “If China’s consumer business needs us that is not a bad thing.”

Liu explained that an interruption of TSMC’s business would cause economic turmoil on both sides. “In China most advanced component supply would disappear. It is an interruption I must say. People will think twice on this.”

Finally Liu said all sides should draw lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said this is not because there were close parallels with the status of Taiwan but because the war had demonstrated how the conflict had been detrimental to all sides in the conflict and to the wider world.

Related links and articles:

Beware an embargo on AI chips to China, says report

US seeks to expand ban on ASML’s China sales

China must seize TSMC if the US tightens sanctions, says economist

Destroy TSMC if China invades, to make Taiwan ‘unwantable’, says US military paper


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