Taiwan may aid Eastern Europe with chips, seeks recognition
Taiwan is home to foundries TSMC and UMC, several other semiconductor manufacturers as well as fabless chip companies and Kung Ming-hsin, who heads Taiwan’s National Development Council, has just completed a tour of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
However, it is not clear what level of help the minister is suggesting and European Union appeals for TSMC to bring a leading-edge wafer fab to Europe do not appear to be progressing as well as similar discussions between Japan and TSMC (see Sony to invest $500 million in TSMC wafer fab deal). TSMC is also building a $12 billion wafer fab in Arizona (see TSMC plans six wafer fabs in Arizona).
Taiwan will set up working groups with the three countries to work out how to cooperate on chips, while Taiwan will also offer scholarships to the island for technical training, he added.
“The whole semiconductor supply chain is enormous. Many countries can play different roles,” Reuters reported Kung as saying. Taiwan may be expressing gratitude to the three countries for donations of Covid-19 vaccines and to Lithuania and the Czech Republic for increased recognition of Taiwan’s independence as it faces pressure from mainland China.
Neither the European Union nor its member states officially recognize Taiwan as an independent country which could be invaded by the People’s Liberation Army. China considers Taiwan a rogue territory where it could take back control at any time.
Lithuania recently allowed the opening of a ‘Taiwanese’ representative office in Vilnius, a de facto embassy. It was previously called the Taipei office.
Related links and articles:
Sony to invest $500 million in TSMC wafer fab deal
TSMC plans six wafer fabs in Arizona
Europe down to 7.2% of global chip production