The US is capable of “tamping down” China in the event of an invasion of Taiwan, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said on Friday.
The US remains committed to boosting Taiwan’s defensive capabilities, she told an online forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Asked about what the US would do should China attack Taiwan, Hicks said that Washington is watching the situation in the region carefully “day to day.”
“We have a significant amount of capability forward in the region to tamp down any such potential,” Hicks said. “We have good relations, of course, with Taiwan. We have commitments to Taiwan that are enduring since the 1970s.”
The US’ main focus is helping Taiwan increase its capabilities to defend itself in the event of a Chinese invasion, she said.
“The Taiwanese, their ability to defend themselves effectively, is a game-changer in terms of that deterrent calculus for China,” Hicks said.
The US is working closely with its allies and partners, including Taiwan, which has an advanced democratic system and a strong semiconductor manufacturing sector, she said.
“That’s an area we want to have a lot of focus on, as well as our own — and, as I said before, with allies and partners — our own credible demonstration of interests in, frankly, a democracy with an advanced ... semiconductor industry,” Hicks said.
“We have an interest in ensuring democracies can flourish,” she added.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said that the world’s largest contract chipmaker has significant geopolitical value.
TSMC has participated in several semiconductor summits at the White House during a prolonged semiconductor shortage affecting the global auto industry, he said.
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