As China pushes the world to avoid official dealings with Taiwan, leaders across the globe are realizing just how dependent they have become on the island democracy.
Taiwan is being courted for its capacity to make leading-edge computer chips. That is mostly down to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest foundry and go-to producer of chips for Apple Inc smartphones, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.
Taiwan’s role in the world economy largely existed below the radar until it came to recent prominence as the auto industry suffered shortfalls in chips used for everything from parking sensors to reducing emissions. With carmakers including Germany’s Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co of the US and Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp forced to halt production and idle plants, Taiwan’s importance has suddenly become too big to ignore.
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
That is not to say Taiwan is the only player in the semiconductor supply chain. The US still holds dominant positions, notably in chip design and electronic software tools; ASML Holding NV of the Netherlands has a monopoly on the machines needed to fabricate the best chips; Japan is a key supplier of equipment, chemicals and wafers.
However, as the emphasis shifts to ever smaller, more powerful chips that require less energy, TSMC is increasingly in a field of its own. It has also helped Taiwan form a comprehensive ecosystem around it: ASE Technology Holding is the world’s top chip assembler, while MediaTek has become the largest smartphone chipset vendor.
A big worry is that TSMC’s chip factories could become collateral damage if China were to make good on threats to invade Taiwan if it moves toward independence.
“Taiwan is the center of gravity of Chinese security policy,” said Mathieu Duchatel, director of the Asia program at the Institut Montaigne in Paris. Preserving the world’s most advanced fabs “is in the interests of everyone.”
Bananas are one of the most commonly seen and eaten fruits. Eating bananas brings many benefits, such as replenishing energy and lowering blood pressure, and can even improve your mood. There is a rumor going around online that you should not eat bananas every day because they are a high-potassium food that can damage your kidneys if you eat too many, but the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) says only people with impaired kidney function have a metabolic deficiency that compels them to avoid eating bananas every day. Bananas are classified as a medium-potassium food, containing about 325 milligrams of potassium per
Armed with buckets and bailers, hoes and sickles, 100 elderly residents of Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township Old Bridge Landscape Volunteer Association set off from Ox Pen Riverside Park to carry out a clean-up operation upstream and downstream of Dongan Old Bridge. The volunteers first set about removing weeds and cleaning up litter, and then began planting trees, flowers and plants. To date, the group has planted more than 3,000 specimens. The volunteers did not put their feet up during the Lunar New Year holiday period and took turns to patrol the area and water and tend to the plants and
A: Don’t forget, the class selection period begins tomorrow. B: Wow, thanks for reminding me. I had completely forgotten! A: Are you brain dead after the Lunar New Year? B: You bet. My head is full of nothing but good food and computer games. A: We have a whole week for the class selection, but the popular classes will fill up very quickly, so we should get a shift on. A: 加退選的時間從明天開始喔，不要忘記了！ B: 哇，謝謝你提醒。我都忘得一乾二淨了！ A: 過個年腦袋都空掉了，是吧？ B: 對呀，我現在滿腦子只有美食和電玩。 A: 雖然加退選的時間有一個禮拜，可是熱門的課名額很快就滿了，我們手腳還是要快一點。 （Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱） English 英文: Chinese 中文: