TAIPEI: Taiwan wants to ensure its partners have reliable supplies of semiconductors, or “democracy chips”, President Tsai Ing-wen told the governor of the US state of Indiana on Monday (Aug 22), saying China’s threats mean fellow democracies have to cooperate.
Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, is making the third trip to Taiwan this month by a US delegation after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited briefly, infuriating China, which views Taiwan as its own territory.
A week after Pelosi’s visit, five US lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, visited Taiwan.
China staged extensive military exercises near Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit. Taiwan rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s people can decide their future.
“Taiwan has been confronted by military threats from China, in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Tsai told Holcomb during a meeting at her office in Taipei.
“At this moment, democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas,” she added, in remarks carried live on her social media pages.
China has yet to comment on Holcomb’s visit.
Holcomb is due to meet representatives of Taiwan’s semiconductor companies on his visit amid an expansion of links between his state and the island, which is home to the world’s largest contact chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC).
“Economic security is an important pillar of national and regional security,” Tsai said. “Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen cooperation with democratic partners in building sustainable supply chains for democracy chips.”
Holcomb talked of the efforts his state was making in supporting the tech industry, pointing to a June announcement by Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc, the world’s fourth largest chip designer by revenue, of a new design centre in Indiana in partnership with Purdue University.
“We look so forward to working with them in designing the future,” he said.