Thanks as always to The Daley Gator, The Mad Irishman, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!
On a rather less than optimistic note, over at johnkassnews.com, writer Greg Ganske has some thoughts about a possible overt conflict with China. Excerpt:
What if China declares a naval and air “quarantine” on Taiwan, not just of weapons but of trade? This past week, Communist China did a dry run of exactly that. They used a diplomatic visit to an independent Taiwan by Speaker Pelosi as a pretext to surrounding the island with its navy, repeatedly violated its air space, and sent 11 live-fire missiles over the island into the Sea of Japan. These military exercises continue.
Why should this send shivers down our spines? What would be the U.S. response? This wouldn’t exactly be an invasion but sure could lead to war. Once war starts there is no telling where it ends. Not too long ago President Biden said the United States would help defend Taiwan should China invade it, though his administration subsequently said the ambiguous “one China” policy was still in place.
Here’s what I see as the major economic concern over this:
Taiwan is Beijing’s 5th largest trading partner and the 10th largest partner of the U.S. at $85 billion. Its importance far exceeds the size of its trade. Taiwan dominates 60 per cent of the world’s foundry market of semiconductor chips. Last year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) alone accounted for 54% of the world’s total foundry revenue. It counts Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as its customers.
Semiconductors are critical components that power electronics from computers to smartphones to brake sensors in cars. TSMC is even more important because it makes some of the world’s most advanced chips essential to our military like those in our Air Force F-35 fighter jets. Chips are critical to manufacturing of nearly everything. Why are people waiting so long for their new cars? The global shortage of chips has forced many automakers to stop production. Taiwan’s high-tech products simply keeps our global economy moving. Imagine the CCP controlling it, think about the disruption to the supply chain with a war in the South China Sea!
Two things make me skeptical of China making such an attempt, though:
- They need us as a market more than they would gain by having us as an enemy. China’s economy is largely dependent on selling cheap consumer goods to the US and, to a lesser extent, Canada, Europe and the other Western nations. Without those markets, their own economy would be in trouble – and if the United States’ economy crashed as a result of actions like the invasion of Taiwan and the resulting disruption of micro-processor production, the world’s economy would go with it. The Chinese have to know this.
- While China has been attempting to dial their military in, in particular their Navy, they still aren’t really in a good position to project power. They don’t have a great deal of sealift capacity, and one would hope that our vaunted fast-attack submarines alone would be able to prevent crossings of the Taiwan Strait. Otherwise, what do we have them for? The Chinese have to know this.
Measure that, though, against the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration’s fecklessness and weakness. If China were to make an attempt on Taiwan, now would be the time to do it.
The Chinese have to know that, too.