What will a war between China and Taiwan do to technology?

Τι θα σήμαινε αλήθεια για το τεχνολογικό κόσμο αν γινόταν ένας πόλεμος μεταξύ Ταϊβάν και Κίνας, έστω και λίγων ημερών; Ας φανταστούμε ένα τέτοιο σενάριο και τις επιπτώσεις του.

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The expected visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has raised tensions between China and Taiwan. China's military rhetoric is on the rise and skirmishes have begun as China claims it as part of its territory.

Chinese fighter jets flew across the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday ahead of Pelosi's visit, and Taiwan's government said cyberattacked. China has repeatedly warned that Pelosi's visit could have "disastrous consequences".

Finally, Pelosi made a quick stopover visit to Taiwan and became the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years. The result is China NOTAMing nearby sea areas for military exercises, violating Taiwan's airspace, and we still haven't seen anything, as Beijing never makes decisions in the heat of the moment.

We certainly expect things to get worse, although it is still unknown whether China will invade Taiwan or stick to threats. What is certain is that the importance of Taiwan in the technological world is undeniable.

Η χώρα κατασκευάζει περισσότερο από το 90% των πιο προηγμένων ημιαγωγών στον κόσμο, με εξαγωγές 118 δισεκατομμυρίων δολαρίων πέρυσι. Και είναι η έδρα της εταιρείας Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), το πιο προηγμένο εργοστάσιο τσιπ στον κόσμο, του οποίου οι πελάτες τους είναι επώνυμα ονόματα όπως AMD, Apple, Nvidia, ARM και άλλοι.

Without these chips, the frustrating lags we experienced on years of the pandemic trying to buy a new car or laptop or find a new video card or PlayStation will seem like a piece of cake. And technological developments in many areas could come to a virtual halt.

Such a conflict would have a huge impact on the other warring side as well. China is known to be the world's global industry in electronic components and devices. The conflict between China and Taiwan will turn into a conflict between China and America, and with Russia playing its role. This will have the effect of stopping China's exports to the Western world.

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Even if the guns only sound for a few days the economic blockades will continue for a very long time. Something similar to the Russia-Ukraine war that dramatically affected natural gas and wheat. Now we're going to see the tech world split into two camps and be dramatically affected, not that we didn't get a taste with Huawei under the Trump presidency.

In one recent CNN interview, TSMC chairman Mark Liu said an invasion would seriously disrupt the economies of not only Taiwan and China, but also most Western countries.

"War does not produce winners. All losers,” he said. “If hacked, the TSMC factory will be rendered inactive. Because it's such a sophisticated production facility, it depends on real-time connectivity to the outside world, to Europe, to Japan, to the US, and continuous supply from materials and chemicals to spare parts to software."

Taiwanese officials say an attack on their country by China would have a greater global impact than Russia's on Ukraine, hitting industries such as automobiles and personal electronics. There will be a global supply shortage of all kinds.

If there was a conflict, even international transport would be affected as the nearby sea lanes (which are among the busiest in the world) would no longer be safe. In the first seven months of the year, a little less from half of the 5.400 transport ships of containers in the world used the Taiwan Strait, transporting not only semiconductors and mobile phones, but also clothes and appliances. About 88% of the largest container ships use the waterway. And these materials are also from China.

And while TSMC's chairman says a hack would render his factory inoperable, if China somehow took the facility and restarted it, it would give China a huge global technological advantage and present a nightmare scenario for homeland security of other countries.

These developments were almost certainly a factor in the passage of the law CHIPS and Science by the US House of Representatives last week. The bill, which President Biden signed into law Tuesday afternoon, would create billions of dollars in incentives for chipmakers to build factories in the US.

Στα δικά μας τώρα, η Ελλάδα είναι για την Κίνα η πύλη της στην Ευρώπη. Επιχειρηματικά δραστηριοποιείται στο λιμάνι του Πειραιά με την COSCO (ΣΕΠ Α.Ε.) και διακινεί εμπορευματοκιβώτια (containers) από και σε όλη την Ευρώπη. Μία σύγκρουση Κίνας – Ταϊβάν και κατ’επέκταση ΗΠΑ – Κίνας θα έκανε την Ελλάδα μπαλάκι και θα έπρεπε και πάλι να διαλέξει στρατόπεδο.

In other words, besides being technologically impoverished, we will also suffer the loss of income from the handling of 5.000.000 containers a year. All traffic would be moved to Valencia, Spain, as imports from China would be zeroed out.

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Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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