TSMC Chairman Says Taiwan Should Not Be Discriminated Against Because Of China

Dr. Mark Liu TSMC
Dr. Mark Liu at a Memorial forum in Taiwan last year. Image: Guo Rixiao/Channel News Asia (CNA)

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The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's chairman Dr. Mark Liu pointed out in a recent interview that any conflict between Taiwan and China will create a losing scenario for all sides involved.  Dr. Liu was speaking to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, and during the conversation, he agreed with his host's assessment that even if China were to try to take TSMC's chip-making facilities by force, the true competitive advantage of the company is its global supply chain that is built on principles of trust and cooperation. He went on to add that TSMC should not be discriminated against just because of Taiwan's close proximity to China and that there should be fair play all around.

War Between Taiwan And China Is A Lose-Lose Situation For All Parties Shares TSMC's Chairman

TSMC's prominence in the global semiconductor industry has grown over the last couple of years as the bulk of chips that are fabricated on order are supplied by the company. Additionally, it is one of the few entities in the world that are capable of manufacturing semiconductors with advanced manufacturing processes, making its facilities highly valuable and crucial to industry development.

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All of this was the subject of the conversation between Zakria and Dr. Liu, with the pair touching on these topics during the talk. The host started off by praising TSMC's rise in the industry, and Dr. Liu replied by sharing the facts that Taiwan is one of the most peaceful societies in the world, its peaceful transformation into a democratic society and the growth in college attendees are some of the factors that have contributed to his company's success. This results in a large proportion of Taiwan's population striving for change, which then results in rapid development, explained the executive.

Dr. Mark Liu during his interview. Image: CNN

The conversation then moved forward with the host asking his guest to share his thoughts on what Taiwan's future will look like. In response, Dr. Liu stated that Taiwan is different from China and wishes to innovate "continuously".

He outlined that:

I hope that we don't get discriminated because we are close to China. No matter your relationship to China, Taiwan is Taiwan. You have to look at Taiwan by itself, a vibrant society. We want to unleash innovation for the world into the future continuously and not to be scared because we have some dispute with our neighbors. That is not worth it.

When asked if he would agree that despite an invasion, China will be unable to take over Taiwan's economy, since it is built on trust and cooperation, Dr. Liu agreed and replied:

Correct. Yes, I do believe so.  The war can only create problems on three sides. . . all the sides. We need to prepare the worst, but we should hope for the best.

He went on to add that a Taiwan war will be a lose-lose station for all parties involved and stated that:

At least not lose. Yes if you a war it will be that. If it is peaceful, it's on the competition. Strategies on all three sides. And I think that is, nobody in the business world want to see a war happen. And why do we jump again into another trap?

The risk of conflict in Taiwan has spurred Western governments and persuaded them to spend billions of dollars to develop domestic advanced chip manufacturing capabilities. At this front, the U.S. Congress passed a $52 billion funding bill last week, which is expected to aid both TSMC and chip giant Intel Corporation to expand their manufacturing footprint in America.

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