Any Chinese military strike on Taiwan would have a greater impact on global trade flows than the war in Ukraine, Taipei’s top negotiator told Reuters on Tuesday, saying it would lead to a shortage of semiconductor chips.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has led to commodity price hikes and food export bans, sparking famine fears in poorer countries. John Deng said that if China were to attack Taiwan, the potential disruptions could be worse, citing the world’s reliance on Taiwan for chips used in electric vehicles and mobile phones.
“The disruption of international supply chains; disruption of the international economic order; and the opportunity to grow would be much, much (more) significant than this,” he told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a major World Trade Organization ministerial meeting. . meeting in Geneva.
“There would be a shortage of supply worldwide.”
The Taipei government has reported no signs of an imminent attack from China, but Taiwan has raised its alert level since the start of the war in Ukraine, wary of Beijing’s intentions.
The Chinese government says it wants “peaceful reunification” but retains “other options” for Taiwan, which it considers a Chinese province, a view that the democratically elected government in Taipei strongly disputes.
Taiwan dominates the global market for manufacturing the most advanced chips, with exports worth $118 billion last year, the data shows.
Deng said he hoped to reduce the 40% share of his exports to China.
The Russian invasion marks the first time in the history of the 27-year-old global trade watchdog that one WTO member has invaded another. The body hopes to reach a package of agreements, including on food security to ease strained supplies, but tensions sparked by the war could make that more difficult, trade sources say.
Taiwan, which has joined Western sanctions against Russia, took part in a standing ovation for Ukraine’s WTO delegate on Sunday.
The WTO is one of the few multilateral organizations where China and Taiwan have worked side by side since Beijing blocked its participation in other organizations.
Taiwan’s Deng said the island, dubbed “Chinese Taipei” in the WTO, has been encouraged by this week’s WTO negotiations so far. It is also trying to settle a three-year-old dispute it brought against India over technology tariffs before a formal WTO ruling.
“We’re working with them,” Deng said.
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