US governor visits Taiwan on semiconductor-focused trip


Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and chip representatives during the trip.

The governor of the US state of Arizona has embarked on a trip to Taiwan aimed at securing critical chips that are at the center of the heated technological rivalry between the United States and China.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, as well as business leaders and university representatives from the semiconductor industry during his three-day visit to the self-governing island.

Ducey, who arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, is the last US politician to visit the self-ruled island, following recent trips by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and several US Senators.

The visits have sparked an angry response from Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a province that should be forcibly “reunited” with mainland China if necessary.

While visiting Taiwan, Ducey seeks to attract suppliers for a new $12 billion semiconductor plant being built in Arizona by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC), the world’s largest supplier of the critical chips used in virtually all electronic devices. .

The governor then travels to South Korea, where he is expected to meet South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and business leaders later this week.

“Arizona has excellent relations with Taiwan and the Republic of Korea,” said Ducey before embarking on the trip.

“The goal of this trade mission is to take these relationships to the next level – to strengthen, expand and ensure they remain mutually beneficial.”

Taiwan produces more than half of the global supply of high-end processor chips, and Washington is concerned that the US is too dependent on the island and other Asian suppliers.

Concerns over the global semiconductor supply have been heightened by shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s aggressive moves towards Taiwan. Beijing conducted unprecedented military exercises near the island in response to Pelosi’s visit, disrupting shipping and air traffic and highlighting the potential vulnerability of the global semiconductor supply chain.

In July, Congress passed legislation pledging $52 billion in grants and other aid to develop the domestic semiconductor industry and a 25 percent tax credit for investors in US-based chip factories.

Washington has also stepped up its support for Taiwan, although it does not recognize the island as an independent country.

US President Joe Biden plans to ask Congress to approve the sale of $1.1 billion worth of weapons to the island, including 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, media outlet Politico reported Wednesday.

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