OSW Studies

The silicon shield

Taiwan amid the superpowers’ rivalry

Taiwan’s strategic and economic importance, as well as political tensions in the East and Southeast Asian region, have made the island and the Taiwan Strait one of the world’s major hotspots. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the status quo due to socio-political changes in Taiwan itself, the growing military power and political ambitions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the resulting intensification of the rivalry between it and the United States of America as well as other countries such as Japan and Australia. As a result, the Taiwan issue has emerged as a gauge of China’s intentions and capabilities, but the island itself has also become the limit of its expansion, beyond which conflict between Beijing on the one hand and Washington and its allies on the other appears inevitable.

Taiwan’s pivotal location, economic role and key importance in the sector of new technologies, especially semiconductors, mean that maintaining its independence from the PRC is of vital interest to the US and its allies, including those in Europe. Consequently, a possible conflict between Taiwan and the PRC will have an international dimension and involve the US and its allies. The outcome of this face-off could determine the winner of the Chinese-US rivalry.