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Commentary By Jordan McGillis

Why Taiwan Needs to Secure Its Undersea Cables

Energy Technology

In the context of an intensifying Chinese pressure campaign, these fragile digital links are more important than ever before.

With each passing month, Taiwan’s global economic profile rises. The latest flurry of enthusiasm was set off by the return of the island’s long-departed native son, Nvidia founder Jensen Huang, who visited for the Computex tech confab in June.

More than just a photo-op, Huang’s trip provided a chance to meet face-to-face with Morris Chang, the founder of TSMC, the world’s semiconductor hegemon and a company with which Nvidia works symbiotically to produce the chips that are powering the AI revolution. Without TSMC, and without the Taiwanese economic ecosystem in which it thrives, Nvidia would be nowhere near the $3 trillion valuation threshold that it recently crossed. For Nvidia, Apple, and countless other global tech companies, Taiwan is an indispensable player.

In parallel to Taiwan’s economic rise, however, geopolitical risks have been mounting. Following the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te, China has escalated its pressure campaign to break Taiwan’s spirit. In late-May, it executed a 48-hour military exercise called “Joint Sword-2024A,” in which the People’s Liberation Army Navy encircled Taiwan, positioning warships just off the island’s east coast for the first time. According to official statements, the exercise was intended to “serve as a strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and a stern warning against the interference and provocation by external forces.”

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Diplomat


Jordan McGillis is City Journal’s Economics Editor.

Photo by An Rong Xu/Getty Images