Taiwan’s defense minister on Monday pushed back against the idea of the US bombing the island’s semiconductor factories in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) recently said the US should “make it very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we’re going to blow up TSMC,” referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which produces the majority of the world’s advanced semiconductors.
When asked about Moutlon’s comments, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the military wouldn’t let that happen. “It is the military’s obligation to defend Taiwan and we will not tolerate any others blowing up our facilities,” he said, according to The South China Morning Post.
The idea of bombing Taiwan’s chip factories to avoid them coming under Chinese control is gaining popularity in Washington. A paper published in 2021 by the US Army War College suggested the US and Taiwan should plan “scorched-earth” tactics that could render Taiwan “not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain.”
The paper said the tactic could be done “most effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the most important chipmaker in the world and China’s most important supplier.”
Robert O’Brien, who served as President Trump’s national security advisor, recently called for bombing Taiwan’s factories if China attacks. “The United States and its allies are never going to let those factories fall into Chinese hands,” O’Brien told Semafor in March.