Past Virtual Event: Are semiconductors a reason to defend Taiwan?

Taiwan’s dominance in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and rising U.S.-China tensions have produced alarm that an invasion or blockade of the island could cause a major disruption in the global semiconductor supply chain that the U.S. relies on to power its economy and military.

This fear of either a hostile takeover of Taiwan’s chip-manufacturing capacity or a critical interruption of chip supplies as a secondary consequence of hostilities has led some to argue that semiconductors offer an additional reason for the U.S. to defend Taiwan.

Are semiconductors actually a reason to defend Taiwan? How likely are these “nightmare scenarios” of hostile takeover or disruption? Would China actually be able to seize Taiwan’s chip-manufacturing capacity and leapfrog the U.S. technologically? Would further efforts by the U.S. to deter China over semiconductors present Beijing with a closing window, encouraging it to use force before its prospects worsen? Should the U.S. instead prioritize the status quo until it can onshore or “allyshore” semiconductor manufacturing?

Event Speakers



Defense Priorities


Director of Asia Engagement

Defense Priorities


Senior Fellow

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Commerce Department Fellow

Georgetown University, Center for Security and Emerging Technology