TSMC, Key Player in Taiwan's Elections Amidst Geopolitical Tensions
As Taiwan gears up for its presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13, the prominent chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) finds itself entangled in the political discourse.
Amidst heightened military tensions with China, a major point of contention among vice presidential candidates revolves around TSMC's overseas investments.
The opposition candidate alleges that increasing tensions with China have rendered Taiwan unsafe for investments, claiming, "If Taiwan does not have a peaceful environment, nobody will dare invest.
Our TSMC wants to run off overseas. Taiwan plus one - one factory in Taiwan, one overseas, hollowing out our Taiwan," during a televised debate.
However, TSMC, known as the world's largest contract chipmaker, is already in the process of building factories in Japan, the U.S. state of Arizona, and planning another in Germany.
Both TSMC and the Taiwanese government have consistently emphasized that the majority of manufacturing, especially of the most advanced chips, will remain on the island.
Responding to these claims, the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim, formerly Taiwan's high-profile ambassador to the U.S., highlighted that foreign investment has reached record highs under the DPP administration.
She emphasized that TSMC, being the pride of Taiwan, should not be politicized, stating, "It is our sacred mountain protecting the country.
We hope all Taiwanese businesses will have everyone's blessing in the process of the global layout."
While geopolitical concerns take center stage, the campaign trail also addresses critical sector-related issues such as the stability of the power grid and water shortages, with TSMC often being cited as the island's most crucial company.