0409: Strategic Clarity, PLA’s Use of U.S. Chip Technology

U.S. Needs to Adopt “Strategic Clarity” to Deter Chinese Aggression against Taiwan

While countries worldwide are sending their condolences to Taiwan following a train crash on April 2, which killed 50 people and injured over 200, China continues to intensify its military pressure on Taiwan. [1]

On April 5, China confirmed that a Chinese aircraft carrier group was conducting “routine” drills in waters near Taiwan. Pentagon said that the United States is closely monitoring China’s naval exercises near Taiwan, reiterating the U.S. commitment to providing weapons to Taiwan to defend itself. [2]

Moreover, China sent 15 warplanes, including 12 fighter jets, to enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on April 7, in the fifth straight day of such incursions. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu responded that Taiwan would fight “to the very last day” if attacked by China. [3]

In a press briefing on April 7, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States noted with “great concern” the pattern of ongoing Chinese intimidation efforts in the region, including those towards Taiwan. He reiterated that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid” and said that the U.S. maintains the ability to resist any “resort to force” or “other forms of coercion” against Taiwan. [4]

As China continues to intensify military threats to Taiwan, FAPA urges Congress to pass the “Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act” to meet the need of “strategic clarity” on defending democratic Taiwan and to more effectively prevent any Chinese attempts to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

[1] Focus Taiwan 0402: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202104020017
[2] Focus Taiwan 0407: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202104070010
[3] Reuters 0407: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-defence-idUSKBN2BU0HJ
[4] Taipei Times 0409 : https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2021/04/09/2003755372

PLA Uses U.S. Chip Technology to Build Chinese Advanced Weapons

Chinese firms that manufacture chips for supercomputers have been hiding their connections to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to a report of Washington Post on April 7. Using American technology and Taiwanese manufacturing, Chinese firms like Phytium Technology have been cooperating with China’s military to develop cutting-edge technology for militarized use.  

“Phytium acts like an independent commercial company,” Eric Lee, a research associate at Project 2049 Institute and a member of FAPA’s Board of Director, told Washington Post. “Its executives wear civilian clothes, but they are mostly former military officers from NUDT [National University of Defense Technology],” he added. [1]

Responding to the report, Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Wang Mei-hua, clarified that no chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) are manufactured for Chinese weapons. According to Wang, exports of such goods are well-regulated under Taiwan’s Strategic High-Tech Goods Import-Export Control Act. [2]

On April 8, U.S. Department of Commerce added seven Chinese firms and labs, including Phytium, to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s “Entity List” (an export blacklist) for their support to China’s military modernization, and other destabilizing efforts. Since the PLA relies heavily on using China’s private sector for research and development, the move is a likely effort to disrupt China’s military-civil integration efforts. [3]

[1] Washington Post 0407: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/china-hypersonic-missiles-american-technology/2021/04/07/37a6b9be-96fd-11eb-b28d-bfa7bb5cb2a5_story.html
[2] Washington 0409: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/04/09/2003755356
[3] Department of Commerce (2021): https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/04/commerce-adds-seven-chinese-supercomputing-entities-entity-list-their