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Is Taiwan the most important place on Earth?
The past week, we’ve been eating lots of pineapple. After China suddenly banned the import of Taiwanese pineapples right before the beginning of pineapple season, the people of Taiwan rallied, and bought an entire year of pineapple exports to China in 4 days. The US, Canada, Japan, and Australia have also stepped up to import Taiwanese pineapples.
A lot of this was organized through the #FreedomPineapple social media campaign.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese semiconductor company, TSMC dominates the semiconductor foundry market in the midst of a massive global chip shortage, the importance of Taiwan to the global supply chains across the automotive, electronic, and other industries is evident. The recent drought in the region exacerbates the supply situation, and TSMC holds all the cards.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, TSMC recorded a market share of 55.6 percent in the global semiconductor foundry market, while Samsung occupied 16.4 percent of the market
“South Korea and Taiwan are now primary providers of chips like OPEC countries once were of oil”
The technology lead that Taiwan and South Korea have in the semiconductor space creates geopolitical and national security risks for the US and China, and tensions between China and the rest of the world have been rising since the beginning of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Taiwan arguably had the best performance in the world in containing COVID-19, especially considering the proximity to the epicenter, Wuhan, China and the number of citizens that live or do business in China.
Taiwan has historically been prevented from participating with international organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization. This appears to be changing, with the US Congress introducing a bill on February 26, 2021 to end the “One China” policy and resume diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
It seems that Freedom Pineapples are a signal for the beginning of support for Taiwan from the international community. They also are extremely delicious.