U.S. Tilts Toward Taiwan in an Attempt To Cripple Huawei
May 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—The U.S. administration is increasing the pressure in its fight with Huawei. In a ruling issued today the Department of Commerce placed more stringent measures on the sale of certain products by U.S. companies to Huawei, targeting in particular semiconductors. The new measure is targeted at U.S. companies that have avoided the previous ban by producing their equipment overseas.
While using the national security gambit, the measure is clearly aimed at preventing China from becoming a major player in the high-tech world. At the same time, the Commerce Department issued a 90-day waiver on Huawei in order to allow rural communities, whose communications network is based on Huawei equipment, to find a replacement for that equipment. Commerce announced that this would be the final waiver.
Another move, superficially unrelated to the Huawei ban, is the decision by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s biggest dedicated chip maker and a major supplier of chips to Huawei, to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona. The United States hopes thereby to make TSMC subject to U.S. export rules and eliminate any relationship between the company and Huawei.
This tilt toward Taiwan is dangerous in more ways than one as it also enhances the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, which has been a particular goal of the neo-conservative circles around Steve Bannon and others. But given the fact that the Taiwan issue remains perhaps the most important core issue of China, this “flirtation” could easily lead to direct military conflict with Beijing.