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US academics say Taiwan could destroy TSMC factories to deter Chinese invasion

McKinney, Harris: Threat must be credible to work

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A credible threat to destroy TSMC fabs should scare China into refraining from an attack on Taiwan, say two U.S. academics.

A credible threat to destroy TSMC fabs should scare China into refraining from an attack on Taiwan, say two U.S. academics. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In order to make an invasion unattractive to China, Taiwan should consider a “scorched-earth” policy including the destruction of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) plants, two American academics recommended in a magazine article.

Air University expert Jared McKinney and University of Colorado political scientist Peter Harris presented the plan in a piece titled “Broken Nest: Deterring China from Invading Taiwan,” published in the U.S. Army War College Quarterly “Parameters.”

They proposed the policy as a means of avoiding a full-scale war between the U.S. and China while also making it abundantly clear to the latter that attacking and occupying Taiwan will bring more costs than advantages.

The “Broken Nest” strategy would trigger a major economic crisis in China rather than help its industry gain ground by absorbing Taiwan’s high-tech sector, the authors said. The destruction of TSMC would make for a “dangerous cocktail” for a communist regime advocating economic stability, according to McKinney and Harris.

The authors acknowledged the main problem would be making the threat seem credible to China. They also advocated the involvement of other U.S. allies in the region and allowing Japan, South Korea, and Australia to develop and station nuclear weapons on their soil.

McKinney and Harris said Taiwan should become “unwantable” for China, making it clear that an attack and invasion would bring about a defeat of the Chinese Communist Party’s other policies and no benefits from occupying Taiwan.


Updated : 2022-05-27 05:33 GMT+08:00