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Blinken reasserts US commitment to enhancing Taiwan’s asymmetric defense

Senate Foreign Relations Committee discussed semiconductor security with secretary of state

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his country will continue to assist Taiwan in building its asymmetric defense capabilities during a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday (April 26).

Blinken said the Biden administration is committed to ensuring Taiwan is fully prepared to defend itself against a potential attack, including Chinese actions that disrupt the status quo. “We’re focused on helping them think about how to strengthen asymmetric capabilities… as a deterrent,” he added, according to the South China Morning Post.

The committee’s chair, Senator Robert Menendez, said there is now greater consensus between Taiwan and the U.S. on the specifics of building up Taiwan’s defense. “I think we are now aligned between our views of what their asymmetric capabilities need to be and their views, which is an important thing,” he said.

Menendez said he looks forward to seeing progress on Taiwan’s asymmetric capabilities as a result of deeper U.S. engagement with the country.

Menendez also discussed the issue of semiconductors with Blinken. He said his recent trip to Taiwan had made it clear to him how reliant the world is on Taiwan-made semiconductors, per CNA.

He said Taiwan produces 90% of the world’s advanced chips and that if it were invaded by China, many of the products U.S. consumers use every day would be impacted. This would deal a blow to the global economy, he added.

Blinken responded that the Biden administration is aware of the urgency of this issue and is responding in a number of ways. He said the U.S. retains a significant edge over China in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and is partnering with Taiwan, Japan, and the Netherlands to prevent China from obtaining high-end chipmaking capacity.