Tensions surrounding Taiwan have risen significantly. How will the situation develop in 2022? China has upped the ante by sending almost 1,000 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ zone in the past year and by objecting to any moves by Taiwan to enhance its international relations. Furthermore, just the past weekend, China sent 39 aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in one day, Sunday, January 23rd, followed by 13 aircraft on Monday.
Although 2022 may be seen as the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, it has also marked the third year after Taiwan opened its agricultural labour market to Southeast Asian workers. It is widely known in Taiwan that small tenant farmers in the vegetable, fruit, and tea sectors and livestock farmers have been challenged by chronic shortages of seasonal labour.
Min-Hua Chiang examines the growth of Taiwan’s robust ICT industry. China was considered a potentially important competitor to Taiwan’s ICT firms a few years ago. However, China’s effort to reduce its reliance on importing key components was unsuccessful. In July 2021, Tsinghua Unigroup, a state-backed semiconductor manufacturer, filed a bankruptcy request. Chinese chip industry only took 7.6% of total global semiconductor sales. Its equipment and materials for production are still limited to older technologies. The American government has been encouraging manufacturing production at home to reduce imports of key components from overseas. Nevertheless, the high labour cost and lack of qualified workers in the semiconductor industry will make it difficult to reduce its reliance on Taiwan. The greater US-China competition in the high technology industry is only likely to increase the superpowers’ dependence on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.