The prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan recalls some of the most disastrous examples of great power expansion of the 20th century – and perhaps recalls the annexation of Nazi Germany or even its subsequent invasion of Poland. Given that the latter sparked World War II, America’s strategic community was rightly fixated on the vast military and political contingencies of a Chinese invasion that would recreate Asia.
But Taiwan is not just the geopolitical hub of the Indo-Pacific; it is also the hub of a rapidly evolving Sino-US technology competition. And if competition between the great powers of the 20th century is a guide, tech races are just as important to long-term competition as territorial military competitions. The US must act now to secure the technological dimensions of an impending Taiwan crisis or risk losing far more than the island.
In the realm of Sino-US tech rivalry, Taiwan is unique in two ways: First, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation …