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Title: Globalisation and security : the migration of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry to China and its implications for the US-China-Taiwan security relations
Author: Chu, M.-C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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This dissertation examines the migration of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry to China, and the security implications of this migration for the US-China-Taiwan relations, as a basis for a reappraisal of the impact of globalisation on security. Results from more than 140 interviews with business and government heavyweights in the US, Taiwan and China are combined with findings from secondary data and review of literature. The thesis first argues that a country’s semiconductor industry is central to its national security because of its contribution to national economy, high-tech development, and military modernisation. It contends that the scope of the industry migration across the Taiwan Strait is extensive, the direction complicated, and the causes manifold. Empirical data support the argument that the outcome of the migration is significant in boosting the development of China’s chronically weak semiconductor sector through the cross-border transfers of investment, talent and technology inherent in Taiwan’s competitive industry. The thesis further dissects the following security repercussions, some of which have been associated with the unexamined Realist vulnerability claims propagated by the Pentagon: economic insecurity; security concerns over the prospect of China’s rising semiconductor capability, its contribution to the PLA modernisation, and the resultant shift in the balance of power in Beijing’s favour; technological insecurity over the prospect of semiconductor-targeted information warfare (i.e. chipping) and over the narrowing semiconductor technology gap; fear over the prospect of the denial or disruption of critical chip supply on account of foreign dependency. Conclusions are two-fold. Firstly, the scale and direction of globalisation of semiconductor production activities in the context studied has challenged some of our previous understanding of the under-studied economic phenomena. Secondly, the impact of the migration on the US-China-Taiwan security ties is less clear-cut than the original unexamined Realist claims have suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available