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Controlling the Uncontrollable

The Migration of the Taiwanese Semiconductor Industry to China and Its Security Ramifications
Ming-Chin Monique Chu
p. 54-68


This paper summarizes preliminary findings of a contextually rich case study that explores the link between globalisation and security. Following a broad-based and multidisciplinary widener’s approach, namely a broad-based and multidisciplinary approach, the paper explores the strategic aspects of the migration of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry to China as part of the globalization processes. Based on a triangulation of interviews and secondary data analyzed so thus far, the paper first explores the drivers of the industry migration and the means by which Taiwanese state regulations are violated by related business operations. It then contends that these profit-driven activities have triggered multi-layered strategic challenges for Taiwan and the USA involving technological and defences security. Four inter-linked aspects of the strategic ramifications are analyzed. They are: industrial base concerns; technological y-related risks associated with the dual-use nature of the chip technology and the issue of foreign supply of critical chips; concerns reinforced by mainland Chinese institutional reforms and perceptions; risks reinforced by the Taiwan factor. The paper concludes by calling for an embrace of a widener’s approach to the study of security.

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Bibliographical reference

Ming-Chin Monique Chu, “Controlling the Uncontrollable”China Perspectives, 2008/1 | 2008, 54-68.

Electronic reference

Ming-Chin Monique Chu, “Controlling the Uncontrollable”China Perspectives [Online], 2008/1 | 2008, Online since 01 January 2011, connection on 29 November 2023. URL:; DOI:

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The text and other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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