The Economist recently ran an article on the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which controls more than 80% of the world’s computer chip market. Not only does this translate into great operating margins, but it is at the centre of Taiwan’s geopolitical survival. Most of TSMC’s strategic client base is in the US, four times that of its closer neighbour client base in China.

TSMC has ensured the survival of its home manufacturing base through this indispensable, very specific, economic positioning. The US provides Taiwan with military support while China regards it as part of its territory. A profitable peacekeeper balance, or at least a detente...

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