US and Taiwan to work on reshaping supply chains away from China

Officials from the US, EU, Japan and Taiwan have called for co-operation in rebuilding global supply chains after the US-China trade war and the coronavirus pandemic exposed the risks of relying on China.

Speaking at a conference in Taipei on Friday, Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan — the US’s quasi embassy — urged democracies with shared values to build more secure supply chains together elsewhere.

“This is going to require a co-ordinated effort from all of us,” he said.

Mr Christensen added that the question of reorganising supply chains was “on top of the list” for a new economic dialogue the US was initiating with Taiwan. The Taiwanese companies that built the global manufacturing base for technology hardware in the People’s Republic of China in the past 30 years had “increasingly recognised the danger of tying their future to the PRC,” he insisted.

The appeal comes amid a flurry of trade diplomacy aimed at making supply chains more resilient. But while most western governments agree on the urgency to rebuild some manufacturing capacity for medical supplies and diversify supply chains for security-relevant products, there is disagreement over whether this means decoupling from China altogether.

Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign…

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