Electronic chips or semiconductors are a strategic commodity that goes into making almost every smart product in the world, from mobile phones and cars to strategic weapon systems, including nuclear weapons.
Therefore, any country seeking to play a decisive role in the digital future of the world must control a large part of the global chip industry, which has become a crucial industry in all aspects of human existence.
“America invented the semiconductor, and we will bring it back home,” said US President Joe Biden, during his visit to a semiconductor factory in North Carolina, outlining the features of the next stage in the global electronic chip industry.
This phrase reflects how Americans view the course of this industry during the coming years.
Although the US was the starting point for the electronic chip industry, controlling more than 37% of the industry 30 years ago, today that percentage is down to less than 12%.
Currently, more than 80% of this critical industry is located in Asia, with a significant focus on Taiwan, as the Taiwanese company TSMC alone accounts for 65% of the electronic chip market around the world.
Today, the frantic race for the top of the semiconductor industry between Beijing and Washington drives a technological war.
This conflict revolves largely around the idea of depriving the potential opponent of the means to gain technological superiority, which has become the most important element in maintaining global superiority, influence and dominance.
The US is intensifying its efforts to impede China’s progress in the electronic chip industry, which is an important element in its industry and an important milestone in the economic project that China seeks to build with the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Furthermore, a large part of the conflict between the two countries over Taiwan seems to be related to this sensitive strategic industry, as it relates to technical sovereignty, which seems to be the focus of the struggle between the major international powers at the moment.
The electronic chip industry will be a focus of geopolitical confrontations in different regions, especially in the next five years.
In the chip war between the US and China, the former is trying to maintain its technological leadership and the latter is struggling to achieve self-sufficiency.
On the one hand, this conflict is a real test of Washington’s ability to maintain its declining international hegemony, and on the other Beijing’s ability to continue to rise to the top of the global economy and the international structure.