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HomeDECOUPLING FROM CHINATaiwan: Decoupling from China investing in Vietnam Singapore Indonesia

Taiwan: Decoupling from China investing in Vietnam Singapore Indonesia

Taiwan appears to be following a trajectory similar to American, European, and Japanese businesses. Like these counterparts, Taiwan’s influential business community is diversifying its investments, trade relationships, and sourcing strategies away from China and towards Southeast and South Asia. There’s also been a notable flow of Taiwanese investment towards the United States. These developments are likely causing concern in Beijing, especially given China’s current economic challenges, as losing Taiwanese business support comes at a particularly unfavorable time.

The actions of Taiwan’s business community, echoing those seen in the US, Europe, and Japan, unmistakably signal a strategic pivot away from Chinese markets.

The reasons behind this global trend of distancing from China are consistent across these economies. While China was once attractive for its low production costs and reliability, rapid wage increases and fluctuating currency values have eroded its cost advantage. Moreover, disruptions in supply chains during the pandemic and China’s stringent security measures have diminished its appeal further. These factors have collectively shifted the balance against China in the calculus of businesses worldwide.

There are clear indicators of this strategic shift in Taiwan’s case. Taiwan’s trade dependency on China has declined steadily since 2021. Conversely, trade with Southeast Asia has surged, highlighting a diversification strategy. Taiwanese investments in China have also declined sharply since 2010, with substantial capital redirected to Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. This redirection is particularly significant in high-tech sectors, where Taiwanese firms are expanding operations.

Beyond economic implications, Beijing is also likely concerned about the security ramifications of Taiwan’s pivot towards Southeast and South Asia. Increased trade and investment in these regions create a vested interest among Asian nations in Taiwan’s stability, potentially complicating any Chinese attempts to exert influence. While these nations may lack the military capability to counter Chinese threats directly, their collective interest in Taiwan adds a layer of complexity to Beijing’s strategic calculations.


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