Hoover Institution (Stanford, CA) – The Hoover Institution, in partnership with the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, has released Silicon Triangle: The United States, Taiwan, China, and Global Semiconductor Security, a groundbreaking new report in which a multidisciplinary group of economists, technologists, military strategists, industry players, and regional policy experts examine how the rapidly evolving and increasingly strategic trade in semiconductors links the security, economic prosperity, and technological competitiveness of the three title nations.

Edited by scholars Larry Diamond and Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., USN (Ret.), of the Hoover Institution, and Orville Schell of the Asia Society, Silicon Triangle represents the culmination of an 18-month study project by a Hoover-led working group, along with numerous roundtables, dialogues, and scenario planning exercises, to track and analyze these colliding interests. The working group’s field research took them to Taiwan in August 2022—shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic visit—for a series of high-level meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen and her cabinet, as well as leaders from the semiconductor industry.

In Silicon Triangle, contributors provide a balanced perspective of how US and partner policies on semiconductors can minimize supply chain disruptions in the global chip trade and support Taiwan in deterring cross-strait aggression from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The study is driven by three central questions:

  • How should the United States become a more competitive player in this foundational critical technology and mitigate supply chain disruptions?
  • How can American competitiveness be increased in a way that preserves Taiwan’s self-governing democracy and prosperity, underpins its partnership with the United States, and fosters stability in the Taiwan Strait?
  • How can the United States work with its global partners to be on guard against new and emerging vulnerabilities stemming from China’s aggressive pursuit of dominance in the semiconductor industry?

The study makes detailed policy recommendations across five categories that address near- and long-term economic and security challenges:

  • The United States should pursue near-term domestic resilience in semiconductor supply chains through a realistic degree of domestic manufacturing that involves working with ideologically compatible partners. And it can incentivize the private sector to hold more inventories to reduce its own susceptibility to external supply shocks or coercion.
  • To sustain these new capabilities in the semiconductor supply chain beyond the inherently limited public subsidies of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the United States must foster a business environment that attracts investments from international partners. A favorable tax environment and streamlining regulations can reduce the cost of producing critical technologies in America.
  • The United States should undertake market-oriented industrial policy measures as part of a long-term critical-technology global competitiveness agenda. To achieve technological leadership, the US must extend its ongoing strength in basic science research to its applications through applied engineering and production, including the retention of skilled immigrants through H-1B visas for all foreign STEM graduates of US universities.
  • US semiconductor ambitions should be seen as a platform for strengthening, not mortgaging, Taiwan’s stability and maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations by forging closer partnerships with the island. Such efforts include weapons coproduction with Taiwan’s defense industry to more effectively deliver on a so-called “porcupine strategy” that deters PRC aggression, and fosters deeper business, civil, academic, and people-to-people interactions between Americans and Taiwanese.
  • The US should avoid new dependencies on China for critical components and products in global semiconductor supply chains. In reducing this vulnerability, the US and its allies should consider how to use their strengths in the semiconductor supply chain—and exploit China’s weaknesses within it—as a form of economic deterrence.

Larry Diamond said, "Few economic or technological issues are of greater importance to the national security of the US than securing our semiconductor supply chains. As we stress in this report, the key is in building on our greatest strength, our global partnerships and alliances, while also reinvigorating domestic high-tech manufacturing."

Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr. said, “There is no more critical technological issue that of preserving the integrity of the global semiconductor ecosystem; it is essential to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of Taiwan, and will demand our best efforts and those of our allies and partners.”

Orville Schell said, “At the heart of the US-China standoff lies the question of microprocessors, the world’s new common currency and how to interact, if not ‘decouple.’ This report seeks to limn a pathway forward for the US, Taiwan and our allies, partners and friends.” 

The Hoover Institution will be launching the publication of Silicon Triangle on Tuesday, July 18, at 4:00 p.m. at the Hoover Institution’s Washington, DC, office. The program will include a panel discussion with editors and authors of the study and keynote remarks by US senator Dan Sullivan (Alaska).

About the Editors

Larry Diamond is the William L. Clayton Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He cochairs the Hoover Institution’s projects on China’s Global Sharp Power and on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Adm. James O. Ellis, Jr., USN (Ret.), is an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he cochairs the Global Policy and Strategy Initiative. His thirty-nine-year navy career included service as carrier battle group commander leading contingency response operations in the Taiwan Strait and as commander of US Strategic Command.

Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, former dean of the University of California–Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and the author of a dozen books on China, where he has traveled widely since the mid-1970s.


Robert Daly, Christopher Ford, Edlyn V. Levine, Greg Linden, Mary Kay Magistad, Oriana Skylar Mastro, Jim Plummer, Matthew Pottinger, Don Rosenberg, David J. Teece, Kharis Templeman, Glenn Tiffert, Matthew Turpin, and H.-S. Philip Wong.

Click here to read Silicon Triangle: The United States, Taiwan, China, and Global Semiconductor Security.

For coverage opportunities, contact Jeffrey Marschner, 202-760-3187, jmarsch@stanford.edu.

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