Taiwan cancels airline flights as the Chinese navy fires artillery near the island in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit..
Taiwan has canceled airline flights as China fired missiles near the island in retaliation for a top American lawmaker’s visit, but the possible impact on shipments of processor chips and other goods needed by global industries was unclear
BEIJING — Taiwan canceled airline flights Thursday as China fired missiles near the self-ruled island in retaliation for a top American lawmaker’s visit, adding to the risk of disruptions in the flow of Taiwanese-made processor chips needed by global telecom and auto industries.
China ordered ships and planes to avoid military drills that encircled Taiwan, which the mainlands ruling Communist Party claims as part of its territory. The Hong Kong newspaper The South China Morning Post called the drills an “effective Taiwan blockade.”
Beijing announced “live-fire exercises” after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the House of Representatives arrived Tuesday for a one-day visit, defying warnings from Beijing. It earlier banned imports of hundreds of Taiwanese food items including fish, fruit and cookies.
The two sides, which split in 1949 after a civil war, have no official ties but one of the world’s busiest technology and manufacturing relationships.
Taiwanese companies are preparing for Chinese shows of force and possible trade disruptions beyond the four days Beijing says its drills will last, said economist Alicia Garcia Herrero of Natixis CIB, who was meeting businesspeople in the island’s capital, Taipei.
“They are starting to think of solutions, re-routing, delaying orders until they have more clarity,” said Garcia Herrero. “I think people are realizing this is not just a four-day thing.”
On Thursday, at least 40 flights to and from Taiwan were canceled, according to the China Times newspaper. It cited Taoyuan Airport in the capital, Taipei, as saying cancellations were “not necessarily” related to the military drills.
Taiwan produces more than half the processor chips used in smartphones, autos, tablet computers and other electronics. Chip sales to Chinese factories that assemble most of the worlds consumer electronics rose 24.4% last year to $104.3 billion.
That could push up already high inflation in the United States and Europe the same way prices spiked after the coronavirus disrupted shipping in 2020-21, said Garcia Herrero.
The ruling partys military wing, the Peoples Liberation Army, said it carried out “precision missile strikes” in the 100-mile-wide (160-kilometer-wide) Taiwan Strait that separates the island from the mainland but gave no details about the location.
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