Aerial photo of containers in Keelung port, Taiwan. The data shows that Taiwan is more dependent on China for trade than the US
Sam Yeh | Afp | Getty Images
BEIJING – Data show Taiwan is more dependent on China for trade than the US, even as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her weight behind Taiwan this week in a visit to high profile
Taiwan came under military and economic pressure from Beijing this week, after the democratically self-ruled island allowed a visit by Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to set foot in Taiwan in 25 years.
The visit came despite warnings from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and maintains the island should not have the right to maintain foreign relations. The US recognizes Beijing as the sole legal government of China, while maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan.
Still, Taiwan’s economic and trade ties with mainland China and Hong Kong have grown so much that the region is by far the island’s most important trading partner.
Many large Taiwanese companies in high-tech industries such as the world’s largest chipmaker: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC. — operate factories in mainland China.
Last year, mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42 percent of Taiwan’s exports, while the United States had a 15 percent share, according to official Taiwan data accessed through Wind Information.
In total, Taiwan exported $188.91 billion in goods to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2021. More than half were electronic parts, followed by optical equipment, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance.
Taiwan’s exports to Southeast Asia were even larger than those of the US: $70.25 billion in the region, compared to $65.7 billion in the US, the data showed.
As the source of Taiwan’s imports, mainland China and Hong Kong again took the top spot with a share of 22%. The US had only a 10% share, trailing behind Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.
In recent years, Taiwan has bought an increasing amount of products from mainland China, and vice versa.
Over the past five years, Taiwan’s imports from mainland China have increased by 87% compared to 44% growth in US imports
Taiwan’s exports to mainland China grew by 71% between 2016 and 2021. But exports to the US nearly doubled, growing by 97%.
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