It's Moving Time: Taiwanese Business Responds to Growing U.S.-China Tensions

A new report by the CSIS Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics interprets a formal survey of over 500 Taiwanese business executives, documenting their views about the evolving environment on the island and beyond. The Washington policy community is quite familiar with the views that U.S. and European companies hold toward China, but less clear are the views of Taiwanese companies that are central to the story of the world’s interaction with China. Their opinions have implications for Taiwan’s economic trajectory, cross-strait relations, global supply chains, and the effectiveness of U.S. policy in the region. 
The report documents that Taiwanese companies are highly concerned about their potential overdependence on the Chinese economy and the possibility of a military conflict. As a result, there is significant support for expanding trade and investment ties via regional arrangements and bilaterally with the United States, as well as for maintaining Taiwan’s technological edge through more spending on research and development and broadening restrictions for technology transfer to China. But perhaps the most noteworthy finding is that Taiwanese companies appear to be moving their businesses at record levels from Mainland China, but also from Taiwan.
This report, by Trustee Chair Scott Kennedy, explains how the survey was carried out, then analyzes the sources of Taiwanese companies’ anxieties and the ways they are responding, and concludes by considering the policy implications for all parties involved. The report’s appendix provides a full summary of the original survey results.

This report was made possible by general support to CSIS.

Scott Kennedy
Senior Adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics