In response to CNA’s request for clarification on his remarks, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of selectively editing a video in which he discussed the possibility of targeting Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s (TSMC) facilities in Taiwan.
Moulton stated, “The CCP selectively clipped my comments, shared them on social media, and attempted to undermine the U.S.-Taiwan partnership.”
The video clip in question, which surfaced on the Chinese social media platform Douyin on May 6, showed Moulton speaking at a think tank event. He stated, “… very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we are gonna blow up TSMC.” However, he clarified that this was not necessarily the best strategy but rather an example.
The clip was later circulated on Twitter on the same day and subsequently reported by several Taiwanese media outlets. This prompted Taiwan government officials to comment on the matter.
Moulton emphasized, “The CCP has once again tried to divide the U.S. and Taiwan using disinformation by deliberately taking a comment of mine out of context.”
During the panel discussion hosted by the Milken Institute in California, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton clarified that he was discussing ideas on how to convey the potential costs to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) if they were to invade Taiwan.
Moulton, who visited Taiwan as part of a bipartisan Congressional delegation in October, expressed his support for Taiwan’s democracy and economy, emphasizing his commitment to ensuring Taiwan’s defense and preserving peace in the region.
Regarding the media reports suggesting U.S. support for bombing TSMC, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu commented that those reports fell victim to China’s disinformation campaign against Taiwan. Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng also stated that the military would not tolerate any attempts to destroy facilities in Taiwan.
The full video of the panel discussion revealed that Moulton mentioned TSMC in the context of discussing how the U.S. could use its semiconductor policy as a deterrent against China. He cited the idea of conveying to China that invading Taiwan would result in the destruction of TSMC but clarified that it was not necessarily the best strategy, merely an example under debate among U.S. policymakers.
Panelist Michèle Flournoy, a former U.S. under-secretary of defense for policy, criticized the idea, highlighting the significant negative impact it would have on the global economy and manufacturing.
Moulton reiterated that he was not promoting the idea but rather discussing the ongoing policy debates. He also mentioned that if China were to take over Taiwan and seize TSMC, the U.S. could face similar economic consequences.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, operates primarily in Taiwan and plays a critical role in producing advanced chips for major global companies like Apple Inc. and Nvidia Co.