While China is engaged in military exercises around Taiwan, Beijing is leaving the trade relationship largely undisturbed for the time being.
China has banned imports of various types of food from Taiwan. That was officially not because of Nancy Pelosi’s visit, but because too much poison would have been found on fruit and on frozen fish the coronavirus.
But food is only a small part of Taiwan’s exports to China, at around 0.6 percent last year. The main export product, computer chips, is still allowed to enter China. The export of Taiwanese computer chips to China last year amounted to 102 billion euros.
Although there are no official diplomatic relations between China and Taiwan, there is intensive trade. This amounted to 322 billion euros last year, an increase of 26 percent compared to a year earlier. There is a complicated relationship between the two and at the same time it is interesting that the economies are very intertwined.
China, including Hong Kong, is by far the most important export country for Taiwan, accounting for more than 40 percent of all exports. Conversely, Taiwan is a much less important export country for China. The island came in tenth place last year, accounting for over 2 percent of all Chinese exports.
But those computer chips that China imports massively from Taiwan, the country desperately needs. Chinese companies use them in the manufacture of smartphones and other electronics, which the country then exports again on a large scale. Worldwide, Taiwanese companies are market leaders in the field of the latest high-tech chips.
China is also trying to make advanced chips itself, but is far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in this regard. That is Taiwan’s largest company and specializes in making increasingly complex chips.