SEOUL — Taiwanese officials are trying to tone down alarmist comments made by U.S. investment gurus and policymakers about the risks of a clash with China, risks that are now clouding the island’s security, its business climate and the future of one of its best-known corporate giants.
Many in Taipei have watched with growing unease the escalation of the war of both words and deeds between Washington and Beijing in recent months, with the future of the island democracy China claims as its own territory the main flashpoint in the superpower dispute.
“The government will do its utmost to let the world know that Taiwan is stable and safe,” Economic Affairs Minister Lin Chuan-neng told a legislative hearing on Monday, according to reports from Taipei.
The hearing came in the wake of new warnings of geopolitical risk Saturday by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, and the apocalyptic suggestion by a Massachusetts congressman that the Pentagon should consider bombing the chipmaking operations of Taiwan Semiconductor, the undisputed world leader in the industry, in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Mr. Buffett, the famous investor, said the Taiwanese semiconductor company was a long-term investment gamble simply because of its location.
“Taiwan Semiconductor is one of the best-managed companies and important companies in the world, and you’ll be able to say the same thing five, 10, or 20 years from now,” Mr. Buffett said during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders’ meeting. “I don’t like its location, and re-evaluated that.”