My Lords, is the Minister aware that some 90% of all advanced semiconductors are produced in Taiwan and that 60% of all semiconductors are produced in Taiwan, mostly by one company? Given the urgency that has arisen out of the hostile acts taking place in the South China Sea, can the Minister tell us what we are doing to bolster supply chain resilience and security? Can he tell the House the current position on the future of Newport Wafer Fab, given that a Chinese company attempted to buy it?
I am of course aware of the overwhelming market position of TSMC in Taiwan. It is a manufacturing foundry for semiconductors, but that is the only slot in the supply chain that it occupies. Having a foundry by itself is nothing without the vast, complex, integrated global supply chain of all other companies. On the second part of the noble Lord’s question, any threat to peace and stability in the strait of Taiwan is a deeply serious concern for the Government. We are looking at all scenarios and contingency planning in preparation for any disruption to that.
I am very grateful. I want to continue on the basis of the question asked by the noble Lord, Lord Alton, regarding the specific Newport Wafer Fab factory. I do not think the Minister got around to answering that fully, and I would be grateful to have his observations on the issue.
I apologise to the noble Lord for not having reached that bit. The concern about Newport Wafer Fab was that the ultimate owners of the buyer were Chinese investors; hence, under the NSI Act, that was blocked. I cannot comment any further on that specific case because it is under judicial review.