Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) founder Morris Chang on Wednesday called on the democratic island of Taiwan to defend its semiconductor industry, amid saber-rattling from China and an unprecedented drought.

“Semiconductor manufacturing is a crucial industry that touches on people’s daily lives, the economy and national defense,” the 89-year-old Chang told an Economic Daily forum in Taipei.

“It is also the first industry for which Taiwan has earned a competitive position on the global stage.”

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