US President Joe Biden has put an end to his country's strategic ambiguity, saying it would come to Taiwan's military defence if China invaded.
Taiwan is home to the world's most advanced semiconductor and microchip manufacturer, TSMC.
Taiwan is a self-governed democracy, but China still claims the territory as its own.
University of Canterbury professor Alex Tan spoke to Māni Dunlop about the geopolitical power struggles taking place.
He also said President Biden's comments on military defence do not mark a major change in policy.