Taipei, May 11 (CNA) U.S. Representative Seth Moulton expressed his concern on Thursday that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had manipulated a video clip in which he mentioned the idea of “blowing up” Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s (TSMC) facilities in Taiwan.
Moulton clarified his position, stating, “The CCP selectively edited my comments, disseminated them on social media, and attempted to undermine the U.S.-Taiwan partnership,” in response to CNA’s request for clarification.
The incident refers to a video clip that surfaced on the Chinese social media platform Douyin on May 6. In the clip, Moulton was shown speaking at a think tank event, where he stated, “… very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we are gonna blow up TSMC.”
Moulton further explained, “I presented that idea not necessarily as the best strategy, but merely as an example,” as depicted in the clip shared by the official account of a current affairs program affiliated with China’s local government-supported Southeast Television.
The clip was later circulated on Twitter the same day, leading to several Taiwanese media outlets reporting on Moulton’s remarks made during a panel discussion on May 2 (California time). Consequently, Taiwanese government officials responded to the matter.
Moulton emphasized, “Once again, the CCP has attempted to sow discord between the U.S. and Taiwan by distorting my statement through deliberate misinformation,” in his conversation with CNA.
During the panel discussion hosted by the Milken Institute, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton clarified that he was exploring ways to communicate the significant costs the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would face if they decided to invade Taiwan.
Moulton, who had previously visited Taiwan as part of a bipartisan Congressional delegation, expressed his support for Taiwan’s democracy and economy, stating that he was dedicated to ensuring Taiwan’s ability to defend itself against any attempt to forcefully alter the status quo.
He also emphasized the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the broader Indo-Pacific region.
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu commented on Moulton’s remarks, noting that certain media outlets misinterpreted his comments to imply widespread U.S. support for bombing TSMC. However, Wu argued that a careful examination of Moulton’s statements would reveal that these reports fell victim to China’s cognitive warfare against Taiwan.
Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng asserted that the military would not tolerate any attempts by any party to damage facilities within Taiwan.
The full video of the panel discussion revealed that Moulton mentioned TSMC in response to a question about how the U.S. could employ its semiconductor policy to deter China.
Moulton presented the idea of making it clear to China that if they invaded Taiwan, TSMC would be targeted. However, he clarified that this suggestion was not necessarily the best strategy but rather an example being debated among U.S. policymakers.
Another panelist, Michèle Flournoy, strongly criticized the idea, highlighting the severe economic consequences it would entail.
Moulton further explained that if China were to forcibly take over Taiwan and seize TSMC, the United States could face similar economic repercussions.
TSMC, renowned as the world’s largest contract chipmaker, operates primarily in Taiwan and manufactures cutting-edge chips for global fabless chip designers, including Apple Inc. and Nvidia Co.