March 15, 2023 - 6:30am

Semiconductors are for the 21st century what oil was for the 20th ‚ÄĒ the material resource that fuels the entire modern economy. And, much like oil in the Seventies, our leaders are waking up to the fact that microchip manufacturing is a rivalrous geopolitical issue; in the mounting Sino-American cold war, both power blocs are competing for the military and economic advantages they confer.

Chris Miller, author of Chip War, spoke to Freddie Sayers about how semiconductors became such a vexed issue, the purpose of America’s protectionist CHIPS Act, and the chances of military confrontation over Taiwan, the world capital of microchip manufacturing, which he places at 20%.