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    Nuclear power Taiwan's only hedge against Chinese naval blockade: Peter Zeihan

    March 17, 2023 - Taiwan News


      In February, geopolitical analyst and consultant Peter Zeihan discussed the economic, demographic, and political landscape in East Asia with Taiwan News.

      At the conclusion of that interview, Zeihan offered two very stark warnings for Taiwan.

      First: Taiwanese businesses heavily invested in China need to understand how precarious those investments are, given the magnitude of the demographic and economic crisis facing China.

      'I understand that the business community in Taiwan has a lot vested in China. But they're going to lose it all, every single scrap of it. And the sooner that realization is reflected in policy, the better Taiwan will be,' said Zeihan. Second: Taiwan must reconsider its policy toward green energy technologies. Most pointedly, until electricity storage using batteries is vastly improved, it is very unwise for Taiwan to abandon nuclear power. 'Nuclear is (Taiwan's) only hedge against a naval blockade,' in the event of war in the Taiwan Strait, he said.

      Under the Tsai administration, the government has set the goal of decommissioning and defueling nuclear power plants by the end of 2026, with all plants to be dismantled by 2038. Given the threat posed by China and current constraints on energy production and storage, it is undoubtedly prudent for future administrations to reconsider this plan.

      Zeihan does make some concessions on the practical applications of the offshore wind farms which Taiwan has invested in. 'It's a better choice than solar (power),' which Zeihan contends is not at all practical for Taiwan to invest in at scale.

      Ultimately, Zeihan warns that in 'a country that imports 90% of its energy,' green tech in its current form is 'atrocious' for the physical geography of Taiwan. 'Taiwan is going to be an oil, gas, coal, and nuclear country until such time as we figure out a much better battery system,' he said.

      As far as Taiwan's economic and political future, Zeihan anticipates that Taipei will likely follow Tokyo's lead in terms of forming trade blocs or making trade agreements, especially economic deals with the United States.

      Readers can watch the entire segment below. Part one and part two are also available on YouTube. In part one, Zeihan spoke about China's approaching economic collapse. In part two, he discussed the potential of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait.


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