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‘Shut down the world’: McCaul warns of global economic catastrophe if China invades Taiwan

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN – A Chinese invasion of Taiwan could have catastrophic consequences for the global economy, including in the United States, warned House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

“The thing that really, I think, makes this island extremely important…is that 90% of the advanced [semiconductor] manufacturing for the world happens right here. And if an invasion happens, I don’t see a scenario where that survives,” McCaul told Fox News Digital in an interview at his hotel in Taipei.

“Everybody that has phones, cars – we have advanced weapons systems – everything’s dependent on semiconductors and this island, over time, because we’ve offshored [manufacturing]…we put ourselves in a very vulnerable position by doing that. And the shutdown of what’s happening here, semiconductors, would really shut down the world.”

The senior Republican made the somber prediction after meeting with Taiwan’s president and foreign minister as part of the first U.S. delegation to sit down with the newly inaugurated officials.

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House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul spoke with Fox News Digital on the sidelines of his congressional delegation to Taipei, Taiwan. (Getty Images)

It also comes after China staged some of its most aggressive military drills yet off Taiwan’s coast, sending dozens of warships and planes into the island’s territory in retaliation for comments by its new leader, President Lai Ching-te, expressing support for its independence from Beijing’s ruling Chinese Communist Party.

“These war games to intimidate and protest the election from China are probably the most provocative I’ve ever seen in terms of the numbers of ships and planes,” McCaul said.

He stressed that a full-scale invasion by China could lead to an “electronic shutdown” and an economic spiral not seen since the COVID-19 pandemic threw global markets into a tailspin.

That includes ramifications for Americans in rural, urban and suburban areas, he suggested.

“From the phones, to the car, tractors, everything in your kitchen, our whole military defense,” he listed.

Semiconductors are a critical component for a litany of electronics, being used in everything from healthcare to transportation, communications, military systems and everyday-use items like air conditioners, televisions and refrigerators.

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Michael McCaul and Lai Ching-tse

Rep. Michael McCaul, left, is in Taiwan to meet with the island’s new leader, President Lai Ching-te. (House Foreign Affairs Committee)

“And again, the 90% number – really, it’s hard to fathom that. It’s why we want to move more manufacturing back to the United States, but that’s going to take time, and I don’t know what timeline [Chinese President Xi Jinping] is on,” McCaul said.

He referenced Xi’s past comments alluding to a potential invasion of Taiwan by 2027.

“If it happened, most likely, just because of the nature of the invasion from a blockade to a cyberattack to a massive bombing exercise, I just don’t see how it survives being located where it is,” McCaul said. “But even to maintain it, they’re gonna have to be relying on the United States for parts… And then, what are we going to do? We don’t have the capacity right now.”

He then delivered a somber assessment, “I think right now, we will probably lose” if China invaded Taiwan.

“It would make Iran shooting into Israel look like child’s play…this island doesn’t have the capacity to defend itself right now,” McCaul said.

In addition to commemorating the new Taiwanese government’s inauguration, the U.S. group’s visit comes a month after Congress approved an $8 billion foreign aid package for the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, to deter China.

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Congressional delegation and Taiwanese foreign minister

The delegation also met with Taiwanese Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung. (Elizabeth Elkind/Fox News Digital)

“They’re very happy, and we’re very pleased we got our emergency supplemental done in time to give them the good news that we are supporting them from a military equipment standpoint,” McCaul said. “I gave them some updates on the weapons and some other things we’re doing to help them, but they just wanted me to know that the threat was getting very intense from Chairman Xi.”

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The Chinese government had expressly demanded that McCaul and the other lawmakers, which include Reps. Young Kim, R-Calif., Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., not make the journey to Taiwan.

“We got a threatening communique telling me I was violating the One China Policy and that there would be consequences for the members, which, they’ve never gone that far,” McCaul said. “And now the threat to Taiwan is real for the people of the island…and they’re worried they’re going to be the next shoe to drop.”

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