Research: Possible conflict in Asia also affects the Netherlands

Photo: ANP

A possible geopolitical crisis in East Asia could seriously disrupt the supply of raw materials from China and chips from Taiwan. This could have serious consequences for social stability in the Netherlands, warn researchers from The Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS).

“MRI machines, F35 fighter jets, wind turbines, electric cars, and iPhones depend on critical raw materials and semiconductors,” the report says. If supplies of raw materials or chips are disrupted, the medical sector or the Dutch energy system, for example, could be affected. Because said products are likely to sell out quickly and prices could rise sharply, compared to the increase in energy prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

For the study conducted by the Dutch police, the researchers specifically considered two possible crisis scenarios that may arise in the coming years as a result of the current tensions in the world between the superpowers China and the United States. This relates to China’s imposition of important raw materials and the Chinese naval blockade of Taiwan. “Both scenarios would have severe consequences,” the researchers said.

In the report, the HCSS recommends that the Netherlands and the EU as a whole take swift, “wide-ranging” action by reducing dependence on production in East Asia. This can make the community here resilient to potential shocks and thus prevent a significant weakening of social stability.

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