(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan is ramping up international cooperation deals with countries like Canada and France in recent months as it parlays its role as the world’s chip kingpin to boost its global standing.

Just over the past week, the National Science and Technology Council announced two tech deals. It signed a science, technology and innovation arrangement with Canada to jointly grow talent training, while it will set up an office in Prague to help foster Czech chip design engineers.

Taipei’s chip diplomacy drive is its latest effort to break through China’s stern opposition to any formal exchanges with other nations and global powers. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and it has ratcheted up military threats against the island of 23 million after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan as US House speaker in August 2022.

“The situation of Taiwan was very difficult in the past, but in recent years we’re getting better and better because a lot of countries discover the existence of Taiwan mostly because of semiconductors,” NSTC Minister Wu Tsung-Tsong said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The island, separated from China by the 180-kilometer-wide Taiwan Strait, has become a powerhouse of advanced electronics engineering, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. rising to become Asia’s most valuable company. TSMC and a coterie of local chipmaking suppliers have carved out an indispensable role in the global electronics supply chain, and other nations have begun to offer subsidies to get them to export some of that knowhow and production overseas. Japan recently completed a TSMC factory in Kumamoto, while the US authorized $11.6 billion in grants and loans for an ambitious TSMC project in Arizona.

France and Germany last year signed science and technology cooperation agreements with Taiwan. France said it was cooperating in areas of research including quantum computing, artificial intelligence and green industries. Taiwan started the string of international pacts with the US, its key security and trade partner, in late 2020. Wu said similar arrangements with other countries are coming soon. Germany has also joined the US and Japan in pursuing plans for a TSMC facility within its borders.

Both the Czech Republic and France are also looking to leverage TSMC’s growing presence in Europe to their advantage. David Steinke, the top Czech representative in Taipei, has been busy convincing TSMC suppliers to set up operations in his country, while his French peer Franck Paris has been pushing for more collaboration between Taiwan and CEA-Leti, a top chip research institute in Grenoble.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.