TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) – China’s military drills after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan sparked alarm around the region, although its trade retaliation barely made a dent. That is mostly because of the low value of trade restrictions imposed by Beijing, and the chance of China hurting itself given how its economy is intertwined with Taiwan’s, analysts say.

The value of trade targeted by China’s sanctions contributes a tiny amount of less than 1 per cent to Taiwan’s gross domestic product, according to economists, taking the sting out of China’s announcements.

Beijing could ramp up actions by targeting more food products, wood or minerals. But levies on any big-ticket items that would cause real damage to Taipei – such as semiconductors – are near-unthinkable, given China’s reliance on the island for cutting-edge technology.

“The chance remains relatively low” for China to target Taiwanese tech, said Ma Tieying, an economist at DBS Group. “If you look at Taiwan’s role in global semiconductor supply, it’s very much dominant. It would be very difficult for China to find the alternative supply if it bans the Taiwan-made semiconductors.”

Beijing still has a few tools it could deploy to pressure Taipei. China and Hong Kong account for around 40 per cent of Taiwan’s total exports, though Taipei has made efforts to reduce its economic dependence on China in recent years.

More restrictions would be an economic headache for Taiwan, which is already grappling with slowing global demand for electronics and high inflation, cooling its growth outlook.

Here’s a look at what China has already targeted and how likely more measures against Taiwan are: Trade Sanctions The trade sanctions Beijing has already inflicted this month are expected to have a marginal impact on Taipei.

Food accounts for just 0.4 per cent of cross-strait trade, Goldman Sachs Group economists wrote in a research note last week. In all, bilateral trade between the two economies reached US$328.3 billion (S$450 billion) last year.

The recent restrictions impacting citrus fruits and some fish exports might have an impact of less than 0.1 per cent on Taiwan’s GDP, the Goldman economists said.

There’s also evidence of other tension, including Chinese customs data that show Beijing has blocked other food imports, though it’s not clear when those suspensions happened.

If China wants to mitigate the fallout of sanctions on its own economy, it could target Taiwanese wood, minerals, shoes or hats. Taiwan’s trade relies significantly more on delivering those items to China than China does on receiving them from the island, according to a DBS report.

China would also have an easier time finding alternative sources for those products, according to DBS. For instance, one-fifth of Taiwanese wood is exported to China, but these comprise only some 0.1 per cent of China’s total wood imports. Other countries where China imports wood from include Russia, the US and Australia.

China could also restrict more of its own exports to Taiwan, as it did with natural sand. There’s some historical precedent for doing so, as Beijing previously halted sand exports in 2007 for about a year, citing environmental concerns.

Taiwan, though, has reduced its reliance on China in that area since that ban more than a decade ago, according to economists at JPMorgan, who called the most recent restrictions “mainly symbolic”.