Another Reason

In an attempt to extort concessions from us and to drive a wedge between us and the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China has banned certain local firms in key information-infrastructure industries from buying computer chips from the American company Micron Technology.

The next two largest chip manufacturers after Micron are the RoK’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, each with chip factories in the PRC. The wedge is the effort to get those two to sell into the PRC in place of Micron.

The RoK, though, along with Samsung and SK Hynix would do well to take the hint from the PRC’s attack on Micron, especially given the near dependence of the RoK on the PRC market. They’re even more exposed to PRC extortion than we are, and what the PRC is attempting against Micron, it can attempt against Samsung and SK Hynix and against the RoK’s overall trade relations with the PRC.

They would be well disposed, as would we, to cut economic ties with the PRC and eliminate that avenue of extortion.

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