SEOUL – As the United States works to limit China’s access to advanced technologies like semiconductors, it cannot ignore its own dependence on small Asian economies like South Korea and Taiwan for many of those same technologies. The question the US and its allies must ask, then, is how reliable these economies are as producers.
Examining South Korea’s industrial successes can go a long way toward providing an answer. It is by now old news that the Korean giant Samsung Electronics has surpassed Japan’s Toshiba and America’s Intel to become the world’s top chip producer (by revenue). But South Korean industry’s prowess extends well beyond semiconductors.