US diplomats are in Seoul and up to their old tricks attempting to convince the South Korean foreign ministry over the dangers of China.
After enduring months of frustration in Europe, the anti-Huawei road trip is back in Asia. The doomsday propaganda might have failed to hit the target in Europe, though the US is now seemingly targeting South Korea according to local sources.
One of the complaints has been directed at LG Uplus, one of the country’s major telcos which has been using Huawei components and products. The US is suggesting LG Uplus should be banned from operating in areas which would be deemed sensitive or critical, while the Huawei threat should be driven back across the borders as soon as possible.
While Huawei has been the centre piece of the US’ anti-China propaganda mission over the last few months, the over-arching conflict is showing the threat of widening. Sources suggest the White House is considering adding an additional five Chinese companies to the ‘Entity List’, the blacklist of companies which cannot do business with US firms. These companies, which include Megvii, are primarily surveillance technology firms.
Although the US has been leaning heavily on its rivals to take action against Huawei and other Chinese vendors in the telco world, South Korea is in a similar tricky position as Europe. South Korea, like Europe, relies heavily on China as an export market, with a quarter of all exports in 2019 heading towards China.
Europe is currently standing firm against White House demands, and it would not surprise us if South Korea took a similar position of defiance. It does appear the country is heavily reliant on the Chinese relationship and siding on with the US could put a severe dent in the economic prosperity of the nation.