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Southeast Asian countries stand to gain -- or lose -- the most from Beijing and Washington's escalating trade tensions. Some have benefited more than others, but all are at risk of taking an economic hit.
For the first time since it instituted stricter controls on some exports to South Korea, Japan has approved a shipment of hydrogen fluoride, a critical component of semiconductor manufacturing, to South Korea, the Japan Times reported Aug. 30, citing South Korean Trade Ministry officials.
Japan's removal of South Korea from its "white list" of export controls took effect Aug. 28, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, South Korea announced $4.1 billion in government funds to shore up key supplies and spur the indigenous development of equipment for industrial sectors impacted by Japan's trade restrictions.
Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers did not make any progress toward easing growing trade tensions during an Aug. 1 meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional forum in Bangkok, The Japan News reported.
Taiwan is set to unveil its first blacklist of electronic devices the government deems a potential threat to national cybersecurity, with products by Chinese companies Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Hikvision likely to be included on the list, the Asia Times reported July 27.
South Korea's ruling Democratic Party is reportedly considering a plan to fulfill demands for compensation by wartime laborers that includes the allocation of government funds for future claims and the creation of a joint South Korean-Japanese fund to pay out claims awarded since 2018, Reuters reported July 10.
Japan, reacting to the damaged "relations of trust" following a South Korean court ruling mandating that Japanese companies pay compensation for claims of forced labor stemming from World War II, said it would restrict the export of chemicals vital to South Korea's semiconductor and smartphone industries, Nikkei Asian Review reported June 30.
Beijing has proven time and again that it will recruit anyone with access to the information it wants, regardless of ethnicity, location or motivation. Companies that assume otherwise do so at their own peril.