Weaponized Interdependence

The Asia Times on how Japan is weaponizing interdependence against South Korea.

William Pesek in the Asia Times.

There is ample blame to go around. Moon is but the latest South Korean leader to find political solace in fanning anti-Japan sentiment. But in retaliating against Moon, Abe is falling into the trap of “weaponized interdependence.” The reference here is to the work of US-based researchers Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman on how global economic networks shape state coercion. It explores have international supply chains – including those linking Japan and Korea – are devolving from arrangements of efficiency into “choke points” governments can use to “take advantage” of trade partners. Here, think the Trump administration’s holding China’s Huawei hostage or going after ZTE, which also relies on US semiconductor technology. This gives rise to what Farrell and Newman call “network inequality,” a threat that “is changing the way the world economy works.”

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