Biden Starts Asia Trip With Visit to Computer Chip Plant

He was greeted by South Korea's new leader
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2022 4:59 AM CDT
Biden Lands in South Korea
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin greets President Biden as he arrives at Osan Air Base, Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden is opening his trip to Asia with a focus on the computer chip shortage that has bedeviled the world economy, touring a Samsung computer chip plant that will serve as a model for a $17 billion semiconductor factory that the Korean electronics company plans to open in Texas. The president, who landed in South Korea Friday, will grapple with a multitude of foreign policy issues during a five-day visit to South Korea and Japan, but he also crafted an itinerary clearly meant to tend to the concerns of his home audience as well, the AP reports.

Previewing the trip aboard Air Force One, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Samsung's investment in Texas will mean "good-paying jobs for Americans and, very importantly, it will mean more supply chain resilience." Biden was greeted at the plant by the country's new president, Yoon Suk Yeol, and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. Yoon is a political newcomer who became president, his first elected office, slightly more than a week ago. He campaigned on taking a tougher stance against North Korea and strengthening the 70-year alliance with the US.

China is holding military exercises in the disputed South China Sea coinciding with Biden’s visits to South Korea and Japan, which are largely focused on countering the perceived threat from Beijing, reports the AP. The Maritime Safety Administration office in the southern island province of Hainan said the drills began Thursday and will continue through Monday. While in Japan, Biden will meet Tuesday with fellow leaders of the Indo-Pacific strategic alliance known as the Quad, a group that includes Australia, India, and Japan. The four nations share concerns over China's growing regional assertiveness and increasingly capable armed forces.

(More President Biden stories.)

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