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Posted by China National News, on Saturday, March 4th, 2017
China is retaliating through economic measures in response to South Korea’s collaboration with the United States over a U.S. anti-missile system – the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD – which Beijing says is threatening its security.
South Korea has said the missile system, whose radars are capable of peering deep into China’s north and parts of Russia, is needed to defend against missiles threats from North Korea, and is not targeted at other nations.
However, unconvinced, protests are taking place against Lotte Mart, a South Korean hypermarket chain that sells food, clothing, toys and electronics.
On Monday, Lotte Group had agreed to provide a golf course to the South Korean government to site the system.
Asked about the protests against Lotte, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday, “It is the Chinese market and consumers who will determine whether a foreign company is successful in China.”
South Koreans were also sharply hit on Friday following media reports that China had ordered travel agencies in Beijing to stop selling trips to the country.
Cosmetics makers, retailers, carmakers and airlines were among the most significant losers as South Korea’s main benchmark index fell 1.3 percent in afternoon trade.
“There is actually no industry in Korea that is free from THAAD risks,” said Jung Sang Jin, who helps manage the equivalent of $33 billion at Korea Investment Management Co. in Seoul.
“Many companies have plants in China, and China could halt operation at those plants.”
South Korean political parties condemned the Chinese backlash.
“It’s despicable and arrogant. China is a G20 nation that should be leading the development of world order,” Liberty Korea Party leader Chung Woo-taik said.
The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on Thursday instructed travel agencies to halt sales of all travel packages – both online and offline – to South Korea, also instructing them to expedite those that have already been sold by mid-March.
“Considering the Chinese government’s control on free trips sold by travel agencies, more than 60 percent of Chinese tourists visiting Korea are estimated to be affected,” said Yoo Sung-man, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities.