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South Korean media claims expansion of China's restrictions due to THAAD deployment

(People's Daily Online)    17:05, January 22, 2017

Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) (file photo)

South Korea's Seoul Broadcasting System quoted an insider from Lotte Group on Jan. 21 stating that Lotte would hold a board meeting after Spring Festival to approve relevant agreements about the deployment site of its Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, the Global Times reported.

According to the report, Korean Broadcasting System noted that China barred eight types of Korean air purifiers from entering the Chinese market in late December last year because of function and security problems. Korea Joongang Daily reported on Jan. 21 that the restriction was also expanded to encompass music and performers; no Korean musician or singer has obtained Beijing's permission to perform in the country since November.

"Will speeding up the deployment resolve the contradictions of THAAD?" Hankook Ilbo asked on Jan. 21. The recent news indicating that South Korea and the U.S. have decided to speed up the THAAD deployment process has triggered rumors that China set up restrictions in protest.

Aju Business Daily reported on Jan. 20 that South Korea has already taken measures to respond to China's restrictions. For example, the Korean Fair Trade Commission has imposed a maximum of 10 percent anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese printing rubber sheets.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson pointed out earlier this month that China has demonstrated serious concerns and strong opposition to the deployment of THAAD, and its stance will not change. China is always positive when it comes to economic and trade cooperation as well as interpersonal and cultural exchanges with South Korea. However, such cooperation and exchange should be based on public support. China hopes South Korea will stop the THADD deployment process and instead find a solution that takes into account the interests of both sides.

Meanwhile, the South Korean public is worried about China's attitude toward THAAD. Chung-in Moon, a professor at Yonsei University in South Korea, published an article in Joongang Daily noting that although THAAD deployment is a sovereign, self-defensive act intended to protect the country from North Korean nuclear and missile threats, it is difficult for THAAD to actually counteract the 1,000 or more missiles that could come from North Korea.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Perry and several other U.S. scholars indicated that the deployment of THAAD will likely fail to satisfy South Korea's requirements. Meanwhile, China has displayed determined opposition to THAAD, and its deployment will serve only to bring unpredictable consequences.

"The claim of self-defense without a thorough consideration of national interests sounds rather unbelievable," Chung-in Moon commented. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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