By Wan Yu from People’s Daily
Lotte Group, ROK’s fifth-largest conglomerate, is now sitting in mounting anger from Chinese consumers after it agreed on a land swap deal to enable an early deployment of the US-backed missile shield system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Some Chinese public have launched boycott campaigns against the products made by Lotte on social media platforms.
The swap, which gives the ROK defense ministry the Lotte Skyhill Country Club in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang Province, for the deployment of the THAAD system, paves way for a speedy installation of the system by late June at the earliest.
A Global Times survey showed that 95.3 percent Chinese customers back a sanction against Lotte for the land deal.
“If Lotte has one reason to support its country’s decision, then we have every reason to boycott the company,” a netizen told the People’s Daily via microblog account.
Some net users have even sort out a list of the products the retail operator sold in China, calling for their off-shelf from domestic e-commerce platforms like “JD.com” and “tmall.com”. The suggestion received more than 3,000 likes in two hours, and other ROK-made products were implicated as well.
The TV plays are another victim of ROK government’s tough stance on THAAD deployment.
Some translation teams for Korean TV plays have stopped their work, and more TV plays and programs have been pulled off shelf by video websites.
In addition, more Chinese tourists canceled their ROK trips, or gave up plans to buy ROK-made cars, phones or daily necessities.
“We are firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with the fact that ignoring China’s interests and concerns, the ROK insisted on working with the US to accelerate the deployment process,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang reiterated China’s stance at the regular press conference Tuesday.
“China is firm in its resolve to oppose the deployment of THAAD in the ROK and will resolutely take necessary actions to safeguard its own security interests,” he said.
China strongly urges relevant parties to take China’s interests and concerns seriously, stop the deployment process and not to go further down that wrong path, he stressed, adding that China has twice lodged solemn representations with the ROK for the latest developments.
China welcomes foreign companies investing in the country and will always respect and protect their rights and interests, but their operation should be in compliance with laws and regulations, said Geng.
“Chinese market and consumers will determine whether a foreign company is successful in China,” Geng added at last.
The ROK public are protesting against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in front of the Lotte headquarters in Seoul, the ROK. (Photo by Ma Fei from People’s Daily)