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China warns South Korea and retailer Lotte over missile shield deal

By Jing Shuiyu | | Updated: 2017-03-02 17:36
China warns South Korea and retailer Lotte over missile shield deal

A Lotte Mart in Beijing, Feb 28, 2017. [Photo/China Daily]

Beijing has strongly urged Seoul to halt the installation of an advanced United States anti-missile system, and called on the South Korean conglomerate involved to comply with Chinese laws.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen made the remarks at a press conference, as Chinese people expressed anxiety and anger online about the Republic of Korea's planned deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

It's radar is reportedly able to cover parts of China and Russia.

On Tuesday, the ROK signed a land swap deal with retail giant Lotte Group to allow the missile shield to go ahead. The deployment process is expected to be completed between May and July, according to ROK local media.

Sun said that the ROK's THAAD deployment plan not only gravely undermined China's strategic security interests, but also hurt the two countries' bilateral cooperation.

He called on ROK to "stop going further on the wrong path".

"We understand the legitimate concerns of the relevant parties in maintaining their own safety, but one country's security should not come at the sacrifice of another," Sun continued.

Quite a few Chinese people and homegrown firms expressed their opposition to Lotte's products and services.

Responding to the community anger, Sun said that the government welcomed all foreign companies, including those headquartered in ROK, to do business in China, and will always protect their legitimate rights.

"But the premise is that the enterprises must comply with Chinese laws," Sun added.

The retail giant has over 150 hypermarket outlets in China. It reported a sluggish retail business in the Chinese market last year, with its sales growth shrinking by 14 percent year-on-year.

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