China warned Tuesday of “consequences” for South Korea over the deployment of a U.S. antimissile system, raising regional tension and questions about China’s commitment to free, open trade.
The U.S. military began deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea on Monday, the same day North Korea launched four missiles that landed off the Japanese coast.
The United States and South Korea say the system is a necessary defense against Kim Jong Un’s regime, but Beijing rejects the plan.
“I want to emphasize that we firmly oppose the deployment of THAAD,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, at a daily press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. “We will resolutely take necessary measures to defend our security interests."
“All consequences entailed from this will be borne by the U.S. and the Republic of Korea,” he said.
Geng did not provide details on what “consequences" are in store, but South Korea is bracing for retaliatory measures against its business interests, according to a South Korean official.
The Chinese side sees THAAD as a threat to the Chinese military and evidence of U.S. meddling in East Asian affairs. To signal its anger, Beijing has been taking aim at South Korean businesses in China and, since March 3, warning would-be Chinese tourists about booking trips.
The new measures would also shut down duty-free shops run by Lotte, the South Korean conglomerate that helped Seoul secure land for THAAD, according to the South Korean official.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.