South Korea Lodges WTO Complaint Against China’s Controversial Trade Practices
South Korea has lodged compliant in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China's alleged unfair trade practices in the wake of THAAD missile fiasco. This was confirmed by the country's trade minister Joo Hyung-Hwan on Monday.
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"We have notified the WTO that China may be in violation of some trade agreements," Joo responded to parliamentarians over questions on how his government plans to respond to China's ongoing trade war.
Joo informed that the complaint was lodged last week after Beijing imposed restrictions on South Korean companies in the tourism and distribution sectors. This is latest in the series of actions that Chinese government is recently been taking against the South Korean companies following the THAAD fallout.
The South Korean - Japanese conglomerate Lotte Group is facing the most amount of heat since it is at the heart of the current THAAD controversy. The dozens of Lotte retail stores were asked to temporarily shut down earlier this month, after the Lotte management agreed to lease its golf course for the deployment of the anti-US missile system.
Lotte incidentally avoided Chinese state media's warning about a backlash if the management allows its land to be used for missile deployment. Apart from Lotte, South Korean K-pop artists and dramas are also facing Chinese authorise wrath, with several of their concerts being cancelled and shows facing censorship issues.
China resolutely claims that the deployment of THAAD missile in the Korean peninsula will greatly endanger its national security. However, Seoul and Washington insists that the missile deployment is necessary to put pressure on North Korea.
Several media reports claim that the work for the deployment of the anti-US missile system has already been initiated. The operation to install Thaad battery was reportedly started in the first week of this month, with some of the important spare parts been imported from the U.S.