Conglomerate Feels Heat From China’s Anger at South Korea
Lotte, which has put up a golf course as a home for the U.S.-made Thaad system, says operations at some of its China facilities have been suspended.
Furious over Seoul’s deployment of a U.S.-made missile-defense system, China is bearing down on a South Korean conglomerate, ramping up economic warfare against a neighbor whose officials are re-evaluating what it means to anger Beijing. Amid curbs on sales of Chinese tour packages to South Korea, and a block on Korean cosmetics, soap operas and K-pop stars, much of China’s anger over the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or Thaad, has increasingly shifted to Lotte Group, which is putting up a golf course as a home for Thaad. A barrage of moves—which Beijing hasn’t formally labeled as sanctions—has escalated as Seoul started taking delivery of the U.S.-made system this week. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– Beijing’s behavior is “very inappropriate and unreasonable,” said one South Korean official who handles China affairs. “It really strengthens the discourse about the China threat.” Much of the anger has fallen squarely on one conglomerate, Lotte Group, which is putting up a golf course as a home for Thaad.
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