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Thursday, March 2, 2017, 20:56

China values ROK trade ties, reiterates THAAD opposition

By Xinhua
China values ROK trade ties, reiterates THAAD opposition
Sun Jiwen, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce, speaks during a regular press conference in Beijing on Jan 19, 2017. (Photo: mofcom.gov.cn)

BEIJING – China values trade ties with the Republic of Korea (ROK) but firmly opposes the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the ROK , a commerce official said Thursday.

China understands the reasonable security concerns of certain parties, but one country's security should not come at the expense of another

Sun Jiwen, Spokesperson, Ministry of Commerce, China

THAAD deployment initiated by the United States and the ROK seriously undermines the strategic security interests of China and is against the public's will, a foundation of China-ROK relations, Sun Jiwen, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference.

China understands the reasonable security concerns of certain parties, but one country's security should not come at the expense of another, he said.

The ROK's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the country had launched the process of providing land to the US forces stationed there to deploy the THAAD system.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck told a regular press briefing that the land provision procedure was launched according to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the two allies.

Lotte Group, the ROK's fifth-largest family-controlled conglomerate, inked a contract with the Defense Ministry of the ROK on Tuesday to exchange its golf course in the country's southeast region for military land near Seoul.

Local media speculations said that the THAAD deployment could be completed between May and July.

In China, Sun reiterated China's firm resolve in opposing the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the ROK , urging relevant parties to stop the deployment process and refrain from going too far down the wrong path.

Asked if the Chinese government would take punitive measures against Lotte Group, the official said he "had taken note of the sentiment of the Chinese netizens," who have appealed to boycott the ROK business.

READ MORE: S. Korea formally signs land swap deal with Lotte for THAAD

Sun said China values economic and trade cooperation with the ROK and welcomes foreign companies – including those from the ROK – to invest in the country.

China will always respect and protect their rights and interests, but their operation should be in compliance with laws and regulations, he said.

The fast push for the THAAD deployment caused strong backlashes from residents living in the Seongju county and the Gimcheon city which borders the golf course.

The residents planned to file a lawsuit with a Seoul administrative court against Defense Minister Han Min-koo for the absence of collecting opinion from them before announcing and deciding on the US missile defense system deployment.

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