Why the Chinese Are Strongly Opposing THAAD Deployment

The viewpoint in this article is something that I have been saying for months that the Chinese are using the THAAD deployment to drive a wedge in the US-ROK alliance.  They have had success in the Philippines with this strategy and have been trying to replicate it in South Korea.  We will see if the strategy works when a ROK left wing politician likely gets elected May to the Presidency:

Chinese opposition to South Korea’s deployment of the THAAD missile defense system is less about missiles than about an ongoing effort to weaken—and ideally demolish—the United States’ network of formal and informal alliances in Asia that has underpinned the regional order for the last seventy years.

The THAAD controversy that heated up in 2016 once deployment became likely displays a familiar Chinese modus operandi: First, pick a fight over an allegedly offensive act. Next, follow up with vitriol and veiled threats, and then inflict economic pressure—while making bland denials or declaring it the spontaneous reaction of the righteously offended Chinese people.  [The National Interest]

You can read more at the link.

US Secretary of State Strongly Criticizes Chinese THAAD Retaliation Against South Korea

Thehe retaliation by China against the ROK is extremely petty and not something an aspiring super-power should be doing:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, talks with USFK Commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks in the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday while a North Korean soldier outside the building takes photos of them through a window. Tillerson began his two-day trip to South Korea on Friday, flying from Japan. [YONHAP]

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that China’s economic retaliation against South Korea for its decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) U.S. antimissile system was “inappropriate and troubling,” and that Washington asks Beijing to “refrain from such action.”Although the U.S. “acknowledges” China’s opposition, Tillerson urged China to “address the threat that makes Thaad necessary.”

The statement was Tillerson’s first time personally addressing the issue in public. It was made during a 20-minute joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se in central Seoul, ahead of his closed-door meeting with Yun.

Tillerson touched down at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, 70 miles south of the capital, Friday morning for his second of three-leg trip in Asia. He had flown in from Tokyo, where he had talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, among others.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Police Looking for Chinese Woman Vandalizing Lotte Marts Because of THAAD

This THAAD nonsense from China is getting stupider and stupider:

Chinese police are looking for a woman who has posted more than 100 videos of herself vandalizing products in a Lotte Mart in retaliation against the U.S. deployment of missile defense system in South Korea.

In the video, the woman, who appear to be in her 20s, crushing the instant noodle cups, stealing snacks, giving her middle finger in an obscene gesture at the main gate and drinking beverages before putting the containers back on the shelf.

These videos began to appear one after another on Chinese portal Sohu from early this month, and have gone viral.  [Korea Times]

Picture of the Day: THAAD Launchers Arrive at Osan AB

Parts of THAAD arrive in S. Korea

This photo, released by U.S. Forces Korea on March 7, 2017, shows parts of an advanced U.S. missile defense system being unloaded from a cargo plane at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, the previous day. The deployment of the system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, began in South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Command said March 7. (Yonhap)

Picture of the Day: THAAD Protest In Gwangju

Protesters in front of Lotte Department Store in Gwangju on Saturday spread out a banner ahead of ripping it in a bid to protest against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and Lotte Group. The chaebol conglomerate signed a land swap deal with the Ministry of National Defense in late February to provide the government with a site for hosting the THAAD. / Yonhap

China Bans Group Travel Tours to South Korea Due to THAAD Deployment

Here is the latest retaliation from the Chinese for the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea:

A notice instructing Chinese tourists how to fill in disembarkation cards is posted Friday in the arrival hall of Incheon International Airport. China’s government ordered travel agencies to stop selling packaged tours to Korea starting March 15 as retaliation for the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in Korea. [YONHAP]

China’s government ordered travel agencies to stop selling tour packages to Korea starting March 15 in the latest retaliation against the deployment of a U.S.-operated anti-missile system in Korea.

Under the ban, all travel agencies in China will be barred from selling travel packages to Korea, both group and individual, from March 15, a move certain to harm the local tourism industry.

It was reported that the China National Tourist Office summoned executives of travel agencies Thursday to a meeting at which the government instructed them to halt all tour packages to Korea to rebuff Seoul’s decision last July to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile system.   [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

China Makes Military Strike Threat Against South Korea Over THAAD Deployment

The hypocrisy is quite stunning from the Chinese government considering they are criticizing the ROK for the deployment of the THAAD system for being against Chinese security interests while completely ignoring ROK security interests.  If it wasn’t for the Chinese backing of their client state North Korea that has allowed them to pursue missiles and nuclear weapons to threaten the ROK with the THAAD deployment would not be necessary:

As Korea speeds along with the deployment of the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system by sealing a land deal with Lotte Group to acquire a golf course in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, Beijing is threatening diplomatic, economic and possibly military retaliation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said through a press briefing Tuesday that Beijing is “firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with the fact that” Seoul is working with Washington to accelerate the deployment process of a Thaad battery and “ignoring China’s interests and concerns.”

He added Beijing will “resolutely take necessary actions to safeguard its own security interests,” without specifying what measures it will take.

The Korean Ministry of National Defense earlier that day signed a deal with Lotte International, the operator of the Lotte Skyhill Seongju Country Club, to swap the golf course with government land in Namyangju, Gyeonggi. Lotte’s board of directors agreed on the land swap deal on Monday, after much delay.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

Here is where the Chinese threaten the ROK militarily:

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping, a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery Corps, told the state-affiliated Global Times Wednesday that once the Thaad system is deployed to Korea, “Seongju County will appear on the list of the PLA missile system’s strike targets.”

So is the Chinese threatening the ROK with a military strike in support of North Korea because that is what this system is in the ROK to defend against.

China Blocks Streaming of South Korean Dramas as Part of THAAD Retaliation

More Chinese retaliation for the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea:

China has blocked access to newly updated clips of South Korean music and dramas on the country’s online video sharing platforms, sources said Sunday, in an apparent bid to retaliate against Seoul’s move to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system.

The move followed China’s decision to prevent South Korean pop stars from appearing on Chinese entertainment programs since October as South Korea decided in July last year to station the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its soil.

A website uploading South Korean dramas said on its social media account on Weibo that it will stop updating video clips of South Korean entertainment programs for the time being.

“Everybody should be aware of the reason for this,” it said, hinting at China’s toughened restriction on Korean pop culture, widely known as “hallyu.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.