March 24, 2017 13:08
Hong Kong's leading English-language daily on Thursday slammed China's economic retaliation against Korea over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.
The South China Morning Post headlined the article, "Why China stoking up anger over [Korea] missile system is doomed to fail."
The Chinese government "has allowed state-controlled media to stoke anger and resentment against [Korea] and stepped up scrutiny of Korean consumer products. This led to some Chinese consumers boycotting [Korean] products and businesses. Group tours to [Korea] have been called off and flights to its airports reduced," the daily wrote.
But it added that "despite these headline-grabbing moves, experts believe China's ability to punish [Korea] is limited."
This is because "less than five per cent of [Korea's] exports to China are consumer goods -- the easy target for Chinese boycotts," the daily pointed out. Most are raw materials and manufacturing parts and equipment that Chinese manufacturers need.
Prof. Richard Hu Weixing of the University of Hong Kong told the daily, "Beijing's economic pressure on [Korea] would have no impact" on the THAAD deployment. "Actually, they are going to speed up the deployment," he said.
The 114-year-old daily was sold to Jack Ma, the Alibaba tycoon who is close to the Chinese leadership, in 2015 and has been notably pro-Beijing for many years.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times that day also warned China's protests and the boycotts of Korean goods over the THAAD deployment "may backfire."
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