The South Korean government announced on December 2 that it would proactively cope with the Chinese government’s escalating trade protectionism by means of multilateral trade regimes such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
This has to do with the Chinese government’s tax investigations on the Lotte Group’s places of business and subsidiaries located across China that were initiated on November 29. Sanitary and safety inspections are currently underway along with the tax investigations, too. According to experts, this is because the Lotte Golf Resort located in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province has been determined as the place to house the THAAD system in the Korean Peninsula.
“We will deal with the Chinese government’s measures in a systematic and well-organized way by means of real-time monitoring,” the South Korean government explained, adding, “At the same time, we will make use of organizations such as the WTO and rules such as the free trade agreement between South Korea and China in the case of measures in violation of international rules.”
With regard to this issue, the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of South Korea sent a letter to China on November 16 and had a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to South Korea on November 25. Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy Joo Hyeong-hwan himself sent letters to China on October 17 and November 28, too.