China's economic retaliation against South Korea for deploying the THAAD missile defense system continues.
According to industries related to China on Thursday, China’s customs agency has posted a list of cosmetics and food products that have been rejected for import.
Out of 43 countries and 466 different products, Korea had the most disqualified products by far compared to other counries such as the U.S. and Taiwan, and Japan, which also aren't on the best terms with China.
A whopping 83 goods made in Korea were rejected.
That's close to a fifth of all the products China turned away.
According to an official, inspections of Korean products have become stricter since last month, which is when the THAAD deployment really became a source of tension between the two countries.
It's also been noted that about 600 kilograms of candy made by Lotte were rejected for excess food additives.
Lotte has been a primary target of China's unofficial sanctions because the retail giant provided the land for THAAD
Most of its stores in China have been closed on the pretext of “fire safety” violations.
The Chinese government denies these measures are related to THAAD.
Some experts beg to differ but also say the situation shouldn't be overinterpreted.
"The numbers may be striking. But you have to realize Korea is one of China's top four trade partners. Meaning, Korea has the biggest pie.
There's no doubt this is an extension of the initial economic retaliation, but we must not conclude that this is a brand new, out-of-the-blue act to hurt our economy."
Experts also say that while Korean products may be getting more scrutiny, there's no definitive proof China imposing false standards only on them..
So, they say, it's important for Korean exporters not to give the Chinese authorities any true legal grounds to turn away their shipments.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.