BEIJING, March 1 (ChinaMil) -- China is bound to sanction ROK. The question is how.
First, the Chinese society should remain rational. This is just a "normal conflict" in international politics. Though we should carry out firm and orderly countermoves against the ROK's deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system, there is no need to get angry.
This is to say that there is no need to get all worked up and vow to beat the ROK to the ground. We just need to do what we should and can do. Our sanctions must be quiet and stringent, not necessarily crushing the ROK, but preferably making it bleed inside and truly feel the pain.
Second, the sanction against the ROK shouldn't be led by the government because it will face countless obstacles owing to the WTO agreement and the China-ROK agreement. Chinese consumers should be the main force of the sanction, and punish the ROK through the market.
Third, we shouldn't go over the top in sanctioning the ROK. Pyrrhic victory isn't a wise choice. The sanction had better be launched in areas where the ROK's huge losses won't affect China or its losses are disproportionately larger than China's. The basic principle is to avoid substantial economic losses on China's side.
Fourth, based on the discussions among several Chinese scholars, we believe the sanction against the ROK should focus on the following areas with the general public playing the leading role.
1. Tourism: the ROK received 17.418 million tourists in 2016, of which 8.268 million, or 47.5 percent, were Chinese tourists, even though the growth rate of them shrank sharply in the second half of the year.
If Chinese media report more about the China-ROK conflict on the THAAD deployment and domestic travel agencies make some adjustments, Chinese tourists to the ROK will definitely see negative growth this year, possibly by a large margin. The decrease of Chinese tourists will take a toll on the ROK's service industry immediately.
2. Cultural industry: airing of the ROK operas and performance of the ROK stars in China has been affected by THAAD since the second half of last year, and promoting the export of cultural products is one of the priorities in the ROK's national strategy. China is the largest market of the ROK pop culture, and the fact that Chinese audience will forget the ROK operas and stars will seriously hit its national pride.
If the ROK insists on deploying the THAAD, the anti-ROK sentiment in Chinese market will eventually result in "zero export" of Korean cultural products to China, and the ROK government will only have itself to blame.
3. Samsung mobile phone and other electronic products as well as Hyundai automobiles are representative products of the ROK manufacturing, and China is the largest market for them both.
Both companies have set up plants in China and most of their products sold in China are "made in China", so countermoves against them will involve more complicated interest impact. But if the China-ROK conflict keeps escalating, it will only be a matter of time before Samsung and Hyundai are embroiled too.
4. The ROK fashion elements should be boycotted by Chinese consumers too, let alone Lotte. Besides, Gyeongsangbuk-do, where Seongju is located, is a sister province of central China's Henan Province. If Henan considers canceling this friendly relations, that will shock the ROK society.
5. China should largely cut all kinds of official and semi-official exchanges with the ROK and put the entire bilateral relations on hold, but this is something the government should think about.
China imposed strict sanction on the DPRK for possessing nuclear weapons through the UN, and its sanction against the ROK should be no less severe. Since the ROK had the audacity to take an almost hostile stance against China, we should react accordingly.
The Chinese society should be prepared for a long stalemate with the ROK.
A few years earlier when China and the ROK were on good terms, we valued this neighbor very much. Since it has changed its attitude, we should re-evaluate our relations too.
The ROK has no land border with China, no advanced technology or important resources we need. It simply "doesn't matter" for China's development.
Let the Chinese foreign ministry and defense ministry keep an eye on it, and the general public can forget about it altogether as the ROK elements fade from our daily life.
Some the ROK people have been dreaming that China's strong reaction against the THAAD will subside after a while.
That may be true, but the premise is that the newly elected ROK president will overthrow the plan for deploying the THAAD, or it can force China to back off given the disproportion power comparison between the two countries.
The question is whether the premises will come true. So, my dear Koreans, what are you fantasying?
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