"We are concerned and closely monitoring reports that China has taken actions against South Korean private sector entities for the US-ROK [Republic of Korea] decision to deploy THAAD in the ROK," an unnamed representative of the State Department told Yonhap.
Concurrently, the source reaffirmed Washington’s "ironclad commitment" to the defense of its allies.
According to the report, this was the first time Washington has publicly condemned China’s retaliatory measures over the THAAD deployment.
Moreover, South Korean media is trying to capitalize on the tense situation. For example, a correspondent of Sputnik China reported that China did not ban tourist trips to South Korea, while South Korean media has reported that Beijing imposed tourist restrictions against Seoul.
Tensions are now on the rise between Beijing and Seoul over China’s measures against South Korean companies, according to Konstantin Asmolov, an expert at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In an interview with Sputnik China, Asmolov shared thoughts on the possible developments of the situation: "An open confrontation is unlikely. It is also unclear whether official sanctions will be imposed. On the other hand, there is a hardline media campaign in China against South Korean-produced goods. So, the main target is economy."
According to the expert, China’s hardline stance towards South Korea does not favor North Korea.
"Beijing does not support the South against the North and vice versa. China wants the two Koreas to take into account its national interests," Asmolov added.
Konstantin Sivkov, a Russian military analyst and president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Sputnik China that in theory the Chinese military is capable of jamming American radars in South Korea.
"China is a developed country. It can create instruments to blind THAAD’s control system. They can do that. The only problem is that such jamming devices needs to be aircraft-based. But I think that Beijing could do that," Sivkov said.
"As far as the THAAD issue remains unresolved there will be a downward trend in bilateral ties. The deployment creates risks for regional strategic security, including for China. China has repeatedly protested the move but South Korea remains committed to its policy, ignoring national security interests. This problem is more serious any economic differences. It directly relates to China’s strategic security and strategic security of the entire North-East Asian region," the expert pointed out.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!