MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The number of Chinese tourists traveling to South Korea is decreasing for the ninth consecutive month, demonstrating an overall decline of more than 40 percent compared to the previous year, in light of the deterioration of relations between the two states over the installation of a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, the Yonhap agency reported Friday.
In late October, Beijing and Seoul agreed following the bilateral consultations to restore the cooperation between the states to the right track.
In 2016, Chinese visitors accounted for nearly half of the 17 million tourists in South Korea. The relations between South Korea and China deteriorated after Seoul decided to deploy the THAAD system as a response measure to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests in July 2016. China has stated on numerous occasions that THAAD threatens Beijing’s national security interests and undermines strategic balance of power in the entire region.