China on Wednesday said the public's will is vital to its ties with the Republic of Korea (ROK) as bilateral relations are strained by the ROK's plan to deploy THAAD.
"China takes a positive and open attitude toward exchanges and cooperation with the ROK, but it also requires appropriate basis of the public's will and public opinion," said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang, at a press briefing when asked whether China has started taking punitive measures against the ROK.
Media reports said some Chinese websites had stopped broadcasting ROK TV dramas and ROK pop stars were no longer invited to China to participate in variety shows or other programs.
Geng said that China's position opposing the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system, known as THAAD, in the ROK is "clear and consistent."
China hopes that the ROK side could cherish the valuable results achieved in China-ROK relations, face the reasonable concerns of the Chinese side, listen to the voice of the Chinese people and stop the deployment of the controversial U.S. missile defence system, said Geng.
He urged the ROK side to refrain from causing more severe adverse effects on bilateral economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and ties.