Prospects for the retail business run by South Korea's Lotte Group in China are brought in public spotlight by its Monday approval of a land swap to enable an early deployment of the controversial U.S. missile defense system known as THAAD.
Giving a strong warning for all the "consequences" on the part of South Korea and the United States for its deployment, the Chinese foreign ministry fell short of mentioning anything against the Lotte Group.
Lotte, a business group focusing on retail and food, has benefited much from China's opening up for foreign investment. By the end of 2015, Lotte shops and supermarkets have covered 24 provinces in China.
A brisk business has prompted its tax-free shops to expand in size so as to serve increasing numbers of Chinese consumers, who contribute 70 percent of its total sales volume.
The THAAD system is being installed in the name of protecting South Korea's security from the neighboring Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
However, its ranges go far beyond into Chinese and Russian territories, allowing the United States to monitor flights and missile launches of the two countries conveniently.
It has sacrificed the delicate strategic balance in the region for an illuded target of achieving peace through muscle-flexing.
Lotte may have its case in allowing the land swap for the THAAD installment, however it is not Chinese consumers' job to verify it.
It may be just that they would like to share a stance against anyone who damages the security interests of their country.
Nevertheless, possible complicacy Lotte may run into in China is obvious an isolated case and China will definitely go ahead with its opening up endeavor and further embrace the foreign investments.
Addressing a meeting in Beijing on Monday, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan promised more efforts in briskly introducing foreign investment.
This includes propelling the development of free trade zones, pushing for reforms in foreign investment management, and improving the business environment, said Zhong.
Foreign direct investment on the Chinese mainland rose 4.1 percent year on year last year.
China has been loosening the grip on the inflow of foreign capital as part of efforts to facilitate its opening up, reducing restrictive measures and opening more sectors. In 2016, laws on foreign investment were amended, and measures were unveiled to simplify the approval procedure for foreign companies.