China values trade ties with the Republic of Korea (ROK) but firmly opposes the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the ROK, a commerce official said Thursday.
THAAD deployment initiated by the United States and the ROK seriously undermines the strategic security interests of China and is against the public's will, a foundation of China-ROK relations, Sun Jiwen, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference.
China understands the reasonable security concerns of certain parties, but one country's security should not come at the expense of another, he said.
He reiterated China's firm resolve in opposing the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the ROK, urging relevant parties to stop the deployment process and refrain from going too far down the wrong path.
Asked if the Chinese government would take punitive measures against Lotte Group, the official said he "had taken note of the sentiment of the Chinese netizens," who have appealed to boycott the ROK business.
Sun said China values economic and trade cooperation with the ROK and welcomes foreign companies -- including those from the ROK -- to invest in the country.
China will always respect and protect their rights and interests, but their operation should be in compliance with laws and regulations, he said.
Lotte Group, the ROK's fifth-largest conglomerate, decided Monday to offer its golf course for use as a site for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, also known as THAAD.