Seoul to blame if Korean Wave falters

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/4 0:08:39

Claims that programs involving South Korean stars would be blocked from being made or broadcast in China have come under the spotlight of some overseas media, South Korean media in particular. Suspicion is swirling that it's related to Beijing's discontent with Seoul's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Some local TV stations of China reportedly have received instructions from regulators. 

China, a major market for South Korea's entertainment shows and a key factor behind the popularity of South Korean pop culture, is of critical importance for an increasing number of South Korean entertainers. It has contributed a considerable market share to the entertainment industry of South Korea.

A friendly atmosphere between the two countries is the basis for the South Korean entertainment industry to engage deeply into the Chinese market. It's unclear whether or to what extent the Chinese authorities exert an influence. But it's certain that the "Korean Wave," or "Hallyu," will inevitably feel the chill in China if Seoul sticks to the THAAD deployment, further intensifying political tensions in the bilateral relationship.

By then, there will be no need for any official order, as TV stations that broadcast South Korean dramas will be resisted by Chinese netizens.

China-South Korea economic cooperation and cultural exchanges have reached an unprecedentedly high level in recent years. This is largely because South Korea, unlike Japan which has totally tilted toward the US, has managed to maintain a balance between China and the US. Japanese TV dramas gained huge popularity in China in the 1980s and 1990s. After the China-Japan relationship fell to a low ebb, the Korean Wave was able to replace the Japanese Wave.

It's not China's fault if South Korean stars eventually become the scapegoat of the THAAD deployment.

Fairly speaking, South Korea is the most successful country to have had its bread buttered on both sides in the complicated Northeast Asia. It has relied on the US for security and on China for the economy. Seoul should value such a favorable strategic atmosphere. It shouldn't have stirred Northeast Asia up wantonly and altered its strategic posture. 

The North Korea nuclear conundrum is a thorny issue. But deploying the THAAD system won't be of any help to relieve the South Korea's security dilemma, but will drag the country into the conflict among China, the US and Russia. It will create more problems rather than solving any problems. It is a tragedy if Seoul fails to figure this out.

As the Korean Wave runs into barriers in China, South Korea is asking for trouble. Seoul may suffer more losses should the stalemate between China and South Korea continue.

Of course, China won't be immune from loss. However, no idol can be above the country.

As THAAD has put China under enormous pressure, young Chinese people won't be in the mood to enjoy the Korean Wave.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus