SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- China has taken a total of 43 retaliatory actions against the South Korean entertainment sector and trade goods in reprisal for Seoul's plan to deploy the U.S.-made Terminal-High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a national think tank said Friday.
The number was tallied by the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification for the seven-month period following South Korea and the U.S.' official announcement on July 8 to deploy the defense system by the end of 2017.
Of the total retaliatory actions taken last year, 23 cases involved cultural areas, followed by economic transactions totaling 15 cases. The remaining 5 cases pertained to diplomatic, political and military matters between the two countries.
Beijing's retaliation is spilling over into more sectors and turning more aggressive, the institute said. "There's a high likelihood of Chinese boycott of South Korea goods or protest rallies against South Korea, caused by nationalist sentiment in China."
China has relentlessly protested that the THAAD deployment would undermine its security interest in the region despite Seoul and Washington's assurances that the deployment is only intended to guard against North Korea's ballistic missile threats.
In apparent retaliation, China has banned South Korean entertainers from performing in China and applied prohibitively stricter import standards on popular South Korean trade goods including cosmetics and batteries for electric cars. Ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday season last month, China banned chartered flight service linking the two countries, affecting South Korea's tourism industry.