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After A Six Year Hiatus, China Has Started Broadcasting South Korean Entertainment Again



South Korean officials announced on Tuesday that a Chinese streaming platform has resumed distributing content from South Korea after having done so suspended for nearly six years. This move, which South Korean officials called a sign of Beijing’s readiness to improve ties, was announced by South Korean officials.

They said that earlier this month, China’s streaming site Tencent (TCEHY) began distributing a film titled “Hotel by the River” that was directed by South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo. This was the first move of its kind following Beijing’s effective ban on K-pop imports in the midst of tension over the THAAD US missile defense system stationed in South Korea.

The timing of the gesture was explained by a South Korean presidential official as being connected to a meeting that took place not too long ago between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the first meeting of its kind between the two leaders, Yoon and Xi met in person for the first time last week in Bali, where they discussed expanding their collaboration. It was the first time that the presidents of the two countries had met since the beginning of 2019.

Kim Eun-hye, the press secretary for Yoon, stated that during the meeting, the South Korean president emphasized the need to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and that the change at Tencent appeared to be a “response” from Beijing. Kim Eun-hye was quoted as saying that Tencent’s decision appeared to be a “response” from Beijing. Following the installation of the THAAD system in South Korea in 2017 to better counter North Korea’s increasing missile threats, relations between South Korea and China have deteriorated over the past several years, leading to increased tensions between the two countries.

China had asserted that the THAAD’s powerful radar may peep into its airspace, and in response, China drastically reduced the amount of economic and cultural imports with South Korea, dealing a significant blow to the country’s relations with its neighbor.

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