BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in the Republic of Korea (ROK) has affected China-ROK trade, a spokesman with China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.
The deployment "seriously harms China's strategic security interests," spokesman Gao Feng said at a press conference.
"[China] hopes the ROK side respects China's major interests and legitimate concerns and properly deals with the issues in question," Gao said.
He also noted that trade ties have been stable in the past few years, "but Sino-ROK cooperation and exchanges rely on public opinion."
Trade between the two countries has huge potential, and China has an active and open attitude toward the economic and trade ties, Gao added.
In the first eight months of this year, the bilateral trade rose 10.4 percent to 176.11 billion U.S. dollars, with China's export to the ROK up 11.9 percent and import from the ROK up 9.5 percent.