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The Hallyu Wave: Will Korean President’s Resignation Save It?

It has been known that South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, is one of the biggest factors why the world is experiencing the Hallyu wave. One of her recent moves was to appoint Descendants of the Sun actor Song Joong-ki as the honorary ambassador for South Korean tourism. However, President Park’s efforts achieved only a little of the expected outcome. When she began to support the deployment of THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) this year, neighboring country China began to ban anything Korean-related, affecting South Korea’s economy.

No more Hallyu wave in China

Photo credit: Screenshot from the video "China blocks broadcasts, events involving Korean celebrities" taken from the official YouTube channel of Arirang News

Photo credit: Screenshot from the video “China blocks broadcasts, events involving Korean celebrities” taken from the official YouTube channel of Arirang News

Korean celebrities, musicians, and idols have been banned from visiting or entering China to perform. Korean TV shows and films were blocked, and Chinese stars replaced Hallyu wave celebrities in advertisements. China is one of the countries where KPop and K-dramas are highly popular. However, their success in the Chinese market can drastically change when political crises arise.  According to The Korea Times, no Korean celebrity has obtained permission to perform in China since October.

Hallyu actress Jun Ji-hyun was replaced as an ambassador for a smartphone company by Chinese model, Angelababy. Kim Woo-bin and Suzy Bae, the stars of popular drama Uncontrollably Fond, were supposed to have a fan meeting in Beijing but the event was abruptly cancelled.  Taiwanese actor, Eddie Peng, replaced Song Joong-ki as the official brand ambassador of smartphone maker Vivo last July.



Read more: China Confirms Ban On KPop

Should Park Geun-hye resign?

Qiu Guohong, China’s ambassador to South Korea, said that THAAD could ruin the relationship between the two countries. Even though the Chinese media became stricter on the Hallyu wave or anything related to Korean entertainment, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang claimed that he has not heard about any restriction regarding the trade of culture between China and South Korea.

“I have never heard about any restriction on the ROK (Republic of Korea), and the Chinese side is always positive to people-to-people and cultural exchanges with the country,” he said.

Read more: What happens if Park Geun-hye resigns?

With all of the alleged bans and restrictions, will China overlook South Korea’s decision regarding THAAD? Or will South Korea need to back away from the program to soothe ruffled feathers?



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