China–South Korea Defense Deal Affects South Korean Entertainments; Grammy-winning Korean Diva Sumi Jo China Tour Cancelled

By Johny Smith on Jan 27, 2017 12:42 PM EST

Cancellations of South Korean concerts have heightened suspicions that South Korean classical musicians are the victims of political tensions with China. This roots in a deal of South Korea to allow a United States missile-defense system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, the United States antimissile system) on its soil. There was much speculation that Beijing economically, would retaliate.

In recent years, the South Korean popular culture which is huge in China, has become the largest export market for the South Korean entertainment industry. But for the past few months, according to Yonhap News Agency, the cultural and entertainment industries are on its way down. In fact, some of the South Korean musicians are being affected.

Grammy Award-winning South Korean soprano, Sumi Jo, had been scheduled to perform along with three top orchestras in mainland China. But on Tuesday, Sumi Jo confirmed that her concerts, scheduled to run from Feb. 19 in three Chinese cities, have been canceled without appropriate explanation after months of delay by the Chinese government to issue a visa.

There has been no official confirmation of a Chinese blacklist or a ban on South Korean artists and entertainers. But, China Philharmonic noted that Jo and South Korean conductor Min Chung were forced to review the performance for specific reasons, says The Straits Times. Her concerts in the mainland China will be replaced and her spot will be filled by Chinese soprano personalities.

Anxiety in South Korea emphasized the gradually difficult position that Seoul often finds itself in between China, its largest trade partner, and the United States, its traditional military ally. The cancellations may have been coincidental, but several employees at South Korean and Chinese media companies, uttered their worries that there had been pressure to put some South Korean projects on hold. They are the ones requested anonymity because they feared that in the future, their business will be at risk.

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TagsSumi Jo, South korean entertainment, South korea defense deal

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