Chinese school kids join South Korean boycott over missile shield row
Videos go viral on the internet showing youngsters vowing not to buy South Korean snacks and chanting during teacher-led rallies at schools
Chinese consumers’ boycott of South Korean goods and businesses over the deployment of a missile defence shield has led to a range of protests including children attending school rallies and refusing to buy Korean snacks plus a Korean barbecue restaurant chain renaming itself.
Two videos of Chinese primary school pupils vowing to wean themselves off Korean snacks at the command of their teachers have gone viral on the internet in China.
Hundreds of children were seen gathered in a school hall and chanting anti-South Korean slogans at one unnamed campus.
The chanting particularly targeted the South Korean retail giant Lotte, which allocated land for the military to deploy the US-developed missile system.
Seoul says missile shield is a defence against North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, but China’s government says it poses a threat to the nation’s security.
During the school rally, a teacher on stage is seen commanding his students to be part of the boycott campaign among consumers by vowing not to purchase snacks from Lotte ever again.
A banner at the centre of the stage reads, “Boycott Lotte. Say no to snacks!”
Similar protests have been held at other schools.
Dozens of pupils were shown in a video published on the internet punching the air and chanting anti-Lotte slogans at a school rally led by a teacher at another unnamed campus.
Many internet users have denounced the school protests, saying teachers were indoctrinating children with nationalistic fervour over a diplomatic hiccup.
Another video shared online shows a young woman ripping open packs of noodles at a Lotte supermarket in Shenyang in Liaoning province
At the end of the video, she makes a rude gesture at a “Lotte Mart” sign, while a patriotic song plays under the video.
Many Chinese businesses appear eager to show support for the boycott campaign.
One social media user spotted some restaurant tableware with a warning about the missile defence shield on its plastic hygiene wrapping.
A well-known Korean barbecue restaurant chain, Hannashan, put out a notice earlier this month saying it was 100 per cent founded and funded by Chinese and had never purchased any products from Lotte.
The restaurant has also changed its name from Hannashan Korean Barbecue to Hannashan Barbecue.