The video — viewed by Wednesday more than 300,000 times on Facebook and Twitter and almost 2.7 million times on the Chinese video-posting site Maiopai — represents the latest example of China's use of non-diplomatic channels to broadcast its displeasure with South Korea.
Last year, there were reports that China had stopped giving approval to performers of Korean pop music, or "K-pop," to play shows in China, on the heels of Seoul signing the agreement to host THAAD. In March, South Korean officials voiced concerns that Beijing was limiting tourism to their country as an unofficial sanction.
In this undated image made from video, members of CD REV chant about THAAD, the U.S. Army's missile defense system formally known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense. A rap group backed by China's government is warning South Korea in a music video that "you're going too far" with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, as Beijing seeks to bring its state-supported cultural forces to bear in the international dispute.
Photo Credit: AP
South Korean retailer Lotte, which provided the land for the THAAD deployment, has also been boycotted by Chinese customers and seen construction halted on an amusement park it was building in northeastern China.
Such moves underscore a willingness on the part of China's Communist Party leaders to fan the flames of anti-South Korea sentiment, said Korea expert Sung-Yoon Lee of Tufts University in Massachusetts.
"THAAD retaliation is a Chinese government-engineered project," Lee said. "It can be controlled and reversed by Beijing. ... The Chinese public has no interest in the complexities of missile defense systems."
South Korea's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to questions about the song, and the video did not appear to garner much attention on the country's social media platforms.
During a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, said he was aware of Chinese worries about THAAD and asked Xi to help resolve difficulties facing South Korean businesses operating in China.
A special envoy representing Moon is due to visit China on Thursday for talks on THAAD and the overall bilateral relationship.