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Hyundai's China production hiccup smacks of pressure over THAAD

Missile shield standoff seen figuring in trouble at joint auto venture

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Vehicles on display at a Hyundai Motorstudio in Goyang, South Korea.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- Many see Hyundai Motor's recent shutdown of four Chinese auto plants as an example of how Beijing is trying to bring pressure to bear on South Korea over its installation of an American missile shield.

"It's an attempt by the Communist Party to rattle South Korea," an executive at a major Chinese state-owned automaker said. Angry over the decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors, China has hit at Hyundai and is gauging the South Korean response, the theory goes.

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