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Chinese medical tourist numbers dip amid THAAD row

The number of Chinese medical tourists to South Korea declined sharply in the first half of this year, mainly due to the diplomatic row with China over the deployment of a US anti-missile system here, government data showed Wednesday.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of Chinese people arriving South Korea for medical purposes declined 24.7 percent on-year during the January-June period.

China has been banning package tours to South Korea since late last year as part of its economic retaliation against South Korea over the deployment of the US missile shield system, which Beijing considers a security threat.

The number of medical tourists from the United States inched down 4.6 percent on-year during the cited period, the data showed. The number of Japanese tourists decreased 12.5 percent, and those from Russia went down 21.7 percent for the same period, the data showed. (Yonhap)