White collection is the perfect way to show

China and South Korea are putting a long-running dispute behind them more than a year after Seoul’s decision to install a US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system. The unexpected decision comes just days before US President Donald Trump begins his trip to Asia, where the North Korean nuclear crisis will be the focus.

As recently as last year, Seoul and Beijing had close political and economic relations. But Chinese opposition to South Korea’s installation of THAAD — which officials viewed as another American effort to contain China — soured the relationship. Korean tourism, cosmetics and entertainment were subsequently hit by Chinese backlash.

Both China and South Korea issued a joint statement on Tuesday agreeing to reset relations, which helped propel South Korean stocks to a record high. But while this reconciliation might also seem like good news for brands exporting “Brand Korea” to China, the reality is that despite a seemingly deteriorating relationship, trade between the two countries has been steadily growing over the past year — which means the mended relationship may only accelerate further growth.

South Korea’s exports to China for January to July in 2017 reached $76.2 billion, an 11.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016, according to the Korea International Trade Association, noting that export growth was predominantly driven by consumer goods and cosmetics, along with automobiles. South Korea’s total export sales for January to July in 2017 hit $328 billion, accounting for 3.6 percent of the world total of $9.142 trillion.

Tourism was also on the up last year. “The number of tourist arrivals from China decreased in 2015, but recovered to an 11 percent increase in 2016 to reach 6.6 million visitors. Overall retail expenditure by Chinese tourists in South Korea also increased by 10 percent in 2016,” said Euromonitor’s global luxury manager Fflur Roberts in a report. “This shows that South Korea maintains its strong attraction for wealthy Chinese tourists.”