SM Merchant Marine launched a new Korea-China service without being allowed to transport ex-China cargoes. China claims that SM Merchant Marine should repay debts owed by Hanjin Shipping.
The primary reason why SM was prohibited from transporting ex-China cargoes is that it failed to become a member of the Yellow Sea Liners Committee, a consultative body for the shipping companies covering the trade between South Korea and China.
SM officials said, "The Korean members of the committee said OK to our entry but the Chinese companies are opposing it, making it difficult for us to gain a seat in the committee."
The Chinese parties claimed instead, "SM was created by acquiring Hanjin Shipping. SM should repay the debts owed by Hanjin Shipping prior to joining the committee."
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