A group of South Korean opposition lawmakers will visit China on Wednesday amid signs of deepening tension between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in the South. The visit by eight lawmakers from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea was aimed at “delivering messages” from the party’s presidential hopefuls, including Moon Jae-in, on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, the reported. During their three-day trip, the group is scheduled to meet government officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and scholars in a bid to calm Beijing’s fury and ease China’s ban on Korean stars and movies. The visit came as the Chinese government rejected applications from three South Korean airlines to run chartered flights between the countries for the Lunar New Year festival later this month, Yonhap News Agency reported. The latest move, affecting eight non-scheduled flights by Korean Air Lines, Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air, is widely seen as Beijing’s continued retaliation against Seoul’s decision to deploy the THAAD system. Citing the South Korean ministry of transport, the agency said the rejection was delivered by Chinese aviation authorities last Friday. “Usually, both countries communicate before [any decision] on the chartered flight issue, but this time we didn’t and were also given no specific reason for the disapproval,” a ministry official was quoted as saying.