National sentiment controlled by rumors
Recently, Chinese netizens organized the anti-“Super Junior” and their fans movement (the 69 Jihad), and then Chinese Internet users’ feeling of resentment towards (Hahanzu) “Korean Wave” have fermented, the situation gradually developed into anti-Korean sentiment. After we talked about the “69 Jihad” and the recent “Simida Zongzi gate”, many readers strongly reacted to these incidents. This article on Netease is in line with some of the readers’ views: In fact, since the new century almost all anti-Korean sentiments are exclusively based on the spreading rumors. And why do these obvious rumors have such a large market and making Chinese people to keep dwelling on them?
1. Cao Cao is Korean?
Rumor: Quoted from South Korea’s “Great Korea Min Bao (People Newspaper)”, Korea’s Ewha Womans University professor Zheng Zaishu said that “Cao Cao is Korean”.
Fact: January 8, 2010, South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, director of China Department spoke directly with professor Zheng Zaishu and clarified this information was entirely false. And “Great Korea Min Bao” does not exist.
2. Sun Yat-sen is Korean?
Rumor: “Chosun Libo” reported that Sungkyunkwan University Professor Pu Fenqing researched based on family genealogy and issued a report saying Sun Yat-sen is Korean.
Fact: “Chosun Libo” never reported such news, and there is no such professor called Pu Fenqing in Sungkyunkwan University. A Chinese netizen wrote a blog post on Tianya which was reposted as the facts.
3. Koreans invented Chinese characters?
Rumor: Seoul University history department professor Pu Zhengxiu claimed that Koreans first invented Chinese characters, then they migrated into the Central Plains and brought the Chinese characters into China before the Han culture was formed.
Fact: There is no professor named Pu Zhengxiu in Seoul national University. South Korean Government has never proposed to the UNESCO (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) the cultural heritage of Chinese characters in Korea, nor did they ever consider applying. Seoul National University scholar Puwen Ji (Music) had a similar idea, but it is not the mainstream Korean academic theory.
4. Korea applied for cultural heritage of calligraphy?
Rumor: Report said South Korea combines Chinese calligraphy and Japanese calligraphy into one called the Korean “book art”, and tries to apply for cultural heritage of it.
Fact: Korean government never tried to apply for cultural heritage of Chinese calligraphy nor Korean “book art”.
5. Chinese Mythology came from Korea?
Rumor: Korea’s Ewha Womans University professor Zheng Zaishu said “Chinese Mythology came from Korea”.
Fact: In his paper Professor Zheng wrote, “Chinese mythology in its early stage may be mixing blends of many different primitives of people’s myth (of which there is the myth of Dongyi), therefore in Chinese mythology you may find traces of the lost ancient Korean mythology.”
6. Li Bai is Korean?
Rumor: Chinese media posted an article written by a Chinese scholar “Li Bai is not Korean”. The article said, “Recently, I found some information, said according to Seoul National University history department professor Kim Bingde’s research that Li Bai is a Korean decedent.” The article argued that the Li Bai is not Korean, but he was from Tianshui, Gansu province.
Fact: There is no professor named Kim Bingde in Seoul National University, also there are Korean History Department, Oriental History Department and Western History Department but no “History Department” by itself. This news came out after the dispute over “Li Bai’s hometown” between Tianshu, Gansu Province and Anlu, Hubei Province, it is likely that the article was fabricated in order to provide more fire power to claim Li Bai’s hometown.
7. Korea successfully Claimed Dragon Boat Festival in World Heritage List?
Rumor: Korea successfully applied for Dragon Boat Festival as culture heritage on the World Heritage List.
Fact: South Korea only applied for “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” which are the Dragon Boat Festival activities, not the Dragon Boat Festival itself. It includes dancing, shaman rituals, folk art shows and so on Korean folk festival, the only similarity is the time frame which is also held during the Dragon Boat Festival in China. In addition, the East Asia generally have the tradition of Dragon Boat Festival, during same time frame, however different content.
Mainland China’s “anti-Korean wave” started with “Goguryeo dispute” in 2004, and worsened during the Olympic Games.
July 2004, China successfully applied for culture heritage of Goguryeo King City, the tomb and graves of aristocrats on the 28th World Heritage Committee. On the next day, also participated in the World Heritage Committee, South Korean delegation strongly stressed that Goguryeo’s history is the history of the Korean peninsula rather than the history of China, and followed by supports expressed by the South Korean officials. Actually, the huge economic interests are what’s really behind the dispute. In 2007, During the Asian Winter Games held in Changchun, South Korean athletes held a sign on the podium that said “Baekdu is our territory”. One year later, protests happened in Korea during the Beijing Olympic torch relay, and before the opening ceremony of 2008 Olympic, Korean television broadcasted images of the opening ceremony early, which angered the Chinese people and pushed the “anti-Korean” wave to its peak.
In 2007, During the Asian Winter Games held in Changchun, South Korean athletes held a sign on the podium that said “Baekdu is our territory”.
photo-shopped pictures by the Chinese netizens reads:
“install a switch on the sun”
“put a fence on the yellow river”
“design reverse for the air plane”
“paste ceramic tiles onto the Great Wall of China”
Taiwan’s anti-Korean wave transferred to China: historical remains and trade competition
The anti-Korean sentiment in Taiwan has been there longer. After Taiwan withdrew from the United Nations in 1972, Korea has always maintained close diplomatic relations with Taiwan and even called each other the “sibling nations”. However, due to pressure from the mainland and large trade and economic factors, Korea announced in August 1992 which broke off the diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Korea sent all properties Taiwan purchased in Korea back to mainland free of charge, and also expulsed Taiwan’s embassy staff. Such action caused resentment and anger of people in Taiwan. Taiwan announced in September of the same year and ended direct flight with South Korea, until 2004 the flight route was then resumed.
In international trade completion, South Korea and Taiwan both belong to the group of Asia’s Four Little Dragons. In terms of strength, capital, technology and other economic conditions both are also very close. After the Asia Financial Crisis, the economic power of South Korea rapidly recovered and boomed in recent years, promoting the economic and trade development and cultural forces that swept through all Asia. This caused Taiwan to feel a sense of crisis and developed the situation where Korea is seen as an economic competitor.
Controversies of cultures on the surface are mostly rumors
China does not really have much hatred towards South Korea, but because of Chinese media’s reports that Korea claims many of the Chinese cultures and history are originated in Korea, causing many Chinese people’s discontentment, but most of these reports came from China spread false rumors or slanderous messages, the mainstream Korean history and local public opinion do not have such claims.
The mob family: Why do people who are “anti-Korean” keep dwelling?
1. Media irresponsibly create rumors.
2. The people: Relying on the “splendid cultures” for sense of security, and became over-sensitive about “stealing” cultures.
3. The government: Most culture disputes are driven by beneficial factors and interests.
4. Reality: An illusioned fest of nationalism
American Journalist Abbott wrote in his memoir in later years, said his father told him before he passed away, all human ethnic and religious disputes, 90% are because words which cannot be effectively understood and causing disputes over rumors. He said that his dad was not good at math, he found that the remaining 10% are also disputes over rumors. therefore, when facing rumors, the most important thing is, can we still think independently?