South Korea sentiments against China

Beijing, China: People of South Korea has been showing increased resentment against China, initially they considered China as an employment giver but the cultural humiliation by the country and the Chinese military’s continuous threat has decreased the Chinese craze in South Korean people.

While Koreans look at China as just an economic opportunity, there has been a sharp increase in resentment against China recently for reasons such as cultural humiliation, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the Chinese military threat.

In its report, International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS) said that the recent reason for South Koreans to go berserk against the Chinese is a historical drama named “Joseon Exorcist” that showed Korean warriors in poor light, mocking their royals with inaccurate facts and comic depiction.

“Another movie “The Sacrifice” showed the annihilation of Korean soldiers by their Chinese counterparts during the Korean war of the 1950s. People said the movie “beautified” the massacre of Korean soldiers. It angered entire South Korea, leading to the cancellation of the drama, which scored a very strong undercurrent of anti-China sentiments in the country,” said the report.

According to a Canada-based think tank, earlier, Chinese media, diplomats and social media users tried to drive a point that Korean heritage such as kimchi (fermented cabbage), samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng) or hanbok (a traditional form of dress) had “their roots in China”. The wrong interpretation of history and humiliation of their culture annoyed Koreans. They vent their anger by boycotting Chinese shows, advertisements and even protested against a China-themed cultural park and hotel in the country, IFFRAS noted.

Lee Moon-ki, a scholar at Sejong University, said “Koreans believe our culture is unique and was never dependent on China, whereas China thinks Korea only has a culture thanks to China,” the report said.

About 77 percent of South Koreans did not trust China, expressing concerns over a territorial dispute between the two countries, IFFRAS reported citing a survey conducted by Pew Research. It further said that similar views about China were expressed by the people of Japan and the Philippines.

China has maintained that the Goguryeo, the Korean Kingdom, was a part of Chinese history. It irritated the people of South Korea. The Korea Herald, South Korea’s largest English-language daily, said “South Korean specialists predict that the Goguryeo incident could have a lasting impact on China-South Korea relations beyond the dramatic public opinion shift away from China toward the United States,” IFFRAS said.

Despite the flourishing economic relations, the distrust for China continued to thrive on lack of trust and feeling of being dominated. “Young South Koreans see that China is authoritarian and see how aggressive China has been against the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan,” said Joseph Yi, a professor of political science at Hanyang University, the report added.

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