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[Editorial] What Made Us Receive Such Inhospitable Treatment From China?

[Editorial] What Made Us Receive Such Inhospitable Treatment From China?

Posted August. 08, 2004 22:04,   


Beijing’s refusal of our government’s demand for the correction of their distorted history of the Goguryo Dynasty has proved that it is ridiculous to seek a breakthrough, anticipate strong amity between our two nations, which had once looked so promising, or to build up a comprehensive bilateral friendly relationship. The Director of the Asia and Pacific Region of China’s Foreign Ministry refused our government demand for the correction and made a ludicrous excuse for the refusal, saying, “It is very difficult to control publications, including textbooks, and the local government.”

If China treats Korea as an equal diplomatic partner and a dignified sovereign state, it would not make such an insincere response. “It is because this nation’s territory is unimaginably broad, and its population is so large,” said an official from Beijing, suggesting that they may still be under the influence of hegemonism. If this means that a small country must follow a big country’s decision, the order of international community and diplomacy would lose its place. Unless Beijing corrects its wrongdoing, we cannot help but degrade China as an “untrustworthy country.”

In addition, we have to seriously examine why our government received such inhospitable treatment from China. Since Beijing has been so accustomed to our government’s perfunctory protests on diplomatic issues, it may have regarded this demand as a mere complaint that they thought would disappear soon. Beijing’s response also belied the ruling party’s reliance on China. The president pointed to Mao Zedong as a respectable political leader in China, and the majority of the ruling Uri Party answered that China is a more significant partner in the fields of diplomacy and trade than the United States. However, their amicability resulted only in China’s inhospitality.

China’s refusal of our government’s demand for the correction has revealed the real intentions and purposes of a project that had been promoted by the Chinese Institute of Social Science, a state research center. Now that the central government, local governments, colleges, academia, and press are all spearheading this distortion of history, we can argue that China is deeply involved in this scheme.

It is no longer workable to take desultory, impromptu actions to tackle issues like this. To correct distorted history is to preserve a nation’s roots. We have to come up with precise long-term measures with the cooperation of the government, political sector, and academia. We also have to systematically learn about China. China’s scheme for the distortion is, we have to know, a warning of current extreme preferences in China.