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China Honors Korean Resistance Hero

Posted July. 04, 2006 03:38,   


With the 2006 Harbin Korean Week (July 3- 7), Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, the place where Ahn Jung-geun assassinated Ito Hirobumi, is busy preparing memorial halls, exhibitions, and monument to commemorate the death of Ahn.

During the Korean Week, Harbin city will open a memorial hall and hold a photograph exhibition. At the first Korean Week held last year, there were no memorial events for Ahn.

The hall dedicated to Ahn in the Korean Chinese Folk Museum will be opened Tuesday morning. The Korean Chinese Folk Museum will also be opened on the same day.

Harbin had continuously been trying to set up a memorial to Ahn on the request of Korea; however this was not permitted by the Chinese central government.

Inside the hall are models of the Harbin station where Ahn assassinated Hirobumi, along with some 300 photographs and art works. At the entrance of the hall is a bust of Ahn made by a professor of Heilongjiang University.

Also, Harbin railway station placed a different colored marble flooring for the location of the assassination, so that everybody could see that it is the place of Ahn’s bravery. Inside the Railroad Historical Development exhibition room located on the second floor of the station is a separate exhibition room dedicated to Ahn.

Inside Zhaolin Park, named after China’s hero from the war against Japan, Li Zhaolin, a monument engraved with Ahn’s own handwriting has been set up. The park, originally called Harbin Park, is where Ahn asked to be buried before the independence of Korea.

The reason the Chinese central government and Harbin city is setting up a memorial for Ahn seems to be to lure Korean enterprises and promote international friendship with Korea.

All along, the Chinese government had shown a noncooperative attitude, and hid their official position on Korea’s effort to commemorate Ahn.

At the beginning of the year, the Ahn Jung-geun Commemoration Committee set up a 4.5 meter high bronze statue of Ahn in the Central Avenue Park in the center of Harbin, only to have it removed in 10 days.

Jong-Dae Ha orionha@donga.com