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[Editorial] Chinese Fabrications

Posted January. 27, 2007 07:24,   


Recently, former Seoul National University president Lee Taek-whi was shocked greatly after visiting a museum in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. In the museum, an exhibit called “The Exhibition of the Liao River Civilization” was underway, bluntly advertising that Old Joseon, Goguryeo, and Balhae are part of China’s history. The organization that arranged the exhibition reportedly made an absurd claim that since the population of the three countries were mainly Han Chinese and Koreans, it was almost fair to say that the three countries were founded by the Han Chinese.

As the Korean government has failed to make any serious refutation against this ridiculous history fabrication, the Northeast Asia Project by the Chinese government is expected to be finished by the end of this month. Among the 107 research projects that have been conducted over the past five years, 56 are related to Korea. This is a testament to the tenacity of China in its attempt to completely change Korea’s ancient history. China’s act of pillaging Korean history reveals the nation’s intention to lay the foundation to make Korea its subject state again by denying Korea’s historical roots and identity and reducing the nation to just part of China’s border area in the past.

It is also a dominant opinion that the project is part of China’s contingency plan to deal with a possible and drastic change on the Korean peninsula. If North Korea falls apart and there is dispute over jurisdiction over North Korean territory, China can prevent Korea or the U.S. from having influence in the area and eventually consolidate its dominance on the Korean peninsula by asserting its historical link to the land. This is a common view held by the experts. It is easy to read this intention after hearing China’s recent argument that the land north of the Han River was also part of China’s territory in the past.

Once the Northeast Asia Project is finished, the situation will worsen. President Seo Kil-su of the Goguryeo Research Institute plans to say in a seminar scheduled for January 29, “Since 2004 when it had friction with Korea, China almost stopped Korea-related research at the level of the Northeast Asia Project, but it stealthily passed the research over to the local government and let the research continue.” As the grounds for his argument, Seo pointed out that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences under the local government of Jilin started publishing its History of Northeast Asia and has run as many as 106 studies related to Korea over the past three years.

As the Northeast Asia Project led by China’s central government is to be finished soon, the Korean academic circle is now asking what kind of countermeasures its government is planning. Will the Korean government just sit back and watch what’s next while saying now that the ball is in the court of China’s local government? If Korea does that, the day may come when China makes a claim on the Korean history after the Goguryeo period. This is yet another reason we should abandon the fantasy toward China and make a clear judgment on Korea’s relations with the four major powers surrounding the nation and their influence on the future of the Korean peninsula.