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Anti-Korean Sentiment Rising in Chinese Cyberspace

Posted August. 15, 2008 07:55,   


Web portal sites in China and Taiwan have been inundated with fake news articles instigating anti-Korean sentiment.

Experts say the Korean and Chinese governments should closely cooperate to track the sources of groundless rumors to prevent them from worsening bilateral sentiment.

Certain Web sites in China’s popular Internet portal Sohu have spread a ridiculous false report involving The Dong-A Ilbo.

Quoting Dong-A, they said Park Hyeop-poong, a historian at Seoul National University, believes that four major Chinese inventions displayed at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony were first invented in Korea, and that the Chinese should apology for copying the Korean inventions.

A news article said, “Park credited paper-making technique, typography and the compass to Korea and that they later spread to the central Chinese region.”

The Dong-A Ilbo, however, never ran such a report and no professor by that name exists at the university.

Chinese netizens, however, took the false report as fact and blasted Koreans in posts, with one saying, “Koreans are the worst in the world when it comes to being unconscientious. They feel no prick of conscience.”

The daily Xin Kuai Bao in China`s Guangdong province ran a fabricated news article on its Web page and put it in its society section.

According to the report, the Korean daily Chosun Ilbo reported that Park Bun-gyeong, a historian at Sungkyunkwan University, published a thesis that Sun Yat-sen, China’s founding father, had Korean lineage.

Neither the report nor the professor existed, however.

Other Web sites in China and Taiwan have carried false reports that Koreans believe Confucius, Laozi and even the Buddha were Korean. Other fabricated articles say Koreans think the Great Wall was built by Koreans and try to list Chinese inventions including an armillary sphere as their own as UNESCO World Heritage.

Such unfounded rumors use the names of major Korean media to gain credibility in the eyes of Chinese. Worse, news media in China and Taiwan could fall victim to this, further spreading erroneous reports since they often fail to check their authenticity.

For these reasons, many experts are urging bilateral coordination to prevent false rumors from spreading via online media.

orionha@donga.com surreal@donga.com