25 September 2008

Anti-Korean sentiment in China

This just popped up in a conversation this evening.

Apparently, anti-Korean feelings have gone up significantly in China. The reason: South Korean activists organized a pro-Tibetan demonstration earlier this year, and the demonstration ended up being quite large, due to the use of the Internet. The Chinese were so upset over this that on matches involving South Korea and Japan during last month's Olympics in Beijing, they cheered Japan, even though historically Japan has been far more despised. Much of the poor showing by the normally top-notch South Korean archery team is attributed to noise interference from Chinese spectators.

There used to be some minor backlash to the spread of Korean pop culture in China, as well as minor diplomatic clashes over the historical descriptions - of ancient Korean kingdoms that occupied parts of Chinese territory (Goguryeo and Balhae), and of longtime Chinese tendency to see Korean kingdoms as part of their empire as opposed to something separate - but this is unexpected, and far more severe than before. I am also suspecting that the Korean and Korean-American Christian missionaries, using Seoul as their base for illegal missionary work in China, can't be too well-liked in China either.