South Korean politicians criticize China for traditional clothing

Seoul, South Korea (AP) —A major South Korean presidential candidate accused China of claiming their culture after performers wore traditional Korean dresses at the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

With other performers who appear to represent various ethnic groups in China when a woman in white and light purple hanbok was raising the Chinese flag during a Friday event at the National Stadium in Beijing. We marched together.

The resentment expressed by Korean politicians arose in public sensitivity to recent Chinese internet claims about the origin of Korea’s major cultural properties, including kimchi, a local dish of fermented cabbage.

However, some Koreans have misdirected the reaction of their politicians, saying that it is clear that women represent an estimated 2 million Koreans living in China.

Apart from the online debate about kimchi and hanbok, South Korea and China also have a long historical debate over the territory of the ancient kingdom, which stretched from the Korean Peninsula to Manchuria.

Koreans consider these kingdoms Korean, but China began claiming them as part of the country’s history in the early 1980s. According to experts, Beijing’s intention is to ideologically support policies to govern ethnic minorities, including a large community of Koreans in the northeast, who are believed to have been represented by Hanbok performers at the opening ceremony of the Games. It was to do.

“Don’t want (other) culture,” Lee Jae-myung, a presidential candidate representing the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in the March elections, wrote on Facebook hours after the event.

Park Chang-dae, a member and spokesman for Lee’s camp, accused China of disguising Hanbok as a Chinese and argued that China’s claim to Korean culture has become a “very important issue.” did.

He also referred to Koreans’ anger at Chinese government-sponsored academic projects initiated in the early 2000s, with the kingdoms of Goguryeo (37 BC-668 AD) and Balhae (698-926) as Chinese. Produced a series of claims to be studied.

“We can’t ignore China’s explicit attempts to use a stage like the Olympics (which claims Korean culture),” Park said in a briefing on Saturday.

When asked about a performer in hanbok, a conservative candidate, Yoon Sin-buchi, who was trapped in a tense competition with Lee, referred to Goguryeo and Balhae and described them as “a brilliant part of Korean history.” ..

Lee Yang-soo, a campaign spokesman for the People Power Party of Yun, said the opening ceremony was “damaged” and a harsh reaction to China’s attempt to “destroy (South Korea)’s cultural identity and distort history.” I swore.

Prime Minister Lee also criticized South Korea’s Hwang Hee sports minister, who heads a government delegation in Beijing, for refusing to protest the organizers over hanbok-clad performers.

Hwang told South Korean reporters in Beijing that the opening ceremony could cause a “misunderstanding” between the two countries, but Seoul has no plans to protest.

Kang Min-jin, a member of the Progressive Justice Party, said women in hanbok could have been a meaningful representative for Koreans living in China.

“Hanbok belongs not only to us, but also to our fellow Koreans who live in China as Chinese citizens … they also have the right to their culture and clothing to be respected by their nation. “She said on Facebook. “If Hanbok was excluded from the exhibition (opening ceremony) of the national costumes of many ethnic groups living in China, how would it feel to Koreans?”