[EDITORIALS]China is rewriting historyThe archeologist Im Hyo-jai, who recently retired from Seoul National University, revealed a provocative fact about China’s government project in a historical study of the region.
In 2004, the culture minister presided over a conference designed to prepare measures against China’s history project. At the conference some South Korean government officials said, “We need to accept the mainstream,” and “We need to try to find out ways to help problems get solved in a positive way.”
If what Professor Im said is true, this is a serious problem. If Korea accepts, and even helps China’s project to beautify its history, it is the same as handing over our sovereignty to China. This is a treacherous act, like giving up our sovereignty to Japan in 1909.
The Roh administration has established all types of committees to dig up modern history following the Donghak Peasant Rebellion, saying it would correct the historical records that are wrong.
The administration even called our modern development “shameful history.” But it allowed China to distort the history of Goguryeo, which is known as the origin of Korea.
Since the news coverage of China’s history project in 2003, we have continued to bring up the issue. In 2004, Korea and China reached an agreement that they would stop fabricating the ancient history of the region. But China has continued its history project.
It has already downsized the status of Goguryeo to an almost tributary state. China is now even looking at the history of Balhae. China even claims Baekdu Mountain belongs to it and has reportedly decided to bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games using that mountain.
Google Earth, a U.S. Internet service showing satellite photos, even has a Chinese name for Cheonji, the highest crates lake at Baekdu Mountain.
China’s history project is not merely a matter of history. People wonder if China is preparing a reason to intervene in North Korea when something happens in the North. It is not a coincidence that some Chinese even maintain that the region north of Han River used to part of China.
We should prepare for China’s history project. We cannot expect the North to do that because North Korea’s economy is dependent on China. The South Korean government should make an effort, even a little compared to what it has poured into the issue of the Dokdo islets.