Spirit of fair play?

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Spirit of fair play?

There was been an online post that claims that Ieodo, located south of Jeju Island, is part of Chinese territory. This claim was made on a Chinese Web site on Thursday. The Web site belongs to an organization under the Chinese government.

The post was made again one day after it was deleted as it faced harsh criticism from Korea.

It is hard to understand why China, which is currently hosting the Olympic Games, would try to cause a diplomatic conflict with Korea, especially with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s imminent visit to Korea.

With the Olympic theme of “One World One Dream,” China proclaimed that it would contribute to world peace as well as the harmony of the mankind through this Olympics. However, the Ieodo case shows us that China still sticks to its parochial nationalism.

When protests were staged against China’s Olympic torch relay after China cracked down on Tibet, Chinese demonstrators resorted to violence to quiet the protests. It was an expression of distorted Chinese nationalism.

China has claimed that it will be reborn as the world’s most powerful country through the Summer Games. It has prepared for the Olympic Games in recent years with a huge investment of work and money. But China should remember that if it wants to become a more advanced country, it has to appreciate and embrace other countries’ cultures and their values. A powerful economy and military strength will get China nowhere. If China only cares about its own interests, and thinks Chinese culture is superior, it is hard for the country to position itself as a first-class nation.

In that sense, it was a shame to see the Chinese audience blow whistles and boo to distract the Korean team when it was competing with Chinese female archers for gold medals.

Recently, some Chinese Web sites ran false articles saying the Korean press claims that Korea invented technology to make paper and produce an ancient compass and printing press. The technologies were introduced at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Those incorrect articles might fuel the Chinese to develop anti-Korean sentiment.

The Chinese government should stop its one-sided territorial claim that arouses diplomatic problems with its neighbors. The Chinese government also has to investigate and correct Web sites that post inaccurate information about Korea.

It is time for China to behave like a nation hosting the Olympics.
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