SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Chinese internet search behemoth Baidu has been rejecting requests to correct Korean poet Yun Dong-ju (1917-1945)’s nationality over the past year.
Baidu introduces Yun, as well as Korean independence fighters Lee Bong-chang (1900-1932) and Yun Bong-gil (1908-1932) as of Chinese nationality and lists their ethnic group as “Joseonjok” or Korean Chinese.
In 2012, Chinese authorities recovered Yun Dong-ju’s old home in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of China, setting up a memorial stone that falsely claims Yun to be ‘China’s Patriotic Joseonjok Poet’.
Sungshin Womens’ University professor Seo Kyoung-duk began asking Baidu to correct the erroneous information last year, saying that he would “continue to fight until the corrections are made.”
Seo, an active promoter of Korea, and his team are also holding campaigns to raise public awareness about Korean history that is being distorted by China.
In response, China’s state-run newspaper Global Times claimed last February that “several opinion leaders in South Korea are using distorted facts to incite nationalist sentiment in the country to earn status and power by rattling online exchanges between the two countries.”
On the Chinese social media platform Weibo, a hashtag that says “a Korean professor asks to change the nationality of the Joseonjok poet to South Korea” has gone viral, garnering more than 440 million views.
“Chinese netizens are sending me offensive messages via email, social media accounts, direct messages and comments. I think they’re just being foolish,” Seo said.
Last Thursday was the 104th anniversary of Yun Dong-ju’s birth.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)