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The 20th Glorious Anniversary of Korea-China Amity

   
 
  There was a drawing contest for children.  
 

There are many programs being held this year to greet the celebration of the 20th Glorious Anniversary of Korean-Chinese relations. It has been 20 years since Korea and China established diplomatic relations which was established in 1992. The economic and cultural interchange between Korea and China developed quickly after relations were established, and has become very important over the years. The celebrations and programs started after the opening ceremony of the 20th Anniversary in April. There are not only government’s celebrations but programs that members of the general public can all participate in, including kids. Last June, there was kids’ drawing contest. In July, there was academic essay contest for university students and graduate students.

Starting with the opening ceremony of the 20th Anniversary, there have been many programs on a wide variety of economic and cultural topics; from the Green economic cooperation forum and the Leaderene forum, to many other diverse cultural festivals and events. Korea sponsored several cultural programs, including the Creative Opera “Bombom,” the Calligraphy Eminent Personage Invitation Exhibit, the Korea-China National Library-Exchange, the Exhibition of Chinese Cultural Assets (Owned by Korea) and the Korea-China Teenager Interchanging Athletics Competition.

Korea and China established diplomatic relations in August 21, 1992 and we call it “Korea-China Amity.” The two countries overcame the 30 years of hostile relations that were built after the Korean War. Moreover, Korea and China have been able to develop full cooperation. This amity has had great meaning in the formation of an equal partnership between the two countries.

The establishment of diplomatic relations was made possible by Korea’s 6.23 declaration in 1973, which outlined an open door-policy to socialist states, in 1973. This meant that even though Korea and China had different political ideologies, Korea would recognize China as a nation and have official relations with China. In addition, Chinese public official said, “China also needs development in the relationship between Korea and China.” Not only did Korea show a positive attitude about Korea-China amity, but also China showed an enthusiastic attitude. Finally, Korea-China amity could be accomplished in 1992.

Between Korea and China, there was and still is diverse interchange. The areas of exchange include economics, culture, politics, military, trade and security. Of these, cultural exchange has developed a lot. It was started by a broad treaty on culture between the two countries’ governments in March in 1994. After the treaty, many other small and specific treaties could be signed. Actually, even though the two countries tried to establish cultural links, it was hard because of financial problems such as IMF. Hence for the first 10 yesrs after the establishment of Korea-China amity, cultural exchange was slower than expected. In 2002, people called the year, “festival year.” The year 2002 was not only the year of World Cup but also 10th Anniversary of Korea-China amity. In addition, government designated that year as Korean and Chinese exchange year. After the festival year, the interchange between two countries became very active. In 2008, there was biggest and most comprehensive event since the establishment of amity. People of high class, governments, had debates in 10 fields. The fields were movies, literature, drama, calligraphy, art and so on. The subject was the development way of 21st century’s Asia Culture and Art.

The treaties have not stopped with just one treaty of culture. In the area of culture, there are treaties on culture art, movies, animation, games, TV, sports, education, tourism, teenagers and so on. In every specific field, all the specific treaties were established. With the treaties, the programs and budget were planned and the two countries, Korea and China exchanged actively. Korea’s National Dance Company performed in Beijing for the first time in 1993. Through the National Dance Company, other teams also could enter and perform in China.

The most active interchanges in the culture and art are concerts and performances. At first Korea showed traditional performances. Then, many Korean pop singers such as BOA, Moon Hee-jun and Kang Ta (An Chil Hyun) had concerts in 2002 and pioneered the way for the spread of the Korean wave in China. In the movie field, Korea and China had weekly film events. Each county showed other country’s movie in formal ways. This later became international film festivals. Moreover, in the broadcasting field, famous Korean entertainers and actors started to take center stage by China as advertising models. For example, Kim Hee-sun was chosen as a Chinese shampoo advertising model. Jun Ji-hyun was also chosen as an air-conditioner advertising model. Daejanggeum prompted China’s TV viewers to become interested in Korean dramas. There were also many Chinese dramas that Korean actors participated in. Furthermore, interchange in sports is also active. When Korean or Chinese athletes needed to improve their skills, the two countries exchanged expertise and skills in sports. Also, when one country needs players for games, the other country provided skilled players. Not only these fields but also many other fields are actively interchanged. In addition, Buddhism, a religion shared by the two countries, is also a source of exchange.

Korea-China amity has helped both countries to develop and therefore, it has great meaning. Han Woody, Director of Joongang China Institute, said, “Even now, 25% of Korea’s exports go to China. Since China has developed, Korea could also develop further. Also, China could grow by taking the capital and technology from not only Western countries but also Korea. Moreover, China is Korea’s neighboring country and has crucial role in the Korea Peninsula. Hence this amity is very special and significant.” He also added that to make better relation and amity between the two countries, Korea has to learn how Switzerland survived among surrounding powerful nations. That’s because China is becoming powerful and Korea has to get competitive. Finally, if Korea wants to keep China interested in Korea, Korea has to become better country. For example, Korea has the Galaxy3, Hyundai Motor Company, the Korean Wave, active youth and sense of public order. When Korea keeps and develop these, China will stay with Korea in good relation.

20 years have passed since the establishment of Korea-China amity, and two countries have helped each other to grow. To become better, the two countries have to learn how other countries stayed in good relations, understand the other county, and maintain a cooperative partnership.

Kim Ji-yeon  tj703@dongguk.edu

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