South Korean civil society groups call on Seoul National University to close the "Xi Jinping Reference Room" in the Central Library.
(taken from People's Daily Online)
[Compiled by Lin Yuxuan/Comprehensive Report] After the conservative President Yoon Suk-yue came to power, South Korea has gradually adjusted the pro-China policy of the previous government to respond to public grievances against China's comprehensive penetration and aggressiveness.
According to the media, since February this year, South Korean non-government groups have hung protest banners in more than 40 places in Seoul, asking Seoul National University to close the "Xi Jinping Reference Room" in the Central Library. This is the latest related action to counter China's influence. .
"Radio Free Asia" (RFA) reported on the 27th that Chinese President Xi Jinping visited South Korea in July 2014, delivered a speech at Seoul National University, and donated nearly 10,000 books and audio-visual materials.
In October of the following year, the school used about 100 square meters of space in the central library to display these books. Since then, the number of books has reached 15,000 as the number of visits to Korea by Chinese leaders has increased. The contents involve Chinese history, culture and ideology, including " Xi Jinping on Governance", "Chinese Dream", etc.
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Some people believe that the Xi Jinping reference room was originally set up to promote South Korea-China relations. Now that the international situation has undergone tremendous changes and Koreans have a bad impression of China, Seoul National University should close this reference room or change its name.
Cho Kyung-tae (transliteration), a member of South Korea's National Power Party, once bombarded this, "Is South Korea a subsidiary country of China? Is Seoul National University a branch of Peking University?"
In October 2022, Zhao Jingtai questioned the then Minister of Education and the president of Seoul National University on this matter in the National Assembly. He said that Xi Jinping is the supreme leader of China. Reference room?
Former South Korean presidents Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung, and Moon Jae-in all visited Peking University, but Peking University did not name the data room after these people. "Please respect the self-esteem of our nation!"
An anonymous retired professor of Seoul National University said in an interview with South Korean media that it was indeed inappropriate to name the library after a living foreign leader, but at that time, Xi Jinping was the first Asian leader to give a public speech at Seoul National University and donated a large number of books. Based on the purpose of promoting the friendship between South Korea and China, it is not too controversial to name the reference room after him.
However, as the relationship between South Korea and China fell to the bottom following the "THAAD incident" in which South Korea deployed the "terminal high-altitude defense system", Koreans' negative perception of China was further reduced by the Wuhan pneumonia (new coronavirus disease, COVID-19) epidemic. After deepening, this matter was brought up for discussion again.
South Korean observer Li Zhengxun believes that in the eyes of Western countries, Xi Jinping is a common enemy. He implements dictatorship internally and is also an enemy of the Chinese. He questioned the reason why Seoul National University kept this reference room and suggested that the name of the reference room should be changed to Global Leaders Data In the living room, put books related to US President Biden, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, etc., "Seoul National University can't even do this, isn't it shameful?"