Greater China tertiary prowess, and China-Korea history issue

16 Apr

Greater China dominates the inaugural top 100 list of Asia universities by Times Higher Education, with 38 entries,thus making up almost 40 percent. If you include Japan (the leader with 22) and South Korea (14), East Asia can be seen to be the continental academic superpower. Taiwan has an impressive 17 schools, though Hong Kong has an even better performance with 6, given that it has only has about 10 universities. I’m a little skeptical of some of the Taiwan schools, since I’ve never even heard of them such as Yuan Ze University or Nat. Central University.

This Atlantic piece describes Chinese-Korean tension over ancient history, specifically a Korean kingdom from over 1300 years ago that extended beyond the present border into a small piece of present-day China. The worry from the Korean side is that China has claimed that this kingdom was more like a vassal state, while the worry from China is that Koreans might use this piece of history to try to claim Chinese territory, which while unlikely, is still a concern a given that millions of ethnic Koreans live in China in that area.
It’s unfortunate that China should have problems with South Korea over issues like this, given that it’s one of the main neighboring countries China can have strong relations with. Also, these issues can warp nationalistic feelings and further feelings of discrimination or fear. Reading the article, I get the impression that the crux of the tension is not fuelled by aims of territorial expansion or seizing other nation’s cultures, but more to bolster domestic security. 

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