China Upset with "Baekdu Mountain" Skaters

    February 02, 2007 10:41

    China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs registered an official protest after several South Korean athletes Wednesday held up a banner claiming Baekdu Mountain for Korea at the Winter Asian Games in Changchun, China.

    China News, a progressive daily newspaper, reported that a head of Asian affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned an official from the South Korean Embassy in Beijing to officially protest against five female South Korean skaters who held a "politically-motivated banner that undermines China's territorial sovereignty" during a medal ceremony.

    Korea's female short track skate team Wednesday grabbed the silver medal in the 5,000m relay at the 2007 Winter Asian Games in Changchun, China. The athletes' sign reads, "Baekdu Mountain belongs to Korea," referring to a disputed border region between North Korea and China.

    "There are no territorial disputes between China and South Korea. What the Koreans did this time hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and violated the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the Olympic Council of Asia," the official said, according to the China News.

    The paper said the official expressed strong displeasure with incident and asked Korea to investigate the matter and come up with measures to prevent similar acts. The paper said that officials from the South Korean athletic team apologized to China.

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