April 21, 2017 11:18
The Washington Post on Wednesday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's claim that Korea "actually used to be a part of China" as a "blunder" and "misleading."
Trump's claim was apparently based on a brief and inaccurate history lesson from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who brought his own chauvinist bias to the table.
"Trump's inartful retelling of Sino-Korean history sparked widespread outrage among Koreans, who are particularly sensitive to the U.S. president's rhetoric," the newspaper wrote. "Korea has been long intertwined culturally and historically with China but was not under direct and official territorial control by China, despite repeated Chinese invasions."
"Xi -- and Trump -- may have been referring to the tributary system between China and Korea," The daily said. "These gifts signaled a subordinate but still independent position."
The daily said it is unclear whether Trump was faithfully quoting Xi or misunderstood him, but concluded it was "careless" either way to echo "a Chinese nationalist version and ignore[s] the competing interpretations of the relations among Korea, China and Japan."
It recommended instead a "history lesson from Korean experts, perhaps at the State Department, rather than potentially self-serving accounts from foreign leaders."
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang did not clarify what Xi said but told reporters "There is nothing for Koreans to worry about."
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