Even though South Korea has more soft power than China, why is Chinese history much more popular and well-known than Korean history?

First I have to correct the ridiculous answer that this person posted.


First of all, yes South Korea has a history of copying things. A lot of their food, companies and culture is based off of Japan. This should not be surprising however, because Korea used to be a colony of Japan.

Also, yes Korea took a lot of things from Chinese culture too, including the biggest one which is Confucianism which they are indeed more Confucianist than modern China is. This is because Korea was heavily influenced by Ancient China and in particular, Ming China.

Korea also took a lot of its kpop and kdrama culture from Japanese pop and Western pop (like Backstreet Boys and Nsync and Spice Girls). This is well known.

However, I have to correct a few things this poster said (he disabled comments so I cannot reply to him there)

China did indeed invade Korea in 1950 when they helped North Korea invade South Korea. In addition, Ancient China has invaded Ancient Korea many times.






This poster does not represent all Koreans. Most Koreans actually do not have an opinion on Rape of Nanking as it is not part of their history.

South Koreans generally dislike Japan and Japanese out of ALL nations. Japan colonized South Korea in its history and massacred many Koreans while they were occupied. A majority of the ‘comfort women’ in the Japanese army came from Korea. Koreans regularly boycott Japanese goods. He’s literally cherry picking strange things that Koreans have said online that most other Koreans would not agree with.




However recently, China has overtaken Japan


and the main reason is because China and Chinese like this poster above often twist and distort the truth, or spread rumors such as ‘all Koreans think Confucius is Korean’ or leave comments such as this:

All these comments about calling Korea a ‘US puppet state’ or claiming a Korean thing is theirs or saying ‘Koreans claim that Chinese thing is theirs’ without ever meeting or talking to a Korean, or pointing out something that one or two Koreans did 20 years ago to Chinese and generalizing it to all Koreans etc well is it any wonder Koreans start to dislike China?

So I have to clear that up first.

Also I have to note that Korea is not a ‘US lapdog’ as much as Chinese think here are some examples of Korea breaking with the US:




For the second part, Why is Korean history not as well known as Chinese history despite having more soft power?

First of all yes Korea does have more soft power globally than Chinese as K-pop and K-dramas are massively more popular than Chinese pop and Chinese dramas worldwide. This is a fact that Chinese cannot dispute. Even many Chinese themselves got addicted to Korea dramas and Korea pop which is why China had to ban Korean entertainment (THAAD is just a pretense that China used because they knew Korean entertainment was a threat to Chinese entertainment domestically)




However I have to say that neither Chinese or Korean history are particularly well known globally.

The most well known Chinese are Genghis Khan (a Mongolian not a Han Chinese) and Confucius and maybe Sun Tzu (Art of War). There are great Chinese warlords and emperors like Qin Shi Huang, Emperor Wu of Han, Kangxi, Qianlong, Emperor Wen of Sui, etc that deserve to be more well known globally but are not because Westerners are not aware of them. However China has many domestic movies about them.

There are also Koreans such as Sejong the Great and Yeon Gaesomun and Admiral Yi who Westerners also do not know about very well but are very well known in Korea.

So the the second part of the question isn’t actually true. Korea has more soft power than China but neither Korea or Chinese history are very well known globally.


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