China Daily Youth Power: Open dialogue between Gen Z on China-ROK relations

BEIJING, Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Republic of Korea. To celebrate the friendship between the two countries, the fourth episode of season two of the China Daily Series Youth Power was broadcast on September 30, inviting Gen Zers from both China and South Korea to discuss topics related to culture, society, economics and politics as well as China-ROK relations.

Youth Power also conducted an online survey and several street interviews regarding the views of Gen Zers on relations between the two countries via a questionnaire of more than 100 Gen Z youth in both China and South Korea. More than half of the Gen Zers in both countries said they believed that there were more similarities between Chinese and South Korean youngsters than there were differences. Two-thirds of Chinese youth had favorable impressions of South Korea, and 70 percent of South Koreans had more favorable feelings toward China. More than three-fourths of young Chinese and South Koreans said they believed China-South Korea relations would improve in the future.

Gen Zers from China and South Korea said they knew China and the Republic of Korea had long histories that had many similarities with cultural traditions, including language and festivals.

Kim Junbum, a South Korean who started his own company in China, talked of his favorite Chinese idiom, “Hai na bai chuan” (all rivers run into the sea). The phrase embodies the spirit of tolerance of Chinese people and shows the generosity of Chinese culture, he said.

The host, Wang Zongnan, of Tsinghua University, agreed that seeking common ground while reserving differences was the best interpretation for future relations between China and South Korea. “That’s why we inherit and should carry forward the spirit of cooperation just like our ancestors and lead it to the future.”

However, often in close relationships, differences of opinion can arise, and in recent years China-ROK relations have gone through some rough patches.

Liu Zipei, a Chinese student at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said: “If I had a friend who had a 30-year bond with me, I would definitely, with no hesitation, give him or her my sincerity. Long live our friendship.”