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International Journal of Korean History > Volume 16(2); 2011 > Article
International Journal of Korean History 2011;16(2): 1-43.
The Chinese Press’ Reporting and Commentary on Imperial Japan’s Forced Annexation of the Taehan Empire
Quan Hexiu
Professor, the School of History, Liaoning University
權赫秀
療寧大學 歷史學院 교수
ABSTRACT
The Chinese press released a large volume of reports and commentaries pertaining to the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. The Chinese press at the time can be regarded as having been the foreign press that, outside of Japan, dealt with the annexation of Korea in the broadest and profoundest manner. Based on the analysis of this article, the following three conclusions can be reached. First, the Chinese press at the time did not have any direct sources of information related to the annexation of Korea. Furthermore, clear problems were evident in terms of the precision of their reporting and commentaries related to the annexation of Korea, a situation that was caused in large part by the thorough control exercised by the Japanese authorities. Nevertheless, they saliently understood the colonial nature of this exercise by stating that the forced annexation of Korea was in fact the ‘absorption’ of its territory undertaken as part of Japan’s territorial ambitions. Consequently, the Chinese press should be perceived as the foreign press that released the most sympathetic reports and commentaries on the annexation. Secondly, along with laments and showing sympathy for the “national collapse” of the Chos?n dynasty and the Taehan Empire, the Chinese press’ reports and commentaries on the annexation of Korea greatly emphasized the expansionist nature of Japan and the threat it posed to China. Their reports and commentaries were deemed to be so problematic for Japan that they caused a diplomatic row with the Japanese government. In this regard, a letter written by a Korean student in Japan to a Chinese naval minister and a telegram from a Chinese organization in the United States stating that they had mourned the passage of Korea for three days, both of which were subsequently published in Chinese newspapers, can be considered as important materials that shed some light on the perceptions and responses of the Chinese press and society to the Japanese annexation of Korea. Thirdly, the Chinese press analyzed the lessons of the “national collapse” of Korea from various vantage points and urged the Qing government to undertake necessary political reforms and the Chinese people to awaken to the dangers that confronted them. During this process, many problems such as the Sinocentric view of Korean history and culture, in particular as pertained to the traditional historical relationship between the two countries, were exposed.
Keywords: Chinese press, Shen Bao (申報), Ta Kung Pao (大公報), reporting, commentary, absorption, sympathy, lesson, perception of Korea

국문초록
1910년 일제의 한국강제병합 당시 중국 언론은 그와 관련된 보도와 논평을 대량 발표하면서 일본을 제외하고 한국병합 문제를 가장 폭넓고 깊이 있게 관심해 온 외국 언론이라고 할 수 있는데 본고의 고찰을 통해 대체로 다음과 같은 세 가지 결론을 얻을 수 있다. 첫째, 당시 중국 언론은 한국병합에 관한 직접적인 소식원을 갖지 못하였으며 또한 일제당국에 의한 철저한 보도통제로 말미암아 한국병합관련 보도와 논평의 정확성 면에 있어서 상당한 문제점을 보였지만 일제의 한국강제병합이 사실상 “병탄”이라는 식민 침략적 본질 및 그와 관련된 일본의 침략본성을 정확하게 지적하였고 결과적으로 한국병합 당시 가장 동정적인 시각과 입장에서 가장 많은 보도와 논평을 발표한 외국 언론이라고 할 수 있다. 둘째, 당시 중국 언론의 한국병합관련 보도와 논평은 무엇보다도 조선왕조 및 대한제국의 “망국”을 슬퍼하고 동정하는 기조와 더불어 그와 관련된 일본의 침략 근성 및 중국에 대한 침략위협을 크게 강조하였는데 심지어 일본정부의 외교적 항의까지 불러일으킬 정도였다. 그 중 일본유학중인 한국학생이 청나라 해군고찰 대신에게 한국의 구원을 요청하는 서신 및 한국병합을 애통해 하는 마음에서 3일 동안의 공동행동을 실시한다는 미국 내 중국인 단체의 통전내용은 모두 중국 언론의 보도에 의해 새롭게 알려진 중요한 역사적 사실이다. 셋째로 당시 중국 언론은 한국의 “망국”교훈을 다양한 시각으로 분석하면서 아울러 청정부의 정치개혁 및 중국국민의 각성을 적극 촉구하였는데 여기서 한국역사와 문화 특히 한중 두 나라 전통적 역사관계에 대한 중국 중심주의적 시각 등 많은 문제점을 노출하기도 하였다.
주제어: 중국뉴스미디어, 『신보』(Shenpao), 『대공보』(Dagongpao), 보도, 논평, 병탄, 동정, 교훈, 한국인식
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