China’s Korean Autonomous Prefecture and China-Korea Border Politics – Andrei Lankov

From Japan Focus:

By Chinese standards, the city of Yanji is rather small, with a population of nearly 400,000. About a third of them are ethnic Koreans: Yanji is the capital of Yanbian autonomous prefecture in the northeastern province of Jilin, the ethnic home of the large Korean minority in the area. The prefecture is close to the borders of and Russia.

The city streets and shops have signs both in Korean and Chinese, the people (well, many of them) speak Korean among themselves, and restaurants advertise dog meat, a traditional Korean delicacy. But it also feels different from South and North Korea. Nowadays Yanji is much too poor if compared with the South and much too rich if measured against meager North Korean standards. [Full Text]

Andrei Lankov, senior lecturer at the Australian National University, is currently on leave and teaching at the Kookmin University, Seoul.

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