Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster

Second Advisor

Jamie Chua

Abstract

In this era of social media, popular narratives have increasingly important implications on domestic policy and bilateral relations. In part based on the video of making Kimchi published by a famous Chinese YouTuber, this study analyzes Chinese and Korean netizens’ opinions of each other by examining around one thousand social media posts, which offer a glimpse of the unique cultural confrontation between China and South Korea. By revealing the complexity of China-Korea relations through a social media lens, my analysis provides new insights into the implications of these popular narratives on China’s policymaking. Even as an authoritarian regime, the Chinese government has started to pay attention to and respond to netizens’ public opinions. It is still difficult to assess how the generally negative view of Chinese and Koreans towards one another will shape the future and if those with more positive views will increase in number. In any case, the intense, combative dialogue on social media serves as an important reference point and a cautionary warning—that the Chinese and Korean governments need to make policies that are conducive to sustainable bilateral relations and the Asia Pacific stability.

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