Rewriting History

In A.D. 612 an Imperial Chinese army of more than a million soldiers marched on the northeast Asian kingdom of Koguryo. Though vastly outnumbered, the soldiers of Koguryo—whom many modern-day Koreans see as their ancestors—routed the Chinese in a victory that is still a source of pride on both sides of the DMZ.

Now, almost 1,400 years later, Chinese scholars are attempting a subtler land grab, claiming that the ancient kingdom of Koguryo was a part of China—a "regional government founded by an ethnic group," as Beijing's state-run Northeast Asia Project put it in June. The argument...

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