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Local governments in China donated a statue of Confucius, as well as three arches leading into the neighborhood.''In Chinatowns across the world, merchants themselves band together to raise the funds to build arches,'' said Chae Jin-kyu, a city planning official.But for South Koreans, Chinatown plans are fraught with historical subtext.

“The Nirbhaya case had happened and so many cases of violence towards women were being reported,” he said, referring to the horrific gang rape that took place in New Delhi in 2012.

“The idea was to go out and try and see all the inequalities towards women.

Japan eventually colonized Korea, but Chinese merchants and laborers kept gravitating here; several thousand lived here by the end of Japanese rule in 1945.

In the decades that followed, Chinese residents ran businesses here and in the heart of Seoul.

In doing so, he is also working to remove the “taboo” on dating, which is still seen as a very Western activity. I never expected it to go this viral or get this much attention,” he said.

“It was mainly to try and find answers and see what we can do. Most of the several thousand who had been here during the last century left when South Korea, ever wary of its neighbor's designs, curtailed their ability to do business.China's rise, as well as the growing wealth of both Chinese and overseas Chinese, has given birth to new Chinatowns in places as varied as Las Vegas; Dubai; Belgrade, Serbia; and Dobroiesti, Romania.Hoping to lure Chinese investors and some of the ever-growing number of Chinese tourists, the local government in Inchon, just west of Seoul, four years ago transformed a tiny dilapidated Chinese neighborhood into the country's first Chinatown." All was quiet in South Korea's nonbustling Chinatown on a recent weekday.''But this may be the only Chinatown in the world whose arches were donated by mainland China.'' The placement of one arch became knotted with the local history. Plus the parking's terrible.'' The Chinatown's fitful progress reflects South Korea's larger ambivalence toward a re-emerging China.

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