Nov. 30 (UPI) -- China is making claims the Great Wall extended farther northeast than previously believed, as the government continues to promote nationalist sentiment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Beijing's National Administration of Cultural Heritage said Monday on its online site the areas of the Great Wall of China built during Ming dynasty, or between the 14th and 17th centuries, extended as far northeast as the Korean Peninsula, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The Chinese government agency is making the claim about the Great Wall three years after Chinese leader Xi Jinping reportedly told U.S. President Donald Trump "Korea actually used to be a part of China."
The 2017 report from The Wall Street Journal angered South Koreans, who say their country was historically independent of China even during periods as a tributary.
According to China's cultural heritage agency, the Great Wall extended from Xinjiang, home to a Muslim Turkic minority, to China's three northeastern provinces.
The agency also said the eastern terminus of the Great Wall could be located a few miles northeast of Dandong, at the present-day site of the Hushan Wall, a claim that was disputed in 2009 by South Korean academics.
South Korean historians have said the claim is disputable and the name of the Hushan Wall was Sinicized. South Korean archaeologists have said China's state-approved historical claims are trying to diminish the presence of ancient Korean kingdoms that once dominated the region.
China's exports to North Korea have dropped due to the coronavirus pandemic, however.
Beijing, Pyongyang's biggest trading partner, exported only $253,000 of goods in October, according to China's customs administration, CNN reported Sunday.
North Korea remains wary of the novel coronavirus despite claiming "zero" cases of COVID-19.