The educational success of ethnic Koreans in China has been achieved through Mandarin–Korean bilingual education, with the Korean language as the medium of instruction. Using the data collected as part of an ethnographic research on Korean elementary school students in a national Korean school in China, this article examines the relation between society-level discourses and school-level politics under the political, economic, historical, and social contexts in China's reform period. Research results demonstrate how the multiple discourses of "model minority" and "South Korean wind" have come to influence and shape the competing school-level politics: diversity versus modernization. This article argues that the multiple discourses in intersection with each other have influenced ethnic schooling for Koreans in China, and have led to disadvantages Korean schooling faces to achieve ethnic cultural sustainability and upward social mobility at a time of transition and change. Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.