South Koreans have expressed their dismay on China’s claim over the international standard for the Kimchi industry.
The online row started when the state-run Global Times reported that Beijing has recently won a certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for pao cai, a variant of the pickled vegetable dish ‘kimchi’ of South Korea. The report said that it was an achievement as “an international standard for the Kimchi industry led by China.”
The South Korean media, however, quickly refuted this claim and accused Beijing of imitating and stealing their culture.
“Its total nonsense, what a thief stealing our culture!” a South Korean netizen said on its local web portal Naver.com.
“I read a media story that China now says Kimchi is theirs, and that they are making international standard for it, It’s absurd. I’m worried that they might steal Hanbok and other cultural contents, not just Kimchi,” another South Korean netizen commented.
Some Koreans said that the move is part of China’s quest to conquer and dominate the world.
On Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, Chinese netizens said that Kimchi is made in China.
“Well, if you don’t meet the standard, then you’re not kimchi,” one wrote on Weibo.
“Even the pronunciation of kimchi originated from Chinese, what else is there to say,” another one said.
South Korea’s agriculture ministry said that the ISO China acquired does not apply to Kimchi.
“It is inappropriate to report [the pao cai certification] without differentiating kimchi from pao cai of China’s Sichuan,” it said in a statement.