Cooperation and shared benefits between China and S.Korea surely overweigh disagreements on kimchi origin: FM spokesperson
Published: Dec 02, 2020 01:41 AM

A person making kimchi File Photo: CFP

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she wasn't aware that China and South Korea netizens are involved in an imbroglio over the origin of kimchi, after some Korean netizens accused China of appropriating their side dish. 

A China-led application to International Organization for Standardization (IOS) for paocai, the Chinese version of pickled cabbage, ignited the feud with protectors of kimchi culture on South Korean social media, who accused China of attempting to "steal the culture," according to media reports on Tuesday. 

Issuing the international standard for the paocai industry, which was led by Sichuan's Meishan Market Supervision Bureau, was the sixth food standard formulated by China under the ISO framework, according to the China Market Regulation News. 

The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs seems to have tried to ease tensions by acknowledging that kimchi and paocai use different preserving methods and have their unique flavor, the Korea Herald reported on Monday.

"Are there any disagreements on this? I'm not aware of it," Hua said when asked about the social media paocai-kimchi clash. She emphasized that cooperation and shared benefits between China and South Korea surely overweigh that.

Many Chinese netizens were also puzzled by the “bitterness” of South Korean netizens, saying kimchi and paocai are two different types of food.