S.Korean netizens again claim sovereignty over kimchi after Chinese Ambassador's post
Published: Jan 14, 2021 12:29 AM

A person making kimchi Photo: CFP

South Korean netizens flooded to Chinese Ambassador to UN Zhang Jun's Twitter account to once again claim sovereignty over kimchi in the latest round of a cultural spat after the diplomat, who was born in Northeast China, shared photos of his homemade kimchi. 

"Winter life can also be colorful and enjoyable. One option is to try some homemade kimchi by yourself. Not too difficult. My colleagues said it's super tasty," Zhang posted on Twitter with two photos of him holding large platters of kimchi, which is popular in Korean Peninsula and Northeast China. 

Zhang was born in Liaoning Province where kimchi is an often-used condiment. 

A typical post comment reads "Your kimchi looks great Ambassador, I like cooking kimchi with pork!" 

Other netizens wrote: "Thanks for loving Korean food and culture" or "Thanking you for promoting Korean food." 

The spat was sparked by a new video of Chinese food vlogger Li Ziqi, who in one of her videos made kimchi which in China is called paocai. Some South Korean netizens claimed Li was "stealing" the dish and tradition. Chinese netizens responded with criticism and mockery, such as "is making kimchi a privilege for South Koreans only?"

The kimchi clash reflects that the two countries have cultural and culinary ties for thousands of years, experts said.

Culture traditions are often geographically linked and can be older than countries or states, experts said, adding that a claiming to be king of kimchi is unnecessary. 

In early December, a China-led application to the International Organization for Standardization for paocai, the Chinese version of pickled vegetables, started the feud. Protectors of kimchi culture on South Korean social media accused China of attempting to "steal the culture." 

Global Times 

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