Following online culture spat over kimchi, Chinese Ambassador to S.Korea says disputes don’t represent mainstream opinion
Published: Feb 01, 2021 11:18 PM

China South Korea File photo:CGTN

Some online disputes between Chinese and South Korean netizens don't represent mainstream public opinion, Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming was quoted as saying in an interview published on the embassy's website on Monday. 

Xing said since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and South Korea have been working closely to jointly fight the pandemic by establishing epidemic control mechanism, facilitating "fast-track" entry system to help the resumption of production, and South Korean people also offered to help Chinese people, depicting a friendship of neighbors. China-South Korea relations have set an example for other international ties, Xin noted. 

Meanwhile, due to different historical, cultural and social customs, it's also normal to have differences in understanding some issues. Netizens on both sides arguing with each other on the internet, which stemmed from misunderstanding, doesn't represent the mainstream public opinion of China and South Korea, as the friendship between the two countries remains the major trend, the Chinese ambassador said. 

Chinese and South Korean netizens have been involved in a series of online disputes in recent months concerning various topics such as a cultural spat over "kimchi," a Chinese blogger who made Kimchi and uploaded the video on YouTube, as well as a South Korean beauty guru who used a traditional Chinese hairpin to show South Korean culture. 

In early December, a China-led application campaign to the International Organization for Standardization for paocai, the Chinese version of pickled vegetables, was criticized by some South Korean netizens. Despite the organization specifically noting that "the document does not apply to kimchi," confusion over the name struck the nerves of South Korean netizens, who accused China of "cultural theft" and lodged a protest.

"We should further increase mutual recognition and understanding, and enhance the friendship between China and South Korea, which is also our duty and direction as frontline diplomats," the ambassador said. 

With Joe Biden taking the office, China is willing to rebuild the relationship with the US. While China and South Korea remain strategic partners, and South Korea and the US are allies, these bilateral ties are equally important for South Korea, Xin said. 

"I believe the South Korean government will definitely choose foreign policies in line with the interests of the country and its people. China highly values South Korea and China-South Korea relationship, and is willing to push it forward at a steady and healthy manner," he said. 

Global Times