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South Korea cries “stealing our culture” as China claims Kimchi as its own

South Korean media accused Beijing of making it look like Kimchi is just another kind of Pao Cai.

The Chinese and South Koreans are currently feuding on social media over the origins of Kimchi, a Korean staple which consists of various vegetables, after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) rewarded China a certification for its Pao Cai, a dish made from pickled vegetables which has origins in the province of Sichuan.

The Global Times called the achievement “an international standard for the Kimchi industry led by China.”

South Korean media accused Beijing of making it look like Kimchi is just another kind of Pao Cai.

A South Korean netizen on Naver, a well-known web portal, said that China was a “thief stealing our culture!”

“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 said after watching the episode.

Other South Korean media outlets said this was China’s “bid for world domination” as netizens said they believe Beijing was exercising “economic coercion.”

Chinese netizens on Weibo meanwhile have already claimed that Kimchi is one of China’s traditional dishes. They have a good argument because most of the Kimchi products in South Korea are made in China.

“Well, if you don’t meet the standard, then you’re not kimchi,” a Weibo user said.

“Even the pronunciation of kimchi originated from Chinese, what else is there to say,” said another.

On Sunday, South Korea’s agriculture ministry said that the certification doesn’t apply to Kimchi.

“It is inappropriate to report (about Pao Cai winning the ISO) without differentiating Kimchi from Pao Cai of China’s Sichuan,” the statement said.

Netizens tuning in on the issue had a lot to say.

One netizen thought that the “beef” between deceased rappers 2pac and The Notorious B.I.G. was huge, but this one is on a whole different level.

A Filipino joked saying China not only stole the West Philippines Sea, but also a significant part of the South Korean culture.

A netizen finds it funny that China would claim a lot of things originated from their country except for COVID-19, a disease that has taken the lives of nearly 1.5 million people worldwide.

However, it is hard to deny China’s contribution to the world.

Written by Charles Teves

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