Kimchi ferments cultural feud between South Korea and China

Publishedduration1 hour agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionKimchi, made with fermented vegetables, is a highly popular dish in South Korea

South Korea has rebuffed China after false reports that it had won global certification for its production of kimchi – a hallowed dish for Koreans.

Last week global industry standards body ISO posted new regulations for the making of pao cai, a type of Chinese salted fermented vegetables.

Some Chinese media crowed that it affected Kimchi, prompting a clarification from South Korea.

It's the latest cultural spat between the neighbours.

There are many types of kimchi, a spicy pickle dish normally made using cabbage. Kimchi is often served in China under the name pao cai, but China has its own variant of the dish which it also calls pao cai.

Earlier this month the ISO published new rules for the development, transportation and storage of pao cai. Authorities in Sichuan province, where the majority of pao cai is produced in China, had lobbied for the certification.

Although the ISO listing clearly says "this document does not apply to kimchi", some Chinese media suggested otherwise.

The nationalist, state-run Global Times called it "an international standard for the kimchi industry led by China".

South Korean media reports disputed the claims, which also prompted anger on social media.

South Korea's agricultural ministry then released a statement saying international standards for kimchi were agreed by the United Nations in 2001.

"It is inappropriate to report [the pao cai certification] without differentiating kimchi from pao cai of China's Sichuan," it said.

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