Whence came kimchi? Beijing, Seoul spice up dispute

The dispute between China and South Korea over the origin of kimchi is heating up.

While South Korea claims to be the home country of kimchi, China asserts it is a traditional Chinese food.

In November, the International Organization for Standardization certified the methods of manufacturing and preserving pao cai, salted fermented vegetables from China’s Sichuan Province. In China, kimchi is considered a type of pao cai.

The ISO certification could increase the credibility of pao cai made in China and give it an advantage when exported. Chinese newspaper the Global Times widely reported this was a humiliation for South Korea.

In response, South Korean netizens opposed the Chinese claims, saying authentic kimchi and pao cai are not alike.

In January, China’s ambassador to the UN posted on Twitter a photo of himself with kimchi he made, and a popular Chinese YouTuber released a video of herself making kimchi, calling it a “traditional Chinese dish.”

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