ISO status, the Global Times newspaper reported, was an “international standard for the kimchi industry led by China”. The very mention of the word kimchi triggered angry accusations among South Koreans that China was attempting to claim kimchi as its own, when in fact the award covered only pao cai – a type of pickled vegetable often found in Sichuan cuisine.
“Its total nonsense, what a thief stealing our culture!” a South Korean netizen wrote on Naver, a widely popular web portal. Seoul resident Kim Seol-ha said: “I read a media story that China now says kimchi is theirs, and that they are making international standard for it. It’s absurd.”