As the Chinese press is under criticism for causing controversy about where kimchi originated from, a Chinese state media company said kimchi and paocai are completely different. It seems to take a step back by explaining the recent controversy as a misunderstanding in translation.
“This confusion that stems from an innocent lost in translation ignited a feud,” China’s state-run English newspaper Global Times said, explaining differences between kimchi and paocai on Wednesday (local time). “The two food genres, despite being both called paocai in Chinese term, vary a lot in making methods and selection of raw materials,” the newspaper said. “Kimchi refers to a kind of fermented cabbage dish that plays an integral role in Korean cuisine, while paocai, or Sichuan paocai, refers to pickled vegetables that are popular originally in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.” While the English newspaper used the term ‘kimchi,’ other Chinese media companies use the term ‘paocai’ to refer to kimchi.
The Global Times also reported that Baidu Baike, China's Wikipedia-like platform, deleted the phrase "Korean kimchi originated from China” on Tuesday upon the request of Seo Kyoung-duk, a professor at South Korea's Sungshin Women's University. According to the newspaper, Chinese experts refuted it as "unnecessary fuss," adding that Baidu Baike is a website that can be edited or created by any registered user. At the same time, the article pushed the responsibility for causing the controversy to South Korea, saying that this confusion that stems from an innocent lost in translation ignited a feud with defenders of kimchi culture on South Korean social media, who accused China of attempting to "steal our culture."
The state-run newspapers of China, which caused the kimchi controversy, also said on Wednesday that kimchi and paocai are different foods. The recent controversy has been brought on due to a misunderstanding that South Korea and China were arguing about the standards of kimchi even though kimchi and paocai are two completely different foods. While the controversy grew over the last nine days, China had not made any statement and later announced that is was a translation mistake.
Seol Lee firstname.lastname@example.org