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中国贸易规则冲击韩国泡菜文化

更新时间:2015-7-30 10:11:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Trade Rules Put South Korea’s Kimchi Industry in a Pickle
中国贸易规则冲击韩国泡菜文化

SEOUL, South Korea — The fate of South Korea’s kimchi industry rests on whether China considers it pickled or not.

韩国首尔——韩国泡菜业的命运,取决于中国是否将其归类为酱腌菜。

When China reclassified the fermented cabbage dish several years ago, Korean exports of kimchi evaporated. As a pickled product, it did not meet China’s strict import hygiene standards.

几年前,中国对这种发酵白菜进行了重新归类,导致韩国泡菜的出口量大幅萎缩。因为作为酱腌菜,它不符合中国严格的进口卫生标准。

Now, China has pledged to reconsider the designation, a concession that could pave the way for a new boom in exports since the two countries sealed a broad trade deal.

现在,在中韩签订广泛的贸易协定之后,中国已承诺重新考虑此事,该让步可能会为泡菜出口的新繁荣铺平道路。

The episode over kimchi, a source of deep culinary and cultural pride in South Korea, reflects the sometimes complicated relationship that China has with its neighbors. As China looks to deepen its trade ties around the region, such pockets of tension could flare up, creating challenges for its ambitions.

泡菜是韩国烹饪和文化的骄傲,而关于泡菜的周折反映了中国与邻国之间时常复杂的关系。当中国试图与周边地区加深经贸合作时,类似矛盾可能会突然爆发,制造麻烦。

For years, cheaper Chinese kimchi imports flowed into South Korea, undercutting local producers, who were not permitted to export to China. The subject became such a sore point that kimchi was left out of important trade negotiations with China for years.

多年来,中国较为廉价的泡菜出口韩国,让无法向中国出口泡菜的韩国生产者备受打击。此事变得相当敏感,于是多年以来,中韩两国的重大贸易谈判都没有涉及泡菜。

To the vendors at one bustling food market in downtown Seoul, the prevalence of Chinese kimchi products is a reminder of China’s reach into the lives of ordinary South Koreans. “We cannot make much without importing things from China,” said Chu Kwi-soon, a 67-year-old seller of kimchi and condiments like salted and sauced octopus in the Gwangjang market.

广藏市场是首尔市中心一处繁华的食品集市,在这里的商贩们看来,中国泡菜产品俯拾即是,显示了中国对普通韩国人日常生活的影响。“如果不从中国进口东西,我们赚不了多少钱,”67岁的商贩朱贵顺(Chu Kwi-soon,音)说。他在该市场销售泡菜和腌章鱼等腌渍品。

China looms large in South Korea’s economy.

中国对韩国经济影响相当大。

It is South Korea’s biggest partner, with bilateral trade totaling $235 billion, according to the most recent figures from Korea International Trade Association. That is roughly twice the amount with the United States. And neither South Korea nor China is part of the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an American-led trade deal that the Obama administration has said is a way to strengthen its economic links in Asia.

韩国贸易协会(Korea International Trade Association)的最新数据显示,中国是韩国最大的贸易伙伴,双边贸易总额达2350亿美元。这是美韩贸易额的大约两倍。韩国和中国都没有参与美国牵头的贸易协议,“跨太平洋伙伴关系协定”(Trans-Pacific Partnership,简称 TPP)的谈判。奥巴马政府表示,TPP是强化美国在亚洲的经济联系的一种方式。

China is pursuing a string of smaller pacts across Asia, using its financial heft and global influences to its advantage. In its first major move, China signed a free-trade agreement with South Korea in June.

中国正在利用自己的经济实力和在全球的影响力,试图在亚洲各地达成一批规模较小的协定。6月,中国与韩国签署了一项自由贸易协议。这是其第一个大动作。

Under the agreement, each country will scrap tariffs on more than 90 percent of goods, including medical equipment, electronics and kimchi, over the next 20 years. The deal is expected to increase trade between China and South Korea to $300 billion, according to estimates from South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

根据该协议,两国将在接下来的20年时间里,对超过90%的商品取消关税,包括医疗器械、电子器件和泡菜。据韩国产业通商资源部(Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)估计,该协议预计会让中韩贸易增至3000亿美元。

President Xi Jinping of China called the deal a “monumental event.” President Park Geun-hye of South Korea hailed it a “historical milestone,” according to local media reports.

中国国家主席习近平称,该协议是一个“具有里程碑意义的事件”。据当地媒体报道,韩国总统朴槿惠(Park Geun-hye)称其是一座“具有历史意义的里程碑”。

For South Korea’s kimchi industry, it should have been a victory.

对韩国泡菜业来说,这本应是一场胜利。

Kimchi, a pungent cabbage that, traditionally, is buried for months and carries a powerful smell, holds a special place in South Korea. Historically,it has been on the table at every meal.

在韩国,传统上需要腌制数月且口味浓烈的泡菜,拥有特殊的地位。历史上,它是韩国人每餐必备的食品。

Traditions are built around making it. Every year, thousands of “Yakult ladies,” a group of employees from the food company Korea Yakult Corporation, fill Seoul Plaza to make kimchi for a charity event.

围绕泡菜的腌制也形成了一些传统。每年,数千名“养乐多女士”,即一群来自食品企业韩国养乐多公司(Korea Yakult Corporation)的员工,会挤在首尔广场,为一场慈善活动腌制泡菜。

Last November, 1,300 women dressed in red aprons slathered red chili paste, fish sauce and garlic over each cabbage leaf in unison to a drumbeat. In 2013, the Yakult ladies broke the Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously making kimchi, by assembling 2,635women.

去年11月,1300名身穿红色围裙的女子跟着鼓点声,动作一致地给每片白菜叶涂上了厚厚的红辣椒酱、鱼露和蒜。2013年,2635名“养乐多女士”聚在一起,打破了同时腌制泡菜的人数的吉尼斯世界纪录。

But the producers, in factories across the country, are still reeling from a bureaucratic change in China.

但是韩国各地的生产商仍然受到中国官方规定改变的影响,感觉心烦意乱。

By classifying kimchi as pickled goods, the Chinese government basically blocked all imports of the product from South Korea. Kimchi is fermented and has high levels of bacteria. As such, it did not pass the hygiene standards normally applied to pickled goods, which are sterilized and have low amounts of bacteria.

通过将泡菜归类为腌制品,中国政府基本上阻止了来自韩国该产品的所有进口。泡菜经过发酵含有大量细菌。正因如此,泡菜没能通过一般适用于腌制品的卫生标准,即经过消毒并且细菌含量很低。

In a few short years, South Korea’s once-growing kimchi trade with China evaporated, from hundreds of thousands of dollars of exports a year to just $108in 2013 and $16,800 last year. Instead, cabbage is flowing in the opposite direction, with China now exporting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of kimchi a year to South Korea.

在短短几年中,韩国对华一度不断增长的泡菜贸易已不复存在,从一年数十万美元的出口额到2013年的区区108美元以及去年的16800美元。取而代之的是白菜反方向的流动,中国现在一年向韩国出口的泡菜价值数亿美元。

“We are feeling a sense of crisis as the owners of kimchi,” Kim Young-Rok, a South Korean politician. Other Chinese agricultural products have also undercut local business and dominated food markets and grocery stores, touching a nerve for farmers in South Korea, Mr. Kim said.

“作为泡菜的拥有者,我们有一种危机感,”韩国政界人士金荣禄(Kim Young-Rok,音)说。其他的中国农作物也卖得比本地商家的更廉价,而且主导了食品市场和食杂店,这触动了韩国农民的神经,金正禄说。

In February, the Chinese government said it would revise its regulations on kimchi in a move that was seen as a last-minute concession to South Korea. But it is not clear whether the classification has been changed, since the World Trade Organization has not yet confirmed the new designation.

今年2月,中国政府说过要修改对泡菜的规定,此举被看做是在最后时刻对韩国做出的让步。但由于世界贸易组织还没有确认新的标示,尚不清楚分类是否已经被改变。

Even if the rules change, it may be difficult to reverse the damage. As cheap Chinese kimchi has flooded the market in South Korea, local producers have struggled to hold on to their business.

即使改变规定,可能也难以挽回损失。由于廉价的中国泡菜已经占领了韩国市场,本地的生产者正在挣扎求存。

Some have moved their factories to China to keep costs down. Others have closed their factories. Kim Soon-ja, the chief executive of Hansung Food, said she had been left with little choice but to lower the price of her kimchi products.

有的人将工厂搬到了中国来降低成本。其他人则关闭了他们的工厂。汉盛食品公司(Hansung Food)的总裁金顺子(Kim Soon-ja)说,她没有其他选择,只能降低泡菜产品的价格。

“We are the leaders in kimchi making,” Ms. Kim said. “But because the material and costs are cheaper in China, there is more Chinese kimchi in Korea.”

“我们是泡菜制作的领导者,”她说。“但是因为材料和成本在中国更便宜,所以在韩国更常见的是中国的泡菜。”

“Now, there is too much coming from China,” added Ms. Kim, who has three factories in South Korea.

“现在,从中国过来的太多了,”金顺子还说。目前,她在韩国有三家工厂。

The government is trying to preserve kimchi’s cultural and historical significance, if not its economic import.

政府正在试图保护泡菜的文化和历史意义,而这可能不是出于它在经济方面的重要性。

It successfully lobbied the United Nations to name kimchi to its cultural heritage list. At the World Institute of Kimchi, a research institute financed by the South Korean government, scientists have been told to “nurture and develop the kimchi industry that will boost the national growth.”

韩国成功地游说联合国将泡菜列入其文化遗产名录。世界泡菜研究所(World Institute of Kimchi)是一家由韩国政府资助的研究机构,那里的科学家们已被告知要“培养和开发促进国家发展的泡菜产业。”

Despite such efforts, kimchi is losing some of its relevance in modern South Korea. The country transitioned from an agricultural economy to a technology economy in the span of several short decades. Younger generations spend more time online — on smartphones and other gadgets — than they do at the dinner table.

尽管有这样的努力,但泡菜在现代韩国的重要性正在下降。韩国在短短的几十年间从农业经济转型到了科技经济。年轻一代用智能手机和其他电子产品上网的时间比他们花在餐桌上的时间要多。

Once-common family traditions like gathering to make kimchi every fall, preparing the cabbage and storing it underground in jars for months, are fading. Today, few young South Koreans make their own kimchi. Some rarely even eat it.

曾经常见的家庭传统,例如每年秋天聚在一起做泡菜,把白菜准备好然后将其放入罐子中贮藏数月,现在都正在消逝。如今,很少有年轻的韩国人自己做泡菜。有的人甚至都很少吃泡菜。

Park Soon-ja has had a stall in this market for more than 30 years. “Back then, we only had rice and we had many children. We were poor. We had limited choices,” she said.

朴素子(Park Soon-ja,音)在这里的市场上摆摊已经有30多年了。“过去,我们只有大米,并且有很多孩子。我们过去穷。没什么选择,”她说。

“I grew old in this market,” she said, refusing to disclose her age.

“我在这家市场里慢慢老去,”她说道,但拒绝透露自己年龄。

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