After experiencing the worst fine-dust pollution last week, Korean internet users are talking about boycotting Chinese products.
What they are most angry about is that Beijing refuses to admit any responsibility for the smog that has blanketed the Korean Peninsula so far this March, despite many reports that indicate a correlation.
“If we do not buy Chinese products, then Chinese factories would reduce operations,” an internet user posted on a web community. “I am really upset to see the Chinese deny their responsibility.”
A civic group is preparing a “consumer strike” against made-in-China products. The Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty said it was consulting with experts on whether or not to organize a boycott of Chinese products.
“We are discussing various ways to deal with the fine dust crisis including boycotts of Chinese products. But we have yet to make any decision,” an official at the civic group said.
“What we take issue with are two things. One is that China should admit that most of the fine dust originates in the country. The other is that Seoul should ask Beijing to take proper measures for the smog. Its diplomatic stance is too low profile.”
Indeed, China has claimed that the country has little to do with smog here _ Korea suffered from the worst ultra-fine particulate pollution last week since the government compiled data.
When President Moon Jae-in hinted the link between the two countries’ fine dusts earlier this month, China wasted no time downplaying it.
Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “I don’t know whether Seoul has any basis that its fine dust comes from China. Its cause is extremely complicated.”
He added that over the past days, Beijing’s sky was quite clear while Seoul’s was terrible, in comments designed to argue that China was not responsible for Korea’s worst smog early March.
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