A South Korean pet shop owner sparked a minor diplomatic incident with a signboard depicting a dog's head in place of Mao Zedong's on Tiananmen Gate, officials said on Aug. 6.
The shop at Yongin, 45km south of Seoul, has now changed its sign after receiving complaints from Chinese citizens and the foreign ministry in Beijing, a local official said.
"The shop's owner had no intention of defaming Mao when the signboard was installed three years ago," Choi Byong-Kwan, a district official in Yongin, told AFP.
But China, he said, believed it insulted the founder of the People's Republic of China, who died in 1976. Mao's embalmed body is presently displayed in the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square.
Choi said the row was provoked by a picture of the signboard which was taken by a Chinese student in Yongin and posted on the web.
In response to complaints from its citizens, the Chinese foreign ministry summoned a South Korean diplomat in Beijing to protest, Choi said.
"I pulled down the signboard on Aug. 2 after the shop's owner accepted the request of our government," he said. "The owner agreed that the signboard should not provoke a diplomatic row between the two countries."
Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted the shop owner as saying he had no intention of insulting China but simply thought the signboard would look cute.
Lance: How was your trip to Beijing?
Ignatius: It was fantastic. I got to see Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall.
Lance: Did you look at Mao Zedong's body?
Ignatius: No way! Seeing dead people makes me sick to my stomach. I probably would have lost my lunch on the coffin.
Lance: That sure would have created a diplomatic row.
lose one's lunch 嘔吐
To lose one's lunch means to throw up. Breakfast, dinner or any food item could be used instead of lunch, depending on what it was that was spewed out. For example, "I lost my dinner while riding the rollercoaster."
「Lose one's lunch」就是嘔吐的意思。午餐可用早餐、晚餐、或任何食物代替，視當時可能吐出的東西而定。例如：「我坐雲霄飛車時把晚餐都吐出來了。」