A city in South Korea is treating more than a 1,000 Chinese buyers and tourists to a fried chicken and beer party, also known as "chimaek". Officials of the city of Sokcho said that the event was being held as part of ongoing efforts to increase friendly relations with China.
"Chimaek" is a word that combines chicken with "maekju", the Korean word for beer. The concept has become increasingly popular among young Chinese people since a television show, "My Love from the Star", introduced the combination.
According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, the chicken and beer party will take place over the course of two days, beginning on 14 October. It is being held within a larger trade and investment fair organised by the Greater Tumen Initiative, a regional cooperation body that includes South Korea, China, Russia and Mongolia.
At least 3,000 people are expected to attend the trade and investment fair that begins on 13 October, bringing together 600 firms from the South Korea, China, Russia, Mongolia and a number of other Asian countries. As many as 14 companies from a tourist fishery market are expected to provide the chicken and beer for the occasion.
Tensions have been increasing between South Korea and China in recent weeks as Chinese boats were accused of fishing illegally off the coast of South Korea. On 11 October, South Korea vowed to use greater force against the illegal fishing boats, including the use of firearms if necessary.
Lee Choon-jae, deputy chief of South Korea's coast guard, said: "We will actively respond to Chinese fishing boats that obstruct justice by using all possible means if needed, such as directly hitting and gaining control of those Chinese fishing boats, as well as firing common weapons."
China's Foreign Ministry is believed to be investigating the incident. However, they have urged South Korea to respond to the situation with calm. Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: "We hope South Korea can start from the perspective of the broader situation in bilateral relations and calmly and rationally handle the relevant issue."