The South Korean pet store owner, who had crafted an insulting ad that was offensive to Chinese, formally apologized yesterday after removing the image at the behest of the South Korean government. (Join the discussion in our newest forum)
A Chinese overseas postgraduate in South Korea spotted the image a few days ago as it depicted China's Tian'anmen Square, the Great Wall, and Huabiao, a traditional form of Chinese architecture with ornamental column erected in front of a palace. The owner had taken the picture of Mao Zedong that hangs in Tian'anmen and replaced with that of a dog, whilst turning its surrounding banners into store advertisements, a highly insulting gesture towards Chinese people.
Angered at the insult, the postgraduate took a picture of the image and laced it online where it drew the ire of many Chinese netizens, before sparking a nationwide controversy.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had an urgent meeting with the South Korea's embassy in Beijing on July 31 where the ministry demanded the South Korean government explain itself on this issue and figure out an urgent solution.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, August 2, 2007)