New UK foreign minister makes 'Japanese wife' gaffe in China

Глава МИД Великобритании перепутал китайцев с японцами
China ready to open talks with UK on a free trade deal, says Hunt

31 July, 2018

Chinese-Japanese relations have been mired in tensions since Japan's invasion of China before and during the Second World War.

At the beginning of their meeting, Hunt sparked laughter when he misidentified his Chinese-born wife as being Japanese.

Wang Yi told reporters following talks with his British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, that China would continue to follow the system put in place when the city was turned over to Chinese rule in 1997.

"That's a bad mistake to make", Mr. Hunt said, to laughter in the room.

Hunt is married to Lucia Guo. "That's a bad mistake to make", Hunt said, to laughter in the room.

He continued: "My wife is Chinese and my children are half-Chinese and so we have Chinese grandparents who live in Xian and strong family connections in China".

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Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (L) speaks during his meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China July 30, 2018.

Mr Hunt is in China in a bid to strengthen trade ties with Beijing ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union next year.

Potential topics of conversation include "the importance of multilateralism and free trade and ways the United Kingdom and China can work together on global challenges such as climate change, development, security and non-proliferation and enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea", his office said.

It is the first major overseas trip for Hunt, the former health secretary, in his new role, and he appeared to be following in the footsteps of his predecessor, who was known for gaffes and insults.

Wang said about 60 percent of China's trade surplus with the U.S. was created by foreign companies operating in China and that United States firms had reaped "huge profits" in the country.

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