Jeremy Hunt makes ‘terrible’ gaffe about his wife in China

British foreign secretary refers to his Chinese wife as Japanese during debut visit to Beijing

Jeremy Hunt, Britains new foreign secretary, has made an awkward debut in China when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as Japanese.

China and Japan have been traditional rivals for centuries. Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japans bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 40s.

Hunt, who was on his first official visit to China since taking over from Boris Johnson, quickly acknowledged the terrible error.

Jeremy Hunt and his wife, Lucia Guo, at a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

My wife is Japanese my wife is Chinese. Thats a terrible mistake to make, he told his counterpart, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

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, he added, referring to the ancient city of Xian in northern China.

A former health minister, Hunt is married to Lucia Guo, with whom he has three children.

He succeeds the gaffe-prone Johnson who once referred to Africans as flag-waving piccaninnies with watermelon smiles in a newspaper column.

Johnson dramatically resigned over Theresa Mays Brexit blueprint earlier this month.

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

Other topics on the table are expected to be the importance of multilateralism and free trade and ways the UK 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 ahead of the trip.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/30/jeremy-hunt-makes-terrible-gaffe-about-his-wife-in-china

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