Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

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

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

Britain's new foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt's foray into global politics is off to an embarrassing start.

Noting China-British relations have maintained steady growth momentum in recent years, Wang welcomed Britain to participate more ambitiously in global cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, in areas such as nuclear power, finance and innovation, and in new industries including artificial intelligence, green energy, and the digital economy.

"My wife is wife is Chinese", he told his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Hunt's gaffe is therefore unlikely to go down well with Beijing, with whom the United Kingdom hopes to strike a profitable trade deal post-Brexit.

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The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, today (Monday 30th July) began his first major worldwide trip since his appointment, visiting Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart and further enhance UK-China relations.

An agreement in principle on Britain's departure from the European trading bloc - set for March 29, 2019 - must be reached before a European summit in mid-October.

"My wife is Japanese - my wife is Chinese".

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned in a speech last year marking 20 years since Hong Kong became a semi-autonomous region of China that any activities in the city seen as threatening China's sovereignty and stability would be "absolutely impermissible".

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Hunt is just one of several Cabinet ministers sent overseas to woo potential allies into striking trade deals with the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

After the China summit Hunt is expected to travel to Paris and Vienna for further talks with his European counterparts on Brexit.

In France and Austria "international security issues such as the threat from Russian Federation, the war in Syria, and the Iran (nuclear) deal", will also be under discussion according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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