UK’s foreign minister makes ‘Japanese wife’ gaffe in China

Beijing: Britain’s new foreign minister made an awkward debut in China on Monday when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his “Chinese wife”, but accidentally referred to her as “Japanese”. Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, on his first official visit to China, acknowledged the “terrible” error. “My wife is Japanese – my wife is Chinese. That’s a terrible mistake to make,” he told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

“My wife is Chinese and my three kids are half-Chinese and so we have Chinese grandparents who live in Xian and strong family connections in China,” he said. A former health minister, Hunt is married to Lucia Guo.

Hunt succeeds the gaffe-prone Boris Johnson – who once referred to Africans as “flag-waving piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” in a newspaper column – after Johnson dramatically resigned over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint earlier in July, reports showed.