Jeremy Hunt calls his own Chinese wife Japanese while in China

Posted July 31, 2018

China has been looking for allies in its fight with the United States, initiated by the Trump administration, which says China's high-tech industries have stolen intellectual property from American firms and demanded Beijing act to buy more USA products to reduce a $350 billion trade surplus.

BRITAIN'S new foreign minister made an awkward debut in China today when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as "Japanese".

Greeting his counterpart Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mr Hunt said: 'My wife is Japanese - my wife is Chinese.

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.

The Foreign Secretary was visiting Beijing to discuss trade links between Britain and China.

Foreign Minister Wang said he would look into that case while also still respecting the independence of China's judicial system'.

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The United States has benefited a great deal from trade with China, getting lots of cheap goods, which is good for US consumers, and USA companies benefit hugely in China too, he added.

Wang said that the fault for the current trade imbalance lied with the USA, pointing to its high levels of consumption, low savings rates and the global dominance of the dollar, Reuters reported.

Trump imposed tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods earlier this month, prompting retaliatory measures from Beijing.

China and the United States have had talks and had reached a consensus, but the United States did not meet China half way, he noted.

To laughter in the room, he added: "Sorry, that's a awful mistake to make".

"China's door of dialogue and negotiation remains open, but any dialogue must be based on equality, mutual respect and rules".

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