British diplomat refers to Chinese wife as Japanese in Beijing

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is married to Chinese Lucia Guo with whom he has three children. – EPA pic

Hunt, making his first trip to China in his new role, accidentally mistook his wife's own nationality while speaking to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says his country's door of dialogue with the United States on resolving bilateral trade disputes remains open, reiterating that Beijing is not after a trade war with Washington.

Well, at least his predecessor BoJo would be proud.

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

Lucia Guo, who has been married to the former health secretary since 2009, hails from the central Chinese city of Xi'an. They have three children.

Hunt later told a news briefing that China had offered Britain talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal.

Since Johnson resigned, the position has been filled by Jeremy Hunt, who appears to be carrying on BoJo's legacy.

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Hunt attempted to minimize the damage by demonstrating knowledge about where his wife's family lives.

He hoped his wife's Chinese nationality would help him forge strong links between the United Kingdom and China ahead of Brexit, but then he made the "terrible mistake" of saying Lucia Guo is from Japan, with whom China has had a fractious relationship for over a thousand years.

"That's something that we welcome and we said that we will explore", Hunt said, without elaborating.

"China and Britain should treat each other's development as an opportunity instead of a threat", Wang said, "Under the current situation, China and Britain, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, should uphold their responsibilities and obligations to firmly maintain multilateralism, the free trade regime, and WTO rules, as well as opposing unilateralism and trade protectionism".

He added: 'We also raised consular cases, including that of the Simpson children.

According to Reuters, Wang said on Monday that China does not want a trade war with the USA, but insisted that Beijing is only acting to defend its own interests.

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