17:44 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Britain's Health Minister Jeremy Hunt (L) and his wife Lucia, attend a garden party hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on May 19, 2016.

    Taking Tips From Boris Johnson? New UK FM Describes His Chinese Wife as Japanese

    © AFP 2019 / Jonathan Brady
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    It appears diplomacy remains to be a tough nut to crack in British politics, even with a new chief diplomat in charge.

    Jeremy Hunt, who replaced Boris Johnson as UK's Foreign Minister in July, has made a "terrible mistake" during his first official visit to China, and criticism on social media soon followed.

    In talks with his counterpart, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Mr. Hunt said:

    "My wife is Japanese — my wife is Chinese. That's a terrible mistake to make."

    He then continued to say that his family connections in China are strong and his kids' grandparents live in Xian, a city in the north of the country.

    Reactions to the Foreign Minister's gaffe poured in on Twitter, including references to numerous diplomatic blunders his predecessor, Boris Johnson, had committed. 

    Jeremy Hunt seeks to send a message to Chinese businesses on his trip — Britain is open for business as it leaves the European Union in 2019.

    Speaking to reporters in Beijing after meeting British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, China's FM Wang Yi said on Monday both nations agreed to boost trade and investment. Mr. Hunt in turn said that a possible free trade deal post Brexit is something Britain welcomes and will explore.

    The UK-China trade negotiations take place amid Beijing's bitter trade war with Washington, following the US administration position that China's high-tech industries have stolen intellectual property from US firms and demand that Beijing should buy more American products to reduce a $350 billion trade surplus.

    READ MORE: Britain's FM to Improve 'Golden Era' in Relations With China Amid US Trade War

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    blunder, diplomacy, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson, China, United Kingdom
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