Hunt misidentifies Chinese wife

Britain is willing to strengthen strategic dialogue and deepen exchanges and cooperation with China in various areas to boost the development of the "Golden Era" of bilateral relations, Hunt said, adding his country stands ready to deepen communication with China to jointly address various challenges, and safeguard multilateralism and global order.

Beijing has been looking for allies in its fight with Washington and the Trump administration, which has accused China's hi-tech industries of stealing intellectual property from American firms and demanded Beijing act to buy more United States products to reduce a US$350 billion trade imbalance.

Jeremy Hunt has started his visit to China with an awkward gaffe, referring to his Chinese-born wife as "Japanese" in front of his confused hosts.

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

While a trade pact with China would be a political win for Britain's government, formal talks can not begin until it officially leaves the European Union next year.

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

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.

His trip follows a visit by May earlier this year where £9bn worth of trade deals were signed and new measures were agreed to open up China to United Kingdom goods and services.

The foreign secretary, who moved from his health brief to replace Mr Johnson earlier this month, made the "terrible mistake" while meeting his Chinese counterpart.

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

  • Sonia Alvarado