That awkward moment when the UK Foreign Secretary forgets his wife's nationality

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt arrives at the Western Balkans Summit at Lancaster House in London earlier this in July

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt arrives at the Western Balkans Summit at Lancaster House in London earlier this in July

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China July 30, 2018.

However, he was quick to realise his mistake as he immediately added, "Sorry, that's a awful mistake to make".

The newly-appointed foreign secretary began his first official trip on an inauspicious note, telling dignitaries in Beijing: "My wife is Japanese".

"That's a awful mistake to make", Mr. Hunt said, to laughter in the room. "Sorry, that's a awful mistake to make".

"My wife is Chinese and my children are half-Chinese and so we have Chinese grandparents who live in Xian and strong family connections in China", he said, referring to the northern city, one of China's ancient capitals.

Trying to establish a personal relationship with his Chinese counterparts during a visit to China, Hunt charmingly exclaimed, "My wife is Japanese".

China ready to open talks with UK on a free trade deal, says Hunt

China and Japan have been rivals dating back centuries.

Mr Hunt has been married to Lucia since 2009 and the couple have three children. "That's something that we welcome and we said that we will explore", Mr. Hunt said, without elaborating.

Jeremy Hunt is off to a flying start as the UK's new Foreign Secretary.

Mr Hunt was picked by Theresa May to spearhead foreign policy after his predecessor Boris Johnson resigned on principle over her controversial Chequers plan for Brexit.

Mrs May was forced to slap down Mr Johnson when he accused Saudi Arabia of abusing Islam and acting as a puppeteer in proxy wars throughout the Middle East. Aside from trade, planned topics of discussion include "climate change, development, security and non-proliferation and enforcing United Nations sanctions on North Korea", according to the foreign office.

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