China offers post-Brexit trade talks with Britain, says Jeremy Hunt

31 July, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • China ready to open talks with UK on a free trade deal, says Hunt

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.

"We discussed the offer made by foreign minister Wang to open discussion of a possible free-trade deal done between Britain and China, post-Brexit", Mr Hunt told a press conference. That´s a bad 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 added.

As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Britain should strongly uphold multilateralism, as well as the free trade regime and WTO rules, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.

Mr Hunt has been married to Lucia since 2009 and the couple have three children.

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It's been less than a month since Hunt was appointed foreign secretary, but he has already caused embarrassment.

Under the "one country, two systems" model, Beijing promised to let Hong Kong maintain wide autonomy and civil liberties, but fears are growing that China's leaders are backtracking by oppressing the political opposition.

It is the first major overseas trip for Hunt, the former health secretary, in his new role, and he appeared to be following in the footsteps of his predecessor, who was known for gaffes and insults.

During his two-year spell as foreign secretary, Mr Johnson demonstrated his own gaffe-prone streak when he compared New Zealand's traditional Maori greeting to a headbutt.

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.

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