China open to talks on free-trade deal, British foreign minister says

China open to talks on free-trade deal, British foreign minister says

At a meeting with Chinese counterparts, Mr Hunt said: "My wife is Japanese ... my wife is Chinese".

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

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

You can imagine, then, how quickly the temperature dropped when Hunt, in a bid to ingratiate himself with his Chinese hosts, loudly announced "my wife is Japanese". Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japan's bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s.

Johnson dramatically resigned as Foreign Secretary earlier this month after disagreeing with Theresa May's Chequers Brexit plan. 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", British news agency BBC quoted him as saying.

China offered Britain talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal on Monday, reaching out to London as Beijing remains mired in an increasingly bitter trade war with Washington, even as a senior Chinese diplomat reiterated its door remained open for dialogue. "That's a awful mistake to make", he told his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. "We welcome this and said that we will explore it".

Hunt said Wang made an offer "to open discussions about a possible free-trade deal between Britain and China post Brexit".

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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