Jeremy Hunt accidentally describes his Chinese wife as Japanese in Beijing

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"That's something that we welcome and we said that we will explore", he said, without elaborating.

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.

China has offered to open discussions on a post-Brexit free trade deal with Britain, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said in Beijing on Monday.

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

China and Britain should also oppose trade protectionism and uphold global free trade, Wang said.

The Foreign Secretary was visiting Beijing to discuss trade links between Britain and China.

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He also reportedly argued that the US has ultimately gained from its trade with China, because it has offered access to cheap products relished by American consumers.

"The responsibility for the trade imbalance between China and the United States lies not with China", Wang said, citing the global role of the US dollar, low USA savings rates, huge levels of USA consumption and USA restrictions on high tech exports as amongst the reasons.

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. "We do not welcome nor do we accept other countries to interfere in China's domestic affairs".

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

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