"That's a bad mistake to make", he told the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says his country's door of dialogue with the United States on resolving bilateral trade disputes remains open, reiterating that Beijing is not after a trade war with Washington.
Following some laughter, he added: "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".
Well, at least his predecessor BoJo would be proud.
Compounding the embarrassment, Hunt accidentally picked the nationality most likely to provoke the ire of his hosts.
Greeting his counterpart Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mr Hunt said: 'My wife is Japanese - my wife is Chinese. They have three children.
Hunt was using visit to show Britain's commitment to deepening ties post-Brexit between the nations.
He succeeds the gaffe-prone Boris Johnson - who once referred to Africans as "flag-waving piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles" in a newspaper column - after Johnson dramatically resigned over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit blueprint earlier this month.
'We welcome this and said that we will explore it'.
Noting China-British relations have maintained steady growth momentum in recent years, Wang welcomed Britain to participate more ambitiously in global cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, in areas such as nuclear power, finance and innovation, and in new industries including artificial intelligence, green energy, and the digital economy.
China and Britain should also oppose trade protectionism and uphold global free trade, Wang said.