How? Just... how?
Britain's new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made quite possibly the most awkward mistake imaginable on his first overseas trip by referring to his Chinese wife as "Japanese"... in Beijing.
Mr Hunt, who succeeded the similarly gaffe-prone Boris Johnson earlier this month, was hoping to win favour with his Chinese hosts by stressing his personal connection to the country thanks to his Xian-born wife, Lucia.
But after making an embarrassing error over Mrs Hunt's nationality, Mr Hunt quickly had to apologise for his "terrible" faux-pas:
"My wife is Japanese ... my wife is Chinese," he told his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
To laughter in the room, he added: "Sorry, that's a terrible mistake to make."
Yeah... to say the least.
The 51-year-old went on to explain: "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.
Although to be fair to Mr Hunt, he clearly has form: