Commissioner Oettinger apologises for mocking Chinese
The EU’s Digital Economy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has formally apologised for making derogatory remarks about Chinese officials.
“I would like to apologise for any remark that was not as respectful as it should have been,” he said yesterday.
In a speech to German business leaders he had spoken of Chinese officials having “hair combed... with black shoe polish” and called them “slitty-eyed”. China said Mr Oettinger had revealed a “baffling sense of superiority”. The German official has been named as the next EU budget commissioner.
Political opponents called his speech “racist” and said he was unfit to hold such a senior post in the EU.
“I had time to reflect on my speech, and I can now see that the words I used have created bad feelings and may even have hurt people. This was not my intention,” he said in his apology.