Australian Prime Minister says ‘Hello’ in Chinese to voter who replies ‘I’m Korean’

Australia’s prime minister has launched his election campaign with an embarrassing gaffe, speaking in Chinese to an Asian voter – who responded “no, I’m Korean”.

Scott Morrison took to the streets of Sydney on Saturday to mingle with members of the public for the first time since announcing parliamentary elections on 18 May.

The Liberal Party leader chose the city’s multicultural Strathfield suburb as the setting for his opening full day of campaigning.

Shaking hands with one woman as a pack of journalists watched on, he said: “Hello, how are you? Ni hao, how are you?” – ni hao being the Mandarin Chinese for “hello”.

“No, no, no, I’m Korean,” the woman responded.