German Politician Calls Chinese People 'Slitty Eyed' in Secretly Filmed Speech

By William Lee, November 1, 2016

1 0

A German Politician, Guenter Oettinger, was secretly filmed at a China-EU summit event in Hamburg where he made a series of disparaging and racist remarks about Chinese people.

In the video he was recorded using the phrase “schlitzaugen," roughly translating to "slitty eyes," in reference to Chinese people and, when speaking about the Chinese delegation present at the conference, he described them as having "their hair combed from left to right with shoe polish" and “nine men, one party. No democracy, no female quota, and no women - which follows logically.”

The politician has since been surprisingly nonchalant about his remarks saying that he was just speaking in “slang” and has not offered an apology, insisting instead that his comments be construed within a “larger context.” 

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, he said, “It was somewhat sloppy expression that was in no way meant to show a lack of respect for China.”

This has raised questions about his suitability for the role. Katarina Barley, general secretary of the Social Democrats, told Spiegel Online, “Someone who openly uses racist and homophobic stereotypes is not qualified for top political positions.”

The Commission has yet to comment on the issue. 

[Image via Daily Mail]

more news

10 Top Trending China News Stories of 2020

Welcome to our 2020 China Year in Review series.

Citizens from These European Countries Can Now Return to China

It’s been more than four months since China's borders were closed to most foreigners.

China School News Roundup: May 2020

A roundup of important school news from China's biggest cities.

CNBC's Arjun Kharpal Talks Big-Name Interviews and Tech Politics

We spoke with Kharpal about the tech world’s response to COVID-19 and one headline that’s been out of sight recently.

10 Biggest China News Stories of 2019

Welcome to our 2019 China Year in Review series.

7 Biggest China News Stories of 2018

It's been a wild year in news.

WATCH: Wu Lei First Chinese Player to Score in European Competition

Espanyol forward opens the scoring in Moscow.

Baidu Updates News Search Options After Accusation of Bias

The new development follows accusations by a prominent Chinese journalist, Fang Kecheng, earlier this year.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives