BRUSSELS European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger issued a formal apology on Thursday for remarks that the Chinese government had said were offensive.
“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 and I would like to apologize for any remark that was not as respectful as it should have been,” said Oettinger, a German conservative who has run the EU’s digital policy and is set to take over budget affairs.
“I have great respect for the dynamics of the Chinese economy – China is a partner and a tough competitor,” he added, a day after China had criticized comments which Oettinger had made last month and for which he had declined to apologize.
(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)