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Twitter users in Argentina and China have ridiculed President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for poking fun at how the Chinese speak.

During a visit to China, the Argentine leader made reference to how some Chinese struggle to pronounce the letter “r”.

Tweeting in Spanish, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wondered whether those at an event about trade were there for “lice” and “petloleum”.

Her supporters said it was a light-hearted joke, but others disagreed.Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Twitter Chinese accent

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner suggested that the Chinese struggled to pronounce “rice”, “petroleum” and “Campora”, the Spanish name given to the youth wing of her political party.

“More than 1,000 participants at the event… Are they all from the Campola and in it only for the lice and petloleum?” she tweeted.

It was a play on a domestic political joke: her critics accuse her supporters of attending party events only so they can get a free sandwich and a soft drink.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a prolific Twitter user, later added: “Sorry. You know what? The levels of ridiculousness and absurdity are so high that they can only be digested with humor.”

Campola and China became trending topics on Twitter in Argentina and the episode filled the front pages of all newspapers.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was in China to boost trade with Argentina.

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