Embattled Argentinean president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has unnecessarily heaped more pressure upon herself by making an extremely ill-advised joke about the way Chinese people speak... while heading a trade delegation in China.

While in Beijing, she tweeted to her 3.53million followers:

The English translation of this tweet is:

Did they only come for lice and petloleum?

Yup, we told you it was bad.

Fernández tried to apologise later by tweeting:

This translates as:

Sorry, the levels of ridiculousness and absurdity are so high they can only be digested with humour.

There's been no official response from China to the tweet, but the reaction online was scathing.

@FaundezLafarga wrote: "Cristina Fernández's lack of tack and respect is incredible.

"She goes to China looking for (economic) agreements and she makes fun of their accents."

@GuyChazan added: "Faux pas in China. Really, this sort of joke went out of fashion in the 70s."

Argentina has been rocked in recent weeks by the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died hours before he was due to elaborated on claims that Fernández protected Iranians connected to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre that killed 85 people.

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