Argentina's President Mocks Chinese Accent In Tweet During State Visit

02/05/2015 12:11 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2015

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner drew fierce criticism this week for a tweet mocking the Chinese accent.

The president of the South American nation swapped the letters "R" and "L" in a tweet about a conference with 1,000 businessmen that she attended. The message translates to: "Did they come for lice or petloleum?"

Fernandez sent the message to her 3.53 million followers during a recent visit to China.

Shortly after, Fernandez apologized via Twitter, writing, "Sorry, the levels of ridiculousness and absurdity are so high they can only be digested with humor."

The Twittersphere exploded in furor over the tweet, but Reuters correspondent Sarah Marsh told HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri on Wednesday that the Chinese government hasn't reacted much to the tweet, and her Chinese colleagues don't think it will impact the investments Fernandez was seeking during her visit.

"They know the president is a bit of a loose canon," Marsh said, later adding, "It's definitely not very diplomatic."

Fernandez has been in hot water over the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in his apartment after he accused Fernandez and Argentina's foreign minister of trying to cover-up Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

“Every day she’s digging herself a bigger hole and showing the world she’s finishing her term with an inverse learning curve,” Buenos Aires-based political analyst Sergio Berensztein told Bloomberg Business. “You expect new presidents to make errors at the beginning and to finish well, but she’s the opposite.”

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