Watch: Australian PM Scott Morrison greets Korean woman with 'ni hao', is accused of racism

The Prime Minister of Australia has been accused of racism after he seemed to assume a Korean woman was Chinese.

A month out from the federal election, Scott Morrison is hitting the campaign trail. On Saturday, he visited the west Sydney suburb of Strathfield, accompanied by his wife Jenny and a throng of about 30 reporters and camera crew.

He chatted with locals and went into a Korean restaurant where he helped to make cakes in the kitchen. However he ran into trouble with the same culture a little while later.

SKY News captured the moment Morrison shook hands with a woman in a crowd of constituents. He can be heard saying "Hello, how are you? Ni hao."

'Ni hao' means 'hello' in Mandarin Chinese.

"No, no, I'm Korean," the woman replied. "I'm from the Korean community."

She smiled as he moved away, indicating she wasn't too upset by the moment of confusion - but Morrison has now been labelled a racist by many on social media.

"ScoMo confuses Koreans for Chinese, they all look the same to him," one Twitter user said.

"My first policy if elected will be mandatory 'which kind of Asian are they?' training for Scott Morrison," another joked.

Many claimed Morrison would have been unlikely to assume a white person's ethnicity.

"Gonna start accosting white guys in the street with a big ole guten tag til they learn their lesson," one woman said.

Some pointed out Strathfield is known for its sizeable Korean population, and said Morrison probably wouldn't have made the gaffe had he researched the area before his visit.

On the same day as his ill-fated Strathfield walkabout, Morrison accused opposition party Labor of stirring up racist sentiment in regards to an Indian-owned coal mine.


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