Beijing criticises 'kill everyone in China' remark on US talk show

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China sharply criticised an American talk-show host on Monday for a remark made by a child on his programme which has set off protests by Chinese-Americans in the United States.

The controversy blew up when a six-year-old replied "kill everyone in China" after the host Jimmy Kimmel asked him how the United States should pay back the US$1.3 trillion (S$1.62 trillion) it owes to the world's second-largest economy.

Kimmel, who hosts a programme called "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on broadcaster ABC, replied: "That's an interesting idea".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said ABC must respond to the Chinese-American community's protests.

"It's necessary to point out that spreading racism and hatred runs counter to the media's social responsibility," he told a regular news briefing.

The American broadcaster has issued a statement expressing regret for the incident and Kimmel apologised on Oct. 28 on his television show.

His show is pre-taped. Critics say ABC should have cut the offending segment before it was aired.