Barack Obama angers Chinese by chewing gum at APEC

HE may be famed for his public appeal but it appears that Barack Obama has incurred the wrath of a whole nation in the most unlikely way possible...

The Potus was spotted chewing gum at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Beijing.

Several times during the conference, Obama was caught on camera chomping away, including at his his arrival on Monday.

Riled people in China took to Sina Weibo, the country's equivalent of Twitter, to criticise the president.

Yin Hong, a professor of journalism at Beijing's Tsinghua University, posted on the social media site, "We made this meeting so luxurious, with singing and dancing, but see Obama, stepping out of his car chewing gum like an idler."  Another user labelled Obama a "rapper".

Chewing gum is seen as something of a social faux pas in some south east Asian countries. In fact, there is ban on importing gum in Singapore, while in Japan it is frowned upon when doing business.

Obama's mastication was seen as disrespectful behaviour at such an important meeting. 

The Potus is known to be a former smoker and frequently uses Nicorette gum to help stop his cravings, which may explain why he was champing away.

Despite the social media storm in a teacup, it seems that Obama hasn't done too badly at the summit.

The conference closed with a "historic" climate change deal between China and America.

Perhaps it's time for a celebratory piece of chewing gum.