Australian legislator launches broadside against China

Billionaire Clive Palmer accused the “communist Chinese government” of trying to steal Australia’s natural resources. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

Billionaire Clive Palmer accused the “communist Chinese government” of trying to steal Australia’s natural resources. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters


One of the more lively verbal spats in the region last week was sparked by the Australian legislator and mining magnate, Clive Palmer, who went on television and launched a scathing broadside, referring to the Chinese government as “bastards” who “shoot their own people” and want to usurp control of Australia.

Much of Australia’s recent economic boom has been fuelled by the resources from Western Australia helping build China’s cities and provide raw materials for its factories. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade hitting nearly €114 billion in 2013.

Mr Palmer called Chinese resources companies “mongrels” that send workers to destroy the wage system, take over Australian ports and plunder minerals for free, and accused the “communist Chinese government” of attempting to take over Australia’s ports to steal the nation’s natural resources.

“I don’t mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it,” he said.

Mr Palmer’s party, Palmer United Party, is embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese state-owned company Citic Pacific, which has accused the mining magnate’s company Mineralogy of siphoning off €9 million in funds to finance his election campaign.

The Chinese reaction wasn’t fast but it was just as verbally dextrous as Mr Palmer. An editorial in the Global Times spoke of how Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and prime minister Tony Abbott had made similar “ bitter remarks against China without any reason” but said Mr Palmer’s comments were a step up.

“China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just because the Australian government has condemned him. China must be aware that Palmer’s rampant rascality serves as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude toward China,” it said.

“China should consider imposing sanctions on Palmer and his companies, cutting off all business contacts with him and forbidding him and his senior executives into China,” it said.

All of Australia must pay for his remarks, the Global Times said.

“Business with Australia should continue, but this country must be marginalised in China’s global strategy. Canberra boasts about itself having so- called strategic values, most of which, however, are created out of its own delusions.”

Rampant rascality indeed.

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