Clive Palmer stands firm on 'Chinese mongrels' comments
THE furore over Clive Palmer's controversial comments about China continues to gather momentum with the mining magnate refusing to apologise for any ill-feeling caused, and the Chinese government weighing in with a few barbs of its own.
Mr Palmer could not be swayed today insisting he would stand by the comments he made on ABC's Q&A show on Monday.
Mr Palmer, who is locked in a dispute with Chinese company Citic Pacific over the misappropriation of funds, referred to the Chinese government as "bastards" who "shoot their own people". He told radio station 3AW he believed his comments were an "accurate reflection" of the Chinese government.
"I think so, they do that to people and shoot them and kill them, which they do, and they don't have elections," he said.
"I don't think that's the sort of values that we have in Australia."
While the Chinese government has responded with some restraint labelling Mr Palmer's outburst as "absurd and irresponsible", the same cannot be said for China's English language newspaper the Global Times.
The state-run paper, with a loud nationalistic voice, has called for sanctions on Mr Palmer and any Australian companies who have business dealings with the politician.
"Hooligan politics is being employed by the Australian government to deal with China," the editorial stated.
''If China generously accepts the condemnations against Palmer by Australian public opinion without taking solid action to punish him, this risks giving Australians the impression that China has too much good will to bother toning it down.
"China must teach Canberra a lesson for sabotaging a bilateral relationship. This situation is making it a radical "double-dealer" among all the nations which have relationships with China."
If Prime Minister Tony Abbott was worried about the effect Mr Palmer's outburst would have on the important much-needed trade agreements with China, he was playing them with a dead bat.
"It seemed to be more an expression of a personal business issue than of considered national policy or what should be a national policy," Mr Abbott said on 4BC.
"I was in China myself a few months ago and negotiations for a free trade agreement with China are accelerating and if we can pull that off that'll be very, very good for Australia.
"I think the Chinese appreciate Australia enough to understand that Mr Palmer just speaks for himself on an issue like this and he certainly isn't speaking for Australia."