Australian mining mogul and politician Clive Palmer attacked Chinese business interests in his country during an ABC network current affairs show in which he called the Chinese government “bastards” who “shoot their own people”.
Palmer, leader of the Palmer United Party Clive Palmer, claims that the Chinese government owes him over A$500 million (HK$3.6 billion) in royalties from a Sino Iron magnetite project that saw partnership between Hong Kong-based Citic Pacific and China’s Metallurgical Group Corporation, SCMP reports.
Citic is mining for magnetite iron ore on Palmer’s sprawling Australian Mardie Station cattle farm under a 25-year lease.
But the two sides have clashed over what share of the proceeds are owed to the Australian businessman and whether his company, Mineralogy, is the legal operator of the project’s export terminal at Port Preston.
Citic has also accused Mineralogy of siphoning off millions of dollars from a business bank account to fund Palmer’s election campaign.
Palmer denied any such allegations against him, claiming that he’s now planning to sue the Chinese government.
“We’ll be suing them and they’ll be answering the questions,” he said.
“We’ve had three judgments in the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Western Australia and an arbitration against these Chinese mongrels – I’m saying that because they’re Communist, they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country…And we’re not going to let them,” he said.
“The Chinese government wants to bring workers here to destroy our wage system … they want to take over our ports and get our resources for free.”
“So far they’ve shifted A$200 million worth of iron ore out of this country without paying for it…I don’t mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it.”
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy said that Palmer’s words “were full of ignorance and prejudice”. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop assured the public in an interview with Fairfax Radio that the country did not share views held by Palmer.
“It really isn’t appropriate for him to use a national television program to vent his bitterness about a legal dispute he is having with a Chinese company,” she said.
Palmer was further bashed by netizens online.
“Clive Palmer hit a new low tonight with his racist, anti-Chinese rant – while sitting next to Penny Wong! This man is a disgrace,” said one web user identified as Toni McLee.
“Clive’s comments were out of order but I thought Tony’s continual badgering was too. He seemed to think he was on Lateline,” a Twitter user said.
“First one to do a dance remix of Clive Palmer’s anti-Chinese rant wins YouTube,” joked another.