Australia rebukes mining tycoon for calling Chinese government 'bastards'
Published on Aug 19, 2014 4:53 PM
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian mining mogul and politician Clive Palmer was rebuked by the government on Tuesday for a tirade against China, in which he described its government as "bastards" who shoot their own people and want to take over the country's resources.
Treasurer Joe Hockey said the remarks aired on Australian television on Monday were "hugely damaging", noting that Mr Palmer had benefited personally from doing business with China. "Do not bring down the rest of Australia because of your biases," he said. "They are a business partner for Australia, they're our biggest trading partner, they buy a lot of our produce, and in doing so they help to lift the quality of life for everyday Australians."
China is Australia's biggest trade partner with two-way trade approaching US$150 billion (S$186.6 billion), representing more than 20 per cent of Australia's total trade.
Mr Palmer, who holds the balance of power in the Australian Parliament's Upper House, is currently locked in a legal battle with Chinese company CITIC Pacific over cost blowouts and disputed royalty payments at an iron ore port in Cape Preston in Western Australia.
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