The Chinese side fired back at Clive Palmer, the leader of the Palmer Coalition Party, who attacked the Chinese government during a TV commentary program on Monday evening. In the show, Palmer criticized the Chinese government as a "hybrid" and "animal", and accused the Chinese government of trying to take over Australia's ports and steal Australia's natural resources. The Chinese Embassy in Canberra on Tuesday condemned Clive's remarks as absurd and irresponsible.
Palmer was involved in a legal battle with the Chinese state-owned CITIC Pacific. The mining giant was accused of stealing $1200 million in funds, but Palmer himself denied it.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy told the Australian Associated Press (APP) on Tuesday that Senator Palmer’s absurd comments on China were irresponsible and "full of ignorance and prejudice."
But Palmer did not show any concessions. When asked if he still insisted on using the term "hybrid" to describe Australia's largest trading partner, Palmer called it an "accurate reflection" of a government that executed its own people.
"Their interrogation can end in as little as a day. They don't have any democracy." He told Fairfax radio 3AW on Tuesday, "I sympathize with the Chinese people who live under such tyranny."
His lack of remorse fueled the incident, and other politicians tried to distance themselves from his remarks yesterday.
The federal government hopes to complete a free trade agreement with China within this year. The government “clearly” stated in a statement that Australia values its relationship with China. Trade Minister Andrew Robb said: "Those trivial issues will not affect the government's efforts to broaden and deepen the most important relationship (with China)."
Federal Treasury Secretary Joe Hockey said Palmer’s comments on China hurt relations with Australia’s largest trading partner, China. He said Palmer should not make unbiased remarks in front of the public, "Now he obviously has a legal dispute with his Chinese partner, but I want to tell Palmer-don’t be biased because of your own bias. Pull the rest of Australia into the water."
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would once again assure Chinese officials that the Australian government will not agree with Palmer's comments on China. Bishop said she hoped that Palmer's remarks would not harm Australia-China relations.
Labour Party leader Bill Shorten (Bill Shorten) said that Palmer's remarks do not represent the views of most Australians.
But Senator Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party defended his party leader’s remarks, saying that China’s threat to “world democracy” is unprecedented. She said in a radio interview that Australia should double defense spending to resist this threat. She said: "We cannot ignore the threat of aggression from a communist China. Ignoring this is a delusion. If we turn around and say,'This will never happen,' then we are too stupid."
And her accomplice, the Chinese-born Senator Dio Wang, said that Palmer’s remarks should not be read out of context.
CapitalNews from: The Age