Oz Tycoon MP Attacks 'Chinese Mongrels'
An Australian mining magnate turned MP has caused outrage by calling the Chinese "mongrels" and "bastards" who shoot their own people.
The comments by multimillionaire Clive Palmer have forced both government and opposition members to unite in condemnation, amid fears it damages relations with Australia's biggest trading partner.
Mr Palmer - known for his efforts to rebuild a replica of the Titanic - was a major donor to Australian conservative politics before being elected to parliament as a senator last year after he set up his own political party.
He made the comments on the nationally televised Q&A programme on the ABC on Monday night when questioned about a legal dispute between his mining firm Mineralogy and Chinese state-owned partner, Citic Pacific.
Citic had previously said in court that Mr Palmer syphoned $12m (£6.7m) to fund his Palmer United Party's (PUP) election campaign - a claim Mr Palmer denies.
He said his companies were owed "about $500m (£280m) by the communist Chinese government that doesn't want to pay".
"But it won't stop the fact that the Chinese government wants to bring workers here to destroy our wage system; it won't stop the fact that they want to take over our ports and get our resources for free," Mr Palmer said.
He said Citic had shipped $200m (£110m) worth of iron ore from Australia without paying royalties to the state of Western Australia, a claim its state premier denied.
"I don't mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it," Mr Palmer said.
He added that his companies already had three federal and supreme court judgments "against these Chinese mongrels".
"I'm saying this 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 do it," Mr Palmer added.
Later he tried to clarify his statements on Twitter and said his comments were "not intended to refer to Chinese people but to (a) Chinese company which is taking Australian resources & not paying".
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Australia told the ABC that Mr Palmer's comments were "absurd" and "full of ignorance and prejudice".
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said the outburst could harm Australia's relations with China, while agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce agrees Mr Palmer's comments were inappropriate.
''You can't just drop your bundle on national television,'' Mr Joyce said.
Meanwhile, foreign minister Julie Bishop said she would personally tell the Chinese embassy in Canberra that "these views are not representative of the Australian parliament and I don't believe representative of the Australian people".
In 2013, two-way trade between the countries reached $150bn (£84bn).
In early 2013 Mr Palmer unveiled plans for Titanic II, which was said to be three inches longer and slightly wider that the original ill-fated liner.
He said his Blue Star Line had agreed to a deal with China's state-owned CSC Jinling Shipyard to launch the replica in 2016, and denied the announcement was a publicity stunt or in bad taste.