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Palmer defends China comments

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Clive Palmer has defended himself as a “major supporter” and “admirer” of the Chinese people, following a stinging verbal attack on China this week.

After labelling the Chinese “mongrels” and “bastards” on ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, the Palmer United Party leader and mining magnate faced intense criticism from all sides of politics and China itself.

But in a statement today, Mr Palmer said his comments were directed at the Chinese business he is fighting in court.

“The comments I made on the ABC’s Q&A program this week were not directed at the Chinese community or the Chinese government,” Mr Palmer said in a statement to The New Daily.

“They were directed at one Chinese state-owned company that has failed to honour its agreements and announcements made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in early 2006.”

Mr Palmer said he had been “an admirer of China and its people for many years.”

“The country’s art, culture, technology and economic advancements are something to behold, as are the virtues the Chinese people have for their families and the lives of so many,” he said.

But on Monday night’s program, Mr Palmer said that Chinese workers were coming to Australia “to destroy our wage system”. The 60-year-old continues to stand by those comments.

“I cannot support any deterioration of the living standards or the wage systems that any Australian or other person living in this country are entitled to under Australian law,” Mr Palmer said.

“I have been a major supporter of the Chinese for a long time. What is unacceptable is a Chinese state-owned enterprise that abuses the legal system for commercial gain in a global strategic effort to control resources.”

Mr Palmer hung up the phone during an interview on ABC radio this morning when faced with questions about controversial comments made by a senator from his party.

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie supported Mr Palmer’s comments this week, saying there was a threat of a “Chinese communist invasion”.

“You might like me to do that (talk about Ms Lambie’s comments) but I’ll do what I want,” Mr Palmer told ABC radio in Perth.

“I don’t want to talk about that … because I don’t have to. Goodbye,” he said.

Stated-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times has responded to the tirade, saying Beijing should consider imposing sanctions on the mining magnate and his companies.

“China should consider imposing sanctions on Palmer and his companies, cutting off all business contacts with him and forbidding him and his senior executives into China,” the paper said.

They warned that those who riled China must pay the price.

“The sanctions could also be given to any Australian companies which have business dealings with Palmer’s. China must let those prancing provocateurs know how much of a price they pay when they deliberately rile us.”

– with AAP