Clive Palmer - Australian mining mogul and member of parliament
Clive Palmer's tirade cannot be ignored
Clive Palmer, an Australian legislator and mining magnate, delivered a scathing harangue in a TV program on Monday, referring to the Chinese government as "bastards," who "shoot their own people" and want to usurp control of Australia. He called Chinese resources companies "mongrels," which send workers to destroy the wage system and take over Australian ports and plunder minerals for free.
This is the most vicious attack by one of the Australian elite in recent months.
Not long ago, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott also made bitter remarks against China without any reason, which was quite astonishing. Now Palmer's "bastards" ravings have intensified this.
On Tuesday, several government ministers and opposition parties in Australia damned Palmer's comments - a rare unanimous move - as an attack on Australia's biggest trading partner. However, China has already fallen victim to this foul war of words.
People can imagine what would come next if a Chinese politician or business tycoon made such unscrupulous remarks by calling a whole country "bastard." This person will be doomed. But in Australia, Palmer will probably not bear too much cost for his nonsense.
China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just because the Australian government has condemned him. China must be aware that Palmer's rampant rascality serves as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude toward China.
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 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.
Australian society has been aware that Palmer crossed the red line too far and his remarks, along with those of Bishop and Abbott, pose a direct threat to Australian-Sino relations. Canberra is waiting for China's reactions, from which they can assess the tenacity of Chinese diplomacy.
If China generously accepts the condemnations against Palmer by Australian public opinion without taking solid action to punish him, this risks giving Australians the impression that China has too much good will to bother toning it down. On the contrary, Palmer could be the last straw for worsening Sino-Australian relations. How we respond will be a turning point for Australia's understanding of China.
Palmer should be damned as the culprit. Because of him, China must teach Canberra a lesson for sabotaging a bilateral relationship. Australia has picked sides and embraced the US and Japan, but in the meantime, it keeps racking up economic profits from China. This situation is making it a radical "double-dealer" among all the nations which have relationships with China.
Business with Australia should continue, but this country must be marginalized in China's global strategy. Canberra boasts about itself having so-called strategic values, most of which, however, are created out of its own delusions.
Hooligan politics is being employed by the Australian government to deal with China. But China shouldn't care too much about it, or it will only shock us once again.
Australia is a remote business partner, and a place where the Chinese can take a trip and learn some English. These basic understandings should be the starting points for China to re-orientate Sino-Australian relations.
Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-20
Racism against China hurts Australia
When I studied at the University of Sydney in 2009 for a master's degree in media, I was surprised by the interest ordinary Australians had in China. Not only was China the topic for class discussions every week, one of my lecturers also told me during an after-class chat that she was sending her son to learn fencing in Shanghai in the upcoming summer holiday as China had emerged as an ideal place for his training. Later, my supervisor at a local magazine where I had a month's internship told me his son was studying Chinese at Beijing University of Languages and Culture, as he believed the language advantage would help his son find a job in Australia which was forging an increasingly closer bond with China.
He assigned me to write an article about how small and medium companies run by Australian-Chinese were faring and whether their connections with China actually helped their businesses. During my interviews, I was amazed that a rising number of Australian-Chinese were actually making a decent living out of exporting Australian products to China.
However, when news came earlier this month that China's Wanda Group had bought the famous Jewel Project on Australia's Gold Coast and planned to invest $900 million developing it into a luxury resort, I did not even raise my eyebrows. I also laughed it off when an Australian friend in Sydney sent an e-mail informing me that Chinese developers are also reshaping and rejuvenating Parramatta, a suburban city on the western edge of the city.
True, the depth and breadth of China-Australia ties have grown immensely since 2009 when I first set foot in the biggest country in the Southern hemisphere. Apart from lucrative trade, exchanges between the two peoples have also expanded rapidly.
More and more Chinese people have easier access to Australian products. Australia has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists and for Chinese students seeking education overseas.
With the rising presence of Chinese in Australia, there are reports of how Chinese buyers are ratcheting up property prices in major Australian cities, Sydney in particular.
To me, it is a natural trend toward a win-win outcome if more people from both China and Australia are visiting each other's country and doing business with each other in accordance with law and international practice.
Unfortunately, some in Australia seem not to agree with me. Some even harbor animosity to Australian-bound Chinese people or Chinese investments. There have been several incidents since last year in which Chinese passengers on Sydney trains were the targets of insults.
If these unhappy scenes are just the wrongdoings of some biased Australians, the TV rant against China staged by Australian billionaire-turned politician Clive Palmer last week reflects the ugly undercurrents of racism against Chinese and China beneath the rosy picture of China-Australia interaction.
On Tuesday, Palmer, obviously under huge pressure from the strong condemnation he had received from people in both China and Australia, apologized to the Chinese embassy in Canberra for calling the Chinese government "bastards" and "mongrels" in a media interview.
In a written statement, Palmer said, "I most sincerely apologize for any insult to the Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A."
It is important that the mining tycoon's repentance is heart-felt, and the Australian society truly learns a bitter lesson from undesirable scenarios such as Palmer's TV outburst.
Racism and discrimination against outsiders could easily erode the credibility of a multicultural society such as Australia's, as well as ruin the very foundation of good feelings between Chinese and Australians, which is bedrock for healthy China-Australia cooperation
By Wang Hui (China Daily)/Asia News Network
Clive Palmer apologizes for 'bastards' comment
- Insults opportunity for Abbott to change course: community leader
Australian mining mogul and member of parliament Clive Palmer has apologized for calling Chinese people "bastards" in a recent TV interview, following wide-spread condemnation from both China and his home country.
Palmer, who was elected as senator last year and is leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), made the apology in a letter to Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese Ambassador to Australia.
The letter, which was signed by Palmer on Monday, was released late on Monday.
"I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future," he said, referring to comments he made in a live TV interview on August 18.
During the interview, Palmer said he didn't mind "standing up against the Chinese bastards," and claimed that the Chinese government wants to "take over our ports and get our resources for free."
In a statement posted on the embassy's website Tuesday, Ma stressed that the Chinese people are never to be insulted. "Any remarks attacking or slandering China will not gain support and are doomed to failure," he wrote.
The billionaire's slandering of China drew immediate protest from Chinese government last week. Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott also denounced the comments as "over the top, shrill and wrong."
On Tuesday morning, around 200 members of the Chinese community in Australia braved downpours to protest against Palmer's remarks outside Parliament House in Canberra.
"We have been in close contact with Palmer since last week, pressuring him to apologize. Learning that our request for Tuesday's protest was approved by police authorities, Palmer finally softened his stance and released the apology late Monday," said Qian Qiguo, head of the Australian Action Committee for Peace and Justice Incorporated, a group formed by members of the Australian Chinese community.
Palmer had defended himself last week saying his comments were directed at a Chinese company with whom he is locked in a legal dispute.
In the Monday apology, he said, "In keeping an open mind, I now come to the realization that what I said on Q&A was an insult to Chinese people everywhere and I wish to assure them they have my most genuine and sincere apology."
Qian told the Global Times the Chinese community was not satisfied with such remarks in the letter, and demanded Palmer to drop whole paragraph. "At 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Palmer finally sent us a second letter, which took out the unnecessary remarks, and the new edition was also sent to the Chinese ambassador," he said, claiming it a victory.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop Tuesday welcomed Palmer's apology, but said it should have come earlier. She also called on Palmer's fellow PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie to "reflect on her words" after Lambie had also lashed out at Beijing.
Last week, while supporting Palmer, Lambie said Australia must build missile systems and defense shields to prepare for an invasion from China even if it costs $60 billion a year, reported The Australian.
As of press time, Lambie didn't respond to a Global Times' e-mail inquiry over her comments on Palmer's apology and whether she will apologize for her words.
Qian said the Chinese community had also contacted Lambie and the PUP, and was assured that she wouldn't make such provocative comments in the future.
Han Feng, a deputy director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the new party is trying to promote its visibility through its senators' strong rhetoric. But Palmer's "irresponsible and reckless" comments on China have clearly backfired.
China is Australia's biggest trade partner and about 1 million Chinese are living in the nation.
Palmer's slandering of China raised doubts whether Australian politicians' opinions toward China would fuel anti-China emotions in the country.
A video recently posted online shows an Australian woman racially abusing Asian-looking passengers on a train and demanding them to go back to China. The video triggered uproar on Chinese social media.
Qian said some people who held extremist anti-Asian and racial sentiments emerged years ago, but they are not the mainstream in Australia.
"Abbott and Bishop made some unfriendly remarks on China when they first came to office, but their immediate condemnations of Palmer this time offered an opportunity for them to correct their position," he said.
Han also noted that the Abbott administration's policy toward China has seen constant adjustments over the past year. "However, it is still concerned about a potential turbulence in the region if the US role is undermined … Canberra hopes that the US could keep its presence to safeguard the existing order. Therefore it is working with the US and Japan to prevent any 'China threat.'"
By Yang Jingjie Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-27
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