Beijing has hit back at Australian mining mogul and politician Clive Palmer over his rant against China, describing the tycoon’s comments as irrational and absurd.
“Palmer’s words about China in recent days are totally irrational and absurd. We strongly condemn them,” Reuters quoted a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman as saying in a statement late Wednesday.
The spokesman, Qin Gang, however, noted that Australian political leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, had criticized Palmer’s actions.
Palmer had come under fire after he used the word “mongrel” to describe China and referred to its government as “bastards” who shoot their own people.
The Australian government has rebuked Palmer for his comments, Reuters said.
China’s state-run Global Times wrote in an editorial Wednesday that Palmer should be taught a lesson.
“China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just because the Australian government has condemned him,” it said in an editorial Wednesday.
Palmer is locked in a legal battle with Chinese firm CITIC Pacific over cost blowouts and disputed royalty payments at the Sino Iron project in Western Australia, China’s biggest offshore mining investment, Reuters noted.
Following his controversial remarks — which were made on Australian television — this week, Palmer tried to soothe tensions by saying that his comments were not intended to refer to Chinese people, but to abusive state-owned entities.
“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,” the tycoon said.
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