CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A larger-than-life Australian mining magnate turned lawmaker Clive Palmer has been widely accused of threatening Australia’s relationship with its biggest trading partner through an extraordinary tirade against China.
The 60-year-old multi-millionaire called the Chinese “bastards” and “mongrels” and accused Beijing of trying to take over Australia during a nationally televised forum on Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday night.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday that she would personally tell the Chinese Embassy that “these views are not representative of the Australian Parliament and I don’t believe representative of the Australian people.”
Treasurer Joe Hockey described Palmer’s tirade as “hugely damaging.”
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce described Palmer’s comments as Australia finalized a free trade deal with China as “not helpful.”