BEIJING Aug 20 An influential Chinese newspaper
called for retaliation against Australia on Wednesday after
Australian mining mogul and politician Clive Palmer described
China's government as "bastards" who shoot their own people.
The Australian government has already rebuked Palmer for his
comments, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she planned to
contact the Chinese embassy to stress that the Australian
parliament does not share Palmer's "abusive" views.
While the Chinese government has yet to publicly comment, a
prominent Chinese newspaper, the state-run Global Times tabloid,
weighed into the controversy, saying Australia should be taught
"China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just
because the Australian government has condemned him," the
newspaper said in an editorial in its Chinese and English
"China must be aware that Palmer's rampant rascality serves
as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude
The Global Times is published by the ruling Communist
Party's official People's Daily, and though it does not have the
same mouthpiece function of its mother publication, its words
can carry weight in government circles.
Palmer, who holds the balance of power in the Australian
parliament's upper house, is locked in a legal battle with
Chinese firm CITIC Pacific over cost blowouts and disputed
royalty payments at an iron ore port in Cape Preston in Western
Palmer has already said his comments were not intended to
refer to the Chinese people, and on Wednesday issued another
statement saying he had 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," Palmer said.
China is Australia's biggest trade partner with two-way
trade approaching $150 billion, representing more than 20
percent of Australia's total trade.
The Global Times said China should consider putting
sanctions on Palmer and his companies and banning him and his
senior executives from China.
"China must let those prancing provocateurs know how much of
a price they pay when they deliberately rile us," it said,
adding that Australia "must be marginalized in China's global
The newspaper, which has in the past locked horns with other
foreign politicians, such as British Prime Minister David
Cameron, implied that Australia did not mean that much to China
in any case.
"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."
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Jane
Wardell in SYDNEY; Editing by Robert Birsel)