Selasa, 19 Agustus 2014

Govt warns Palmer over China remarks (AAP)

The government has warned MP Clive Palmer against using his position in parliament to insult China amid a high profile legal battle with a Chinese company.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued the warning, saying Mr Palmer was trying to demean an entire nation and insult one of Australia's major strategic and economic partners.

Mr Palmer is embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific, which has accused him of siphoning off $12 million in funds.

He denies the allegations.

The Chinese embassy in Canberra on Tuesday rebuked the federal MP for a tirade on national television in which he called the Chinese government "mongrels" and "bastards".

Ms Bishop added her voice to the increasing condemnation of the remarks, contacting the Chinese embassy to assure Beijing they did not reflect the attitudes of Australians.

She said voters in Mr Palmer's Queensland electorate should reflect on his comments.

"It would appear that he's using his public position, as a member of parliament and his appearance on a national television program to insult the Chinese people," she told News Corp Australia.

The foreign minister's warning comes as new evidence was filed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, reportedly detailing how much of CITIC's money was spent by Mr Palmer on his political party.

The Abbott government, which hopes to finalise a free trade agreement with China this year, issued a statement to make it "perfectly clear" it valued its relationship with the Asian powerhouse.

"Peripheral issues will not distract the government in its work to broaden and deepen this most important relationship," Trade Minister Andrew Robb said on Tuesday.

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