Palmer apologises for offensive Q&A remarks
In an effort to repair the potential damage done by his verbal slander against the Chinese government on ABC's Q&A last week, Clive Palmer has offered a "sincere" and unadulterated apology.
The comments were widely criticised by many sectors of the community, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who called his reaction to a line of questions posed during the program as "over the top, shrill and wrong".
Many also read the comments as being latently harmful to the final round of the Free Trade Agreement between China and Australia, with a final deal due to be signed by the year's end.
To propitiate for his remarks, Palmer penned a letter of apology to the Chinese ambassador, which was released on Tuesday morning.
In it he wrote: "I most sincerely apologise for any insult to the Chinese people caused by any of the language I used.
"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.
"I now come to the realisation 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, that I am sorry that I said the things I said on the program.
"It is in the interest of the whole world that Australia and China have good relations."
A "sincere response"
Industry immediately threw its support behind the move, with AiGroup Chief Executive Innes Willox calling it a "considered and sincere response".
"(It) should take some heat out of a difficult and potentially damaging situation," Willox said in a statement.
"He should be congratulated for taking the extra step of acknowledging the hurt his comments may have caused and formally apologising for them.
"The incident serves as a reminder that there should be no room for abuse in political debate and it carries real risks for business if such abuse is directed at our trading partners."
Treasurer Joe Hockey also praised Palmer's letter, however he said it should have been delivered directly after the incident.
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