Senator defends Palmer over Chinese 'bastard' comments
The backlash that has resulted over comments made by controversial political figure and mining magnate Clive Palmer on ABC's Q&A program is partly attributable to the media, a Chinese-born Palmer United Party senator has said.
Palmer's vitriolic tirade has faced furore from both the public and political arena after he labelled the Chinese "bastards" and "mongrels" who "shoot their own people" on Monday's episode.
"Simplistic and counterproductive"
PM Tony Abbott, in the chorus of disapproval, recently slammed the comments as "over the top, shrill and wrong", and said the China boom was what kept Australia afloat during the lows of the global financial crisis.
''It's one of the reasons why we want to maintain a strong relationship with China, one of the reasons why what Clive Palmer said the other night was so destructive," Abbott told reporters.
"Really it's very hard to understand why someone who wants to be influential in our nation's life would be so simplistic and counterproductive."
Abbott said there was a possibility the comments could have been driven by a personal business dispute rather than in an effort to jeopardise the relationship between Australia and China.
"I think the Chinese appreciate Australia enough to understand that Mr Palmer just speaks for himself on an issue like this and he certainly isn't speaking for Australia," he said.
PUP senator's defence
However in statement released earlier in the week, PUP senator Dio Wang defended Palmer, claiming the outburst came out as a result of the "persistent … provocative questioning by the host".
"Having more than once given an appropriate answer to the questions put to him, Mr Palmer naturally reacted and used expressions that were subsequently taken out of context," Wang said.
Wang said he had always found Palmer to be an upstanding member of the community.
"From personal experience I have found Clive to be consistently respectful and supportive throughout our relationship in both the private sector and now in the political arena," he said.
"There has never been the slightest suggestion on his part of a prejudicial view of members of the Chinese community.
"I would not have been endorsed twice as the lead Western Australian Senate candidate if the party leader did not genuinely value the Chinese people."
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