Clive Palmer's tirade cannot be ignored

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-20 0:33:09

Clive Palmer, an Australian legislator and mining magnate, delivered a scathing harangue in a TV program on Monday, referring to the Chinese government as "bastards," who "shoot their own people" and want to usurp control of Australia. He called Chinese resources companies "mongrels," which send workers to destroy the wage system and take over Australian ports and plunder minerals for free.

This is the most vicious attack by one of the Australian elite in recent months.

Not long ago, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott also made bitter remarks against China without any reason, which was quite astonishing. Now Palmer's "bastards" ravings have intensified this.

On Tuesday, several government ministers and opposition parties in Australia damned Palmer's comments - a rare unanimous move - as an attack on Australia's biggest trading partner. However, China has already fallen victim to this foul war of words.

People can imagine what would come next if a Chinese politician or business tycoon made such unscrupulous remarks by calling a whole country "bastard." This person will be doomed. But in Australia, Palmer will probably not bear too much cost for his nonsense.

China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just because the Australian government has condemned him. China must be aware that Palmer's rampant rascality serves as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude toward China.

China should consider imposing sanctions on Palmer and his companies, cutting off all business contacts with him and forbidding him and his senior executives into China. The sanctions could also be given to any Australian companies which have business dealings with Palmer's. China must let those prancing provocateurs know how much of a price they pay when they deliberately rile us.

Australian society has been aware that Palmer crossed the red line too far and his remarks, along with those of Bishop and Abbott, pose a direct threat to Australian-Sino relations. Canberra is waiting for China's reactions, from which they can assess the tenacity of Chinese diplomacy.

If China generously accepts the condemnations against Palmer by Australian public opinion without taking solid action to punish him, this risks giving Australians the impression that China has too much good will to bother toning it down. On the contrary, Palmer could be the last straw for worsening Sino-Australian relations. How we respond will be a turning point for Australia's understanding of China.

Palmer should be damned as the culprit. Because of him, China must teach Canberra a lesson for sabotaging a bilateral relationship. Australia has picked sides and embraced the US and Japan, but in the meantime, it keeps racking up economic profits from China. This situation is making it a radical "double-dealer" among all the nations which have relationships with China.

Business with Australia should continue, but this country must be marginalized in China's global strategy. Canberra boasts about itself having so-called strategic values, most of which, however, are created out of its own delusions.

Hooligan politics is being employed by the Australian government to deal with China. But China shouldn't care too much about it, or it will only shock us once again.

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.


Posted in: Editorial