Mr. Diplomacy: Chinese Are 'Mongrels' Who 'Shoot Own People'
Australian lawmaker Clive Palmer creates a ruckus
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
A file photo of Clive Palmer.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan)

(Newser) – An Australian billionaire-turned-lawmaker went on live TV yesterday and demonstrated that while he's great at making money, he's not so good with diplomacy. Mining magnate Clive Palmer, whose business is in a nasty legal battle with its state-owned partner in China, got a little heated when asked about it. He said he's happy to go after "these Chinese mongrels" in court, reports Australia's ABC News. “I’m saying that because they’re communist, because they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system, and they want to take over this country.”

Given that Palmer was elected to parliament in October and that China is Australia's biggest trading partner, the comments haven't exactly gone unnoticed, reports the AP. Palmer tried to walk them back this morning, explaining in a tweet that they were "not intended to refer to Chinese people but to Chinese company which is taking Australian resources & not paying." But the Chinese embassy called his remarks "full of ignorance and prejudice," reports the Guardian, while Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said they were "hugely damaging." (Palmer is the guy building a replica of the Titanic.)