Australian mining mogul apologizes to China over 'mongrels' remarks

Australian mining mogul apologizes to China over 'mongrels' remarks

Clive Palmer has apologized for calling the Chinese government "mongrels" in televised comments that drew widespread criticism.

Australian mining tycoon turned politician Clive Palmer has offered a "genuine and sincere" apology over his remarks last week, when he went on a stinging verbal attack against the Asian nation’s authorities, calling them "mongrels" that "shoot their own people" on national television.

In a letter to China's ambassador to Australia, MA Zhaoxu, the MP and leader of the Palmer United Party, which holds the balance of power in the Senate, expressed regret for "any insult to the Chinese people caused by any of the language I used."

"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," Palmer wrote.

Strong ties between Australia and China were in everyone's interests, he added.

Palmer's comments not only drew a series of attacks from fellow Australians, but it also attracted attention in Chinese media. State-run daily Global Times said the tycoon's "rampant rascality serves as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude toward China."

China is Australia's largest trading partner, with two-way trade hitting nearly $151 billion in 2013.

Watch Palmer’s rant: