Australian MP Clive Palmer apologizes for insulting Chinese

 

 

Clive Palmer.   Photo – Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian MP Clive Palmer

apologizes for insulting Chinese

 

 

By Patrick Whiteley

 

Australian politician Clive Palmer on Tuesday apologized to the Chinese embassy in Canberra for calling Chinese “bastards” and “mongrels” in a media interview.

Palmer said in a written statement: “I most sincerely apologize for any insult to the Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A.

“… 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.”

After receiving Palmer’s apology, Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu emphasized that any remarks attacking or slandering China would not gain popular support and were doomed to fail.

“The healthy and stable relationship between China and Australia is in the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries, and cannot be hindered by any individual,” he said.

The Chinese government has expressed its strong indignation and severe condemnation against Palmer’s insults.

The overseas Chinese and Chinese people in Australia have also lodged a strong protest.

The Australian government and people from all walks of life in the country also expressed their strong condemnation and emphasized that Palmer, with these insulting remarks on China, could by no means represent the Australian government and people.

Palmer’s apology follows protests on Monday from the Chinese community in Western Australia demanding Palmer and his fellow Palmer United party member Senator Jacqui Lambie resign if they did not apologize for their insulting comments about China. After Palmer’s insults, Lambie said Australia was facing an invasion from the Chinese army.

About 100 people from the Chinese community protested outside another Palmer United politician Senator Dio Wang’s office.

Co-founder of the Shandong Association WA Eddie Hwang told Xinhua that the Chinese community in Australia had worked diligently to forge strong ties between China and Australia and Palmer’s comments were destroying these links.

“We have to condemn his activities. He is using his political position to further his own business interests,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu speaks to Xinhua at the Chinese Embassy

in Canberra, Australia, Aug. 26, 2014. Australian politician Clive Palmer on Tuesday

apologized to the Chinese Embassy in Canberra for calling Chinese “bastards” and

“mongrels” in a media interview. Photo by Jin Linpeng

 
 

 

 


COMMENTARY 

Clive Palmer’s apology

win for people valuing

China-Australia ties

 

 

By Zhang Xiaojun and Patrick Whiteley

 

Australian politician MP Clive Palmer’s letter of apology to the Chinese ambassador for insulting Chinese is not only a win from a Chinese perspective, it also is a win for those Australians from all walks of life who loudly protested against the irrational comments.

From the Chinese ambassador in Australia and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the voters in Palmer’s own electorate, the people of China and multicultural Australia did not tolerate such offensive remarks, and made their views known that both nations value this important bilateral relationship.

Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese ambassador to Australia, on Tuesday said: ” The healthy and stable relationship between China and Australia is in the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries, and cannot be hindered by any individual.”

Australia and China have a very prosperous trading relationship and are about to sign a free trade agreement this year. The economy is only one part of the equation. China and Australia’s long diplomatic ties have blossomed through an increasing amount of people-to-people contact between the two nations.

The past days have shown that China and Australia won’t allow any irresponsible individual to destroy the bridges that have been built over many years. When this important relationship was threatened, Australians, just like Chinese, stood up together and without hesitation voiced their strong views.

Dozens of protesters took to the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday waving both Australian and Chinese flags. They held signs that read “Clive Palmer must step down” and chanted ” Palmer must resign.” On Monday, about 100 people protested against Palmer in Perth, Western Australia.

These demonstrations follow a voter backlash in his own Queensland electorate of Fairfax. The people who elected Palmer were not happy with their representative’s poor performance.

The grassroots protests echoed comments expressed by Australia’ s political and business leaders urging Palmer to correct his wayward comments.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott underlined the importance of Australia’s biggest trading partner, saying China’s economic boom kept Australia going through the global financial crisis and “that’s one of the reasons why what Clive Palmer said the other night was so destructive.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop slashed Palmer’s remarks as “abusive and unnecessary language.”

Australian media magnate Kerry Stokes told Palmer to “separate his personal interests from the interests of the Commonwealth” and be responsible for the interests of the people he represents, rather than continually focus on his personal interests.

The pressure from so many different interest groups and the need for his political survival forced Palmer to say sorry and admitted that Australia and China “must work towards a prosperous future by working together.”

“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,” Palmer wrote.

However Palmer’s apology should not be the end of the story.

There will always be the possibility that an individual or group could cause diplomatic crisis in the future for their own interests, but the lessons learnt from the Palmer episode shows how the people of China, Australia and other nations can take charge and determine their own destiny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing youth movements fusing China-Australia ties

 

By Christian Edwards

 

The tyranny of distance separating Australia and China has proven no barrier for bilateral youth ties, as independent, grassroots movements continue to bind Sino- Australian youngsters.

This month, the Australia–China Youth Association’s (ACYA) Bilateral Youth Leadership Workshop (BYLW) made the latest step forward in boosting the friendship, with youth at its core.

The BYLW, hosted by the University of Sydney, China Studies Centre, is one of ACYA’s keynote annual events, part of a yearly program to nurture and liberate the idea and energies of young people from both nations.

With cyclical geo-politics influencing official bonds, bilateral youth organisations are now fortifying the fortunes and feelings of the two key trading partners here, while also ensuring the tidal ebbs and flows of politics and power plays in no way hinder the growing ties between Chinese and Australian youths. Face to Face

ACYA President, Tom Williams, told Xinhua that the key purposes of BYLW were to provide all ACYA members “with a clear understanding of ACYA’s values and vision and gear them for growth and an opportunity for members from across ACYA’s extensive Australia-China network to meet in person.”

With the 60 BYLW delegates pouring in from as far; and with the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge as a backdrop, the BYLW was officially opened at the offices of the Australia China Business Council, as Associate Partner of ACYA.

According to delegates, the opening ceremony – buzzing with dialects of Chinese and English – saw young Chinese and Australians from as far afield as Beijing and Perth, share stories and even try an impromptu version of China’s famous dating show If You Are The One to break the ice.

Innovating ideas and leadership

The two days of intensive workshops provided an opportunity for delegates to share their ideas to facilitate leadership and organisational growth in the Australia-China space.

“Delegates will take learnings, core ideas, skillsets, and messages back to their respective university Chapters so as to ensure sustained growth at the grassroots level,” commented Michael McGregor, General Manager of Projects.

“The key takeaways from this conference were the project management and portfolio specific skills. Project management is not something that many university students come into contact with, ” Sam Mugford, former Chapter President of ACYA Shanghai and current Law student at the University of Adelaide, told Xinhua.

Throughout the course of the weekend, delegates also had the opportunity to speak with Professor Kerry Brown, Executive Director of the University of Sydney China Studies Centre, and Jason Wang, tech entrepreneur and reporter for Forbes.

Aimee Yi, ACYA National Careers Director and former UNSW student, told Xinhua “I believe that the conference brings together talented youths who share a profound interest and a common engagement with Australia-China relations. It is an exciting environment buzzing with innovative ideas from young people who are ready to take initiative.”

Bolstered by the dearth of opportunities for cross-cultural engagement provided by universities, the ACYA was founded in 2008 as the brainchild of a group of Australian students studying in Beijing, who established the platform for students to build meaningful relationships through sharing experiences, opportunities and language.

Engaging China Project

“We want to create a new blueprint for collaboration between the two countries,” said Andrea Myles, the Founder and Director of The Engaging China Project (ECP) – a national, not-for-profit initiative to increase Chinese literacy in Australia, which evolved from the fertile outcomes of the early ACYA.

“Our aim is to add depth and authenticity to secondary school children’s learnings of China and the Chinese language by imparting real-world experiences and stories of our team of young China Ambassadors,” Ms Myles told Xinhua.

The ECP introduces a network of China-literate university students and young professionals aged 20-35 into classrooms to share their experiences in China with high school students.

Myles told Xinhua that the ECP, “Assists the secondary school sector to engage with contemporary China in the classroom and support the implementation of the cross-curriculum priority ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ in the Australian National Curriculum.

Engine for imagination

Today the ACYA has 19 Australian university chapters and overseas chapters in the major cities of Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei. It provides young people with a chance to connect with professional and educational opportunities and develop lasting international friendships.

The Australian National University ANU is a major foundational sponsor and its associate partners include Tsinghua University.

Jimmy Zeng, General Manager of ACYA in Australia, explains that ACYA offers an opening for anyone interested in Australia-China relations: “ACYA continues to play a leading role as the only not- for-profit, non-partisan, youth organization in this space run ‘ for members, by members’”.

Learning, jobs, friendship

It is this participatory ethos — based around ACYA’s three pillars of education, careers and people-to-people exchange — that has seen ACYA grow to over 5,000 members globally.

For Bo O’Brien, Chapter President of ACYA at the University of Sydney, ACYA provides him with an opportunity to engage in genuine cross-cultural communication.

“There are so many untold stories from China that aren’t passed over to the West, which are so crucial and so enlightening and we all need to know about it. That is why I became involved with ACYA, ” O’Brien said.

Twenty-five years from now, ACYA will be the hub for bilateral engagement, creating opportunities for members across the many sectors their careers take them, fostering the talent of young Australians and Chinese and bringing Australia and China closer together,” The ACYA President Williams told Xinhua.

China Australia Millennium Project

The next key project for the bilateral youth movement will see Myles bring together ’200 bright young minds for a five day innovation incubator’ as part of the Vivid festival of ideas 2015, China Australia Millennium Project (CAMP).

“We’re going to smash the bamboo ceiling,” Myles said, referring to Australia’s failure to seize the value of Asian-born graduates.

“The power and ideas of the next generation will determine so much, and we want to give them every opportunity to do it, and do it together.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China success just right drop for Australian wineries

 

By Christian Edwards

 

Australia’s embattled wine makers have been given a mighty shot in the arm, coming away with a slew of awards sat the 2014 China Wine & Spirits competition over the weekend, with local mainstays, Taylors Wines cementing their position in the highly competitive Chinese wine market.

Securing poll position at the prestigious China Wine and Spirits Awards in Hong Kong, will see much need oxygen pumped into the Australian sector after a tough run with harvests and stiff global competition in the mid to premium wine ranges.

Australian wineries took home a total of 446 medals, with New Zealand coming in second with 110 medals and Argentina, traditionally a strong performer in the booming Chinese market, managing only nine medals.

It is not the first time Taylors have been recognized at the China Wine and Spirits Awards, having previously been awarded Australian Wine Producer of the Year in 2013, and Australian Wine of the Year for its 2010 Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet at the China Wine and Spirits Best Value Awards earlier this year.

At the China Wine Challenge in Shanghai, the 2013 Taylors Estate Merlot proved most popular, being awarded two Trophies as Best of Show and Best New World Red Wine, as well as a Gold Medal.

The dream of running a vineyard is often a short one, even in Australia’s rich and diverse soil varietals. Unsustainable returns for the majority of businesses here is why recognition in China is so essential to the future of Australian winemakers.

The Grape Industry Board of South Australia just last week revealed an alarming decline in the price paid for grapes of 57 Australian dollars per ton average (17 percent) across all varieties.

South Australian wineries still injected 127 million Australian dollars into regional incomes although there has been some market consolidation with the famous Riverland vineyard footprint dropping over 20 percent of vineyards, though remaining stable at just under 21,000ha.

Despite the challenges, Australia remains well-placed in China, second behind France, and is achieving the highest average value among the top 10 importing countries.

China has been the fastest growing export market for Australian wine for several years, and, despite a drop in exports in 2013, China remains the biggest destination for Australia’s premium wines above 7.50 dollars (6.80 U.S. dollars) per liter.

This was in keeping with a slowdown in the imported wine market across the board, mainly due to the highly effective austerity measures introduced by the Chinese government at the end of 2012, mainly implemented to curb spending by government bodies on luxury goods such as premium imported wines.

Bottled wine exports to China decreased by 7 percent to 33 million liters in 2013, while the average value of bottled exports grew by 3 percent to 6.55 Australian dollars (5.62 U.S. dollars) per liter.

Taylors Wines Managing Director Mitchell Taylor told Xinhua the award wins were testament to the inroads Australian winemakers are making in the all-important China market.

“Australian winemakers are taking a very considered approach to the Chinese market and it is proving to be very valuable long-term, ” Mitchell said. “It is always rewarding receiving international accolades, but to have such breadth and depth of recognition in China is a true coup.”

The China Wine and Spirits Awards attracts judges from all major purchasing decision makers in the growing Chinese market including wine importers, distributors, wholesalers, restaurant group owners and sommeliers based in China.

The breadth of Australian success reflects the diversity of a sector that criss-crosses almost every climate and soil type for production. This sees Australian vineyards producing all of the major wine types, from red wines to white wines, fortified wines – such as port – and sweet wines to sparkling wines.

There were a total of 1,132 wines entered in this year’s China Wine and Spirits Awards, quickly morphing into an internationally critical event for the wine calendar, providing a fast growing Chinese wine market and attracts judges from across the globe, overseen by Chairman of Judging, MW Lynne Sherriff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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