CME backs China following Palmer rant

THE Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia has voiced support for foreign investment following Clive Palmer’s extraordinary attack on the Chinese government.
CME backs China following Palmer rant CME backs China following Palmer rant CME backs China following Palmer rant CME backs China following Palmer rant CME backs China following Palmer rant

Clive Palmer.

Andrew Duffy

Without naming Palmer directly, the CME said foreign investment was crucial to WA’s resources industry, and the mining magnate’s attack on the Asian powerhouse would not help business.

“Intemperate comments on particular commercial arrangements can be damaging to the reputation of Australia as a secure investment location,” CME CEO Reg Howard-Smith said.

“Australian companies and projects are competing globally to attract capital. All politicians have a responsibility to ensure Australia remains an attractive and competitive place to do business.”

Smith said there was more than $A130 billion of resource projects under consideration or in development in WA, and they were projects that would not go ahead without foreign investment.

He said the level of Chinese investment was moderately low compared to traditional investors such as the United States.

“Foreign investment has been instrumental in the development of the resources sector in Western Australia,” he said.

“Linked to these resource projects are of course future jobs for Western Australians.”

The comments follow a startling rant from Palmer during the ABC’s Q and A program on Monday night.

Palmer said the Chinese were “mongrels” who “shoot their own people”

"The Chinese government wants to bring workers here to destroy our wage system ... they want to take over our ports and get our resources for free,” he said.

“So far they've shifted $200 million worth of iron ore out of this country without paying for it. I don't mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it."

The attack came after Palmer was questioned over a court battle with state-owned Chinese firm CITIC Pacific.

CITIC claims $12 million in royalty payments were siphoned off to pay for Palmer’s election campaign, but the mining boss said the allegations were not true.

The claims were the latest in a long legal battle between Palmer and CITIC over the Sino Iron project’s royalty obligations and port operation.

CITIC marked its first export from the project in December despite the ongoing dispute, and final development is still progressing at the port and mine in WA’s Mid West.