Fortescue Metals boss Nev Power has criticised Clive Palmer over his anti-China tirade, saying he was “ranting and raving”.
Fortescue Metals chief executive Nev Power has criticised politician and businessman Clive Palmer for his anti-China tirade on television.
The Queensland MP is embroiled in a legal battle with a Chinese company and sparked controversy on Tuesday when he described the Chinese government as “bastards” and “mongrels” who shoot their own people.
A senator in his party, Jacqui Lambie, then said Australia should double its military capacity to counter a communist Chinese invasion.
Mr Power said the comments did not help Australia’s business relationship with China.
Fortescue is the world’s third largest iron ore miner and derives most of its earnings from Chinese customers.
“Clearly they’re not helpful comments, it sounded like a bit of ranting and raving,” Mr Power told reporters while releasing the company’s record annual profit on Wednesday.
“I’m sure the Chinese will dismiss them for what they are but they don’t do a lot to continue to build the strong relationship we already have.”
He said it was pleasing to see both government and opposition members distance themselves from Mr Palmer’s comments.
He said Fortescue had strong relationships in China beyond iron ore, including buying mining equipment, supporting educational institutions there and company founder Andrew Forrest’s role in setting up the China Australia Senior Business Leaders Forum.