Clive Palmer has issued a grovelling apology to China’s ambassador to Australia for his description of Chinese people as “mongrels” and “bastards”.
In a letter released this morning, Mr Palmer wrote to Ma Zhaoxu saying he regretted any “hurt or anguish” caused by his comments.
It follows Mr Palmer’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program last week during which he labelled estranged business partner CITIC as “Chinese mongrels” and bastards.
That prompted condemnation from both sides of politics and the business community.
The English version of the Global Times called on Chinese authorities to cut ties to Mr Palmer and his companies.
Mr Palmer’s letter to Mr Ma contains the first signs of contrition from him about his comments.
“I most sincerely apologise for insult to Chinese people caused by any language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A,” he wrote.
“I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future.”
Mr Palmer went on to say that people should always have an open mind and understand how another person would feel about comments made about them.
“In keeping an open mind, 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, that I am sorry that I said the things I said on the program,” he wrote.
Mr Palmer also cites Chairman Mao, in comments made during the 1950s, in the letter.
The letter is a departure from Mr Palmer’s position last week that his comments were not directed at the Chinese people or the Chinese government.