Chinese investment strong despite Clive Palmer’s rape comments

Head of the Australia China Business Council says a legal stoush between Clive Palmer and Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific will not affect foreign investment.

The comments come after Palmer said he would not stand by while Australian resources are being “raped and disrespected by foreign-owned” entities.

CITIC Pacific and Palmer’s company Mineralogy are involved in a long-running battle relating to project development at Cape Preston and royalties for the Sino Iron magnetite mine in the Pilbara.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb last week warned that "inflammatory language" could deter foreign investors.

While CITIC president Zhang Jijing said the dispute was being watched by other Chinese companies.

However president of the ACBC Duncan Cader said the relationship between the two nations was "a lot more robust than one individual or one project", The Australian reported.

Cader said the stoush was another consideration for Chinese companies looking to invest in Australian resources but said it would not act as a deterrent.

"At the general level, the Sino-Australian relationship remains solid. Any individual hiccups that we — and we have had a number in the Sino-Australian relationship over the years — tend not to cause too much damage,” Cader said.

“At the end of the day, China is investing here because we have world-class energy and resources projects and we have a track record of secure supply, and we are the natural partner for China for many commodities.

“And I don't think that is likely to change, but the scale, timing and structure of investments will change, and Australia has to recognise that there is now increasing competition for the Chinese investment dollar globally."

CITIC has stood by claims that Palmer has been talking “rubbish” and said it had always honoured legal agreements.

"Citic has always complied with the laws of the land and always paid our fair share in accordance with the agreements. We will continue to do so," the company said.

The relationship between Palmer’s Mineralogy and CITIC took a turn for the worse over the issue of mining royalties.

CITIC said that apart from paying Mineralogy $415 million to develop the $8 billion mine, it was making payments under a Royalty A agreement.

However the dispute continues as Palmer claims the firm owes his company $12 million in administrative costs and filed a court application to have Sino Iron placed into liquidation for the non-payment of funds.

''We categorically reject Mineralogy's latest claims and will vigorously defend our legal position, in the interests of the project, the company and our shareholders,'' a CITIC spokesman said in a statement.


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