|Billionaire Clive Palmer has apologized to the Chinese, but the damage is done|
Earlier this month Australian tycoon Clive Palmer called the Chinese "bastards" who "want to take over this country" in a televised rant.
He added the Chinese government are "mongrels" who "shoot their own people".
And despite his enormous wealth made from coal, Palmer's had to eat his words and say sorry today.
"I most sincerely apologize for any insult to Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A," he wrote in a letter to China's ambassador to Australia, Ma Zhaoxu.
"I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater peace and understanding in the future."
However it seemed the damage had been done.
"Ambassador Ma stressed that the Chinese people are never to be insulted," the embassy said in a statement to AFP. "Any remarks attacking or slandering China would not gain support and were doomed for failure."
The billionaire is probably used to having things his way all the time, but when you deal with a country with over US$4 trillion in assets, you don't dare insult 1.3 billion people.
However, in the same statement the embassy adds: "The healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and cannot be overturned by any individual."
So there is some hope yet for Australia to redeem itself, but it certainly won't have an equal position at the table...