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Australian MP denies using Chinese money for election campaign

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Australian MP denies using Chinese money for election campaign

SYDNEY, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian MP and billionaire miner Clive Palmer has denied allegations that he had used Chinese money to help pay for his federal election campaign, local newspaper The Australian reported on Tuesday.

Palmer also criticized the Chinese, saying they were " destroying the rights of Australian workers" by bringing their own workers to Australia.

The newspaper revealed that Brisbane media agency Media Circus Network - which was involved in Palmer's political campaign - received 2.167 million Australian dollars (2.05 million U.S. dollars) in Chinese money allegedly siphoned from an account controlled by Palmer during his expensive campaign to enter parliament.

Documents obtained from the Supreme Court of Queensland on Monday also show that, one month earlier, a sum of 10 million Australian dollars (9.45 million U.S. dollars) went to one of Palmer's companies after being removed from the same bank account.

Palmer and his nephew Clive Mensink were both named in subpoenas on Monday requiring them to hand over numerous documents as part of China's state-owned Citic Pacific's quest to determine how and why 12.167 million Australian dollars (11.5 million U.S. dollars) was withdrawn from an account set up to run an iron ore port in Western Australia.

But Palmer denied he had done anything wrong.

"Rupert Murdoch controls all of our media, that's just a complete untruth," he said on a program of Sunrise on Channel 7, Australia's No. 1 breakfast show.

"That's the sort of thing you get from the Murdoch press because after all they're desperate to protect the prime minister and the government from scrutiny.

"As far as the Chinese go, they want to bring workers over here from China and have them pay Chinese wages and there's currently a free-trade agreement being negotiated between China and Australia . .. That destroys the rights of Australian workers so they want to have a go at me too.

"So I'm standing here strong and making sure that won't happen. "

When asked to clarify if he was saying he did not spend Chinese money to fund his political campaign, Palmer replied: "Absolutely. "

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140701/australian-mp-denies-using-chinese-money-election-campaign-0