But BHP Billiton boss Andrew Mackenzie is unconcerned by the comments, saying the strength of Australia's relationship with China would "rank more highly in the minds of the Chinese". "I think the people in China can see through that," Mr Mackenzie told ABC radio. "They're comments by an individual and they're not on behalf of any other Australian supplier.
The China boom had kept Australia going through the worst of the global financial crisis, Mr Abbott said. "It's one of the reasons why we want to maintain a strong relationship with China, one of the reasons why what Clive Palmer said the other night was so destructive," he told ABC radio.
Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce compared Senator Lambie's comments with drunken talk "at the corner pub". "These things sound amusing when they're said after 15 beers but they're very, very dangerous if you want to say them on national television," he told the Nine Network.
Read more here: Business Spectator