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an appointment to see him. And the guards; they are there because the people of the People’s Republic of China hate God so much they are there to protect God…….now I understood. In 1957, Chairman Mao introduced a five-year plan. The goal was to have the Chinese steel industry produce as much steel as Great Britain. All over China great efforts were made and many people suffered and in the 1960s some areas of the country faced difficult times as the tools of agriculture production had in many circumstances been melted down to achieve that goal. My family was in China to see how we could help and what could be done to save people’s lives. It is another story; a grown up one. I will always remember my story Clive and Anna Palmer in Bora Bora as a nine-year-old boy living in China for nine months at a crucial time. Nevertheless, today we must also remember the Chinese steel leaders of the 1960s who set the goal and example for the whole country to follow. Today the Chinese steel industry is the backbone of the country and stands on the shoulders of those workers who had the vision to see and to plan and to hope what China could become. Since that time I have visited China over 50 times in the 1970s, 80s and 90s and during this decade. Today in Beijing, in the China Club, there is a special room where an old man would come and have lunch with his colleagues and his family and dream and make plans for the China we know today. This room is called the ‘Deng Shao Ping Room’ and it stands in testament to one of the greatest Chinese Leaders that has ever lived. Chairman Deng, a Long March veteran, all his life a dedicated nationalist and Communist Party member, had the experience and vision to lay the economic foundations for what the country might become, and all Chinese everywhere will always be in his debt. It was Chairman Mao that made the Chinese stand up, but Chairman Deng that got them running. One of my old friends, Dr Christian Barnard of South Africa - who completed the world’s first heart transplant - was asked in the 1970s to comment on apartheid in South Africa and to state the difference between the races. “I have operated on Chinese, Asians, and Caucasians and Africans’ hearts and underneath we all have the same heart and all have the same needs,” he said. Although he was jailed for the statement I could not agree. I have always found that the Chinese people have the biggest hearts of all. Let us now join the party which has commenced all over China ! That party started last year with the Olympics and stalled with the global economic crisis. The Spring Festival is one of the biggest celebrations of mankind and there is nowhere where this is more evident than China. Tens of millions of people across China were, on Sunday, preparing to usher in the Lunar New year with fireworks and big family reunions. Railways and planes worked full tilt over the weekend as people made the last-minute dash home to welcome the Year of the Ox, which began last week. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 195


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