Whether it was racist or not is irrelevant.
The simple question is as a senior national political figure should he have said what he said?
If what he said was true, then why is he doing business with Chinese?
Clive the politician is a creation of the Laberal duopoly. If the duopoly presented a reasonable alternative then people wouldn't be voting for these minor parties at an unprecedented level.
I agree that it probably wasn't appropriate to drag out a personal business dispute with a Chinese state company in public but on the other hand I'm concerned about the fact that you're not allowed to say anything bad in public about the Chinese autocratic totalitarian regime because we're so dependent on them as a nation. It rings alarm bells that Julie Bishop - the only front-bencher I have any respect for - felt compelled to retract her own words about the Chinese government a few weeks ago.
The very reason why so many Chinese people are attracted to immigrate and invest here is because we have a proud tradition of democracy and letting people speak their minds without sending them to gulags; I would sincerely hope that we haven't arrived at a point where an international power has so much influence in our national affairs that we can't speak openly about them within our own borders.
Our toady-ing will come back to bite us, mark my words.