China: 'Ample evidence' in Rio case

Beijing says it has evidence that detained Rio Tinto workers stole state secrets.

    Rio Tinto has said the allegations againsts its employees are "wholly without foundation" [Reuters]

    Related


    Risky business for China investors 

    Hu, a Shanghai-based executive in charge of mining giant Rio Tinto's Chinese iron ore sales, was detained on July 5 while Rio Tinto was acting as lead negotiator for global iron ore suppliers in price talks with Chinese steel mills.

    According to Chinese state media, Hu and three other employees who are also detained, are accused of bribing employees of Chinese steel companies to obtain confidential information on China's negotiating strategy.

    China's steel industry consumes up to 60 per cent of global iron ore production and Beijing has been pressing for deep price cuts after two years of increases totalling more than 120 per cent.

    Resolution

    Australian officials meanwhile are continuing to press the Chinese government for a quick resolution to the case.

    China says it has evidence that Stern Hu and his co-workers stole state secrets [Reuters]
    Speaking on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) conference on the Thai island of Phuket, Stephen Smith, the Australian foreign minister, said he still hoped to meet his Chinese counterpart about the matter.

    But he dismissed suggestions that failing to meet would represent a setback in the contentious case.

    "The Stern Hu matter is not a matter which is going to be solved or addressed by ministers meeting each other," he told reporters on Wednesday.

    "It is not going to be solved by one phone call or one meeting as I've seen people suggest."

    The detentions have sparked a diplomatic spat with China angrily telling Australia not to interfere after Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, warned that its economic interests were at stake.

    However, Beijing has downplayed suggestions that the case might harm business ties between the two countries.

    "This will not and should not affect normal trade relations between the two countries. China would not want to see this," He Yafei, China's deputy foreign minister, said.

    "And I think the Australian side will treat this just as an individual case."

    China is Australia's biggest trade partner, buying up billions of dollars of its exports, including iron ore.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.