Espionage not determined: Foreign Minister
Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith has denied that China has already decided that Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu is guilty of commercial espionage.
“That doesn’t sit with the meeting that I had, and the statements made to me, which are that the investigation against Mr Hu and others associated with him, who are also in detention, is ongoing,” said Smith.
Chinese Government spokesperson Qin Gang previously inferred that they thought Hu was guilty, in saying the Rio Tinto staff were aware they had “caused losses to China’s interests”.
Qin also suggested that Australia’s diplomatic fuss would interfere with China’s judicial process.
Smith assured Chinese authorities that he “understood that this was a matter before Chinese legal and potentially judicial processes”.