Hu talk goes ahead at ASEAN meeting
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith has managed to talk to his Chinese counterpart about arrested Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Thailand.
Last week’s informal meeting was already wrought with tension after a spokesperson for Yang Jiechi said no meeting had been confirmed. However, Smith did eventually meet with Yang over the Hu issue.
“They’re conducting the investigation. It goes to matters of corruption and bribery; it also goes to state secrets as defined under Chinese law. But the Chinese authorities, including foreign minister Yang, are dealing with this matter as an individual case,” reported Smith.
He added: “Both of us have been at pains to make the point we don’t see this going to the wider relationship, which we regard as very good.”