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China overpaid US$102 billion because of Hu

China overpaid US$102 billion because of Hu article image
A Hong Kong newspaper has accused arrested Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu of accepting bribes in return for larger import quotas from Rio Tinto. Australian citizen Hu is suspected of commercial espionage, but has not been formally charged. In the magazine article, published by China's state secretary agency, Wen Wei Po writes that Hu acquired assets including "more than a couple of villas" worth over 100 million yuan (A$17 million) each. Hu's corruption and espionage activity reportedly caused China to overpay US$102 billion for iron ore over six years, an accusation former Shanghai Rio Tinto chief Philip Kirchlechner rejects, as the amount surpasses China's entire bill for the period. However, the official quoted apparently took details from state media sources and was not close to the case. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith played down the hype: "It's now quite clear given that the article has been taken off the website, that it was essentially the opinion of the writer and not, if you like, officially sanctioned." Smith does not believe the article will have a bearing on Hu's case.

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