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China urged to act quickly on Rio cases

China urged to act quickly on Rio cases article image
China needs to process the four Rio Tinto employees arrested earlier this month "expeditiously", urged Australian Minister for Trade Simon Crean, to avoid the situation affecting trade and investment decisions. Crean said he believes that if the cases were handled properly there would be no trade ramifications in Australia's bilateral relationship with China, but at this point there have been no details forthcoming. "It is important for the Chinese government to understand better the concerns we have about the circumstances surrounding not just Mr Hu's detention but the lack of detail," said Crean. "Because this is important as a signal to all people seeking to do business in China." No charges have been laid on any of the detainees, though Chinese authorities have said the arrests were due to the theft of state secrets. "We have been asking the Chinese government to give us more and better particulars," said Crean. He added that China have also been slow to progress bilateral free trade negotiations: "We would want to conclude it as soon as we could but it takes two to tango and we await the response of the Chinese."

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