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Foreign minister approves of Rio Tinto case

Foreign minister approves of Rio Tinto case article image
Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith has approved China's handling of Stern Hu, the Australian Rio Tinto executive charged with accepting bribes and obtaining commercial secrets. Smith says China has treated the case "expeditiously" and has allowed consular access on two occasions. He also expressed relief that Hu's charges now "relate to Chinese criminal law rather than state secrets and we regard that as a good thing". The minister admitted that relations between Australia and China were not at their best but said: "We will work through those issues and the strength of the economic relationship and the strength of the economic partnership will continue."

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