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No high-level meeting with China over Hu

No high-level meeting with China over Hu article image
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith will not meet with his Chinese counterpart over the arrest of Australia Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Thailand, after China said they had no plans to see him. "At the moment there are no arrangements for this," confirmed Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu, citing Minister Yang's tight schedule. Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett has already raised the issue with Mayor of Shanghai Han Zheng during his official visit to China. "The mayor was very receptive and indicated that he would pass on the concerns as a matter of urgency," reported Barnett. "I hope this representation can make some difference to the current situation." However, he did warn there was a fine line between diplomatic pressure and the pressure of controversy, noting: "China is more important to Australia than Australia is to China. I do have a concern that the amount of attention that this issue is attracting could in some way damage the long-term relationship between Australia and China."

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