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Potential damage to China trade relations: Minister

Potential damage to China trade relations: Minister article image
Minister for Trade Simon Crean has flagged possible damage to Australia-China bilateral trade relations following the Stern Hu affair. Australian Rio Tinto executive Hu, arrested on July 5, has not yet been charged with an offence, although Chinese authorities have mentioned Hu in relation to "losses to China’s interests". Crean says the Chinese need to be clearer in their allegations: "If those allegations warrant charges being laid through their system, then lay them. But this uncertainty and having to respond to speculation is not helpful." Following a meeting with Chinese counterpart Chen Deming, Crean said the Chinese were treating Hu and bilateral trade relations as two separate issues, but he believed they had the potential to overlap. "I acknowledged his view, but [the arrest] is also part of our commercial relationship, and it needs to be resolved," said Crean.

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