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China trade relations unharmed by Rio Tinto arrests: Ministry

China trade relations unharmed by Rio Tinto arrests: Ministry article image

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesperson Yao Jian says bilateral trade relations between Australia and China will not be harmed by the arrest of four Rio Tinto staff, including Australian executive Stern Hu. "China and Australia are very important trading partners and have good co-operation in areas including raw materials, free trade talks and agriculture," he said. "I think these relations will definitely not be affected by an individual case." He went on to say the case would not affect China's trade environment, or foreign investment environment. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd earlier reminded China that it had significant economic interests at stake: "A range of foreign governments and corporations will be watching this case with interest and be watching it very closely, and will be drawing their own conclusions as to how it is conducted."

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