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Rio Tinto spy claims may require PM's intervention

Rio Tinto spy claims may require PM's intervention article image

Chinese diplomats will meet with their Australian counterparts this afternoon to discuss recent actions taken over Stern Hu, the Australian national and Rio Tinto executive arrested last week suspected of commercial espionage. Australian officials are requesting further information on Hu's case following reports that Chinese President Hu Jintao approved the Ministry of State Security investigation in which the Australia is involved. Neither Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith, nor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have spoken to their counterparts about the case, although Chinese authorities say the evidence against Hu is strong. The Opposition have accused the two of being scared of China. "Pick up the phone Mr Rudd, pick up the phone Mr Smith, speak to your Chinese counterparts and make it absolutely clear there must be procedural justice immediately," said MP Greg Hunt, Opposition frontbencher. "They are worried about the [bilateral] relationship, they are not worried about the Australian citizen." Australian consular officials saw Hu on Friday and reported that he was in good health.

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