SHANGHAI, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Four staffs of the
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd. have been detained on charges of
stealing China's state secrets, the Shanghai state security authorities said
They included Stern Hu, general manager of the
company's Shanghai office, who was also in charge of the iron ore business in
China, according to the Shanghai municipal state security agency.
Photo taken on July 9, 2009 shows the Rio Tinto Ltd. Office in Shanghai, east China. Four employees of the Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Ltd. have been arrested over alleged stealing of China's state secrets, including Stern Hu, general manager of the company's Shanghai offic. The four people, including Hu, had been detained by China's security authorities Sunday evening.
Hu, an Australian citizen of Chinese origin, was
detained in Shanghai on Sunday on allegations of espionage and stealing state
secrets, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Wednesday.
Hu was a long-standing employee of Rio Tinto and had
lived in Shanghai for a number of years with his wife, who is also an Australian
citizen, he said.
The other three, who also worked in the Shanghai
office and were detained on the same charges, were holding Chinese passports and
the case was being investigated according to law, the agency said.
The case was "under investigation" and the related
parties would hopefully cooperate positively, said Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference Thursday.
Espionage and the theft of state secrets by the four
Rio Tinto employees seriously harmed China's "economic interests and security,"
"China will handle the case properly according to
law," he said. "This is an individual case and should not be exaggerated or even
"We will continue holding a positive attitude on
economic and trade cooperation between China and Australia, including
cooperation between enterprises from the two countries, which will not only
benefit China, but also be good to Australia," he said.
A statement e-mailed from Rio Tinto to Xinhua
Thursday said, "We have been advised by the Australian government of this
"We are not aware of any evidence that would support
such an investigation."
Rio Tinto said it would continue to work to support
its employees and their families. It refused to comment further on the issue.
"Rio Tinto intended to cooperate fully with any
investigation the Chinese authorities may wish to undertake and has sought
clarification on what has occurred," Ian Head, Rio Tinto spokesman said in an
email statement to Xinhua Wednesday.
The iron ore giant is still in talks with Chinese
steel mills over iron ore contract prices. The negotiations passed the June 30
deadline as Rio Tinto stuck to its offer of a 33-percent price cut for 2009-2010
contracts, while the CISA insisted on a deeper cut.
The state-controlled Aluminum Corporation of China
(Chinalco) last week bought 1.5 billion U.S. dollars of Rio Tinto shares to
cement its 9-percent stake in the miner. The deal came a month after the failure
of Chinalco's 19.5-billion-U.S.-dollar bid for a19-percent stake and joint
management of some Rio Tinto assets.
Rio Tinto has representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland.
A man walks inside the Rio Tinto Ltd. Office in Shanghai, east China, July 9, 2009. Four employees of the Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Ltd. have been arrested over alleged stealing of China's state secrets, including Stern Hu, general manager of the company's Shanghai offic. The four people, including Hu, had been detained by China's security authorities Sunday evening.
Australian FM: Four Rio Tinto
employees held for espionage in China
CANBERRA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- An Australian executive
with mining giant Rio Tinto is being held in China on suspicion of espionage and
stealing state secrets, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said
Stern Hu, a Rio's executive in China and an
Australian passport holder, was detained in Shanghai on Sunday together with
another three Rio Tinto's employees, Smith told reporters in Perth, state
capital of West Australia. Full story
Chinalco confirms buying $1.5 bln of
Rio Tinto shares
BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Aluminum Corporation of
China (Chinalco) confirmed Thursday it had bought 1.5 billion U.S. dollars of
Rio Tinto shares to cement its 9 percent shareholding in the miner.
The deal was made to maximize the interests of
Chinalco, Lu Youqing, Chinalco's vice president, told Xinhua. Full story
Chinalco registers for Rio Tinto
BEIJING, June 18 --
Chinalco has registered for the $15.2-billion rights issue of global miner Rio
Tinto, but the State-owned non-ferrous mineral processor has not yet made up its
mind on whether it wants to participate in the world's fifth largest rights
issue or not.
According to the prospectus released by Rio Tinto on
Tuesday, June 15 was the registration deadline for the issue. A Chinalco insider
confirmed on June 16 that the company had completed the registration process,
reported by Caijing, a business magazine of China. Full story
FM spokesman: Chinese companies pursue equality, mutual benefit,
friendship, honesty in int'l co-op
BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies will
continue to pursue the principle of equality, mutual benefit, friendship and
honesty in carrying out trade and investment outside China, Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang said here Tuesday.
In response to a question about Rio Tinto's withdrawal
from a deal with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) at a routine press
conference, Qin said the Chinese government has always supported Chinese
companies to carry out international cooperation according to market rules and
international practice. Full story