Australian's arrest in China sparks fierce political debate
10 July 2009
Vivienne Bath commented on the continuing incarceration of a Rio Tinto mining executive arrested in Shanghai by secret police on charges of espionage and theft of state secrets.
The incident follows Rio Tinto's rejection of the Chinese state owned corporation Chinalco's efforts to double it's stake in Rio Tinto.
In an interview on ABC TV's 7:30 Report, Vivienne Bath speculated on China's consternation towards the recent agreement by Rio Tinto and BHP Biliton to combine their iron ore operations in the Pilbara into a joint venture.
"China is a very large market for BHP Biliton and Rio Tinto so I would have thought it might not be a good idea commercially-speaking for Rio Tinto and BHP Biliton to disregard the concerns which are expressed by Chinese authorities."
Contact: Greg Sherington
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