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China: Evidence in Rio spying case is strong

A senior Chinese official on Monday defended China's handling of the industrial spying case against an Australian executive for mining giant Rio Tinto, and urged Australia to respect China's court process.

Foreign Ministry official Liu Jieyu said during a visit to Australia that the alleged actions of Chinese-born Australian Stern Hu would have been illegal in his home country if they had occurred there too, and that critics should wait for the facts to come to light.

Hu, who heads mining giant Rio Tinto's Chinese iron ore business, was detained with three Chinese co-workers in Shanghai on July 5 during contentious iron ore price talks. State media say they are accused of bribing Chinese steel company employees to get information on China's negotiating stance.

The Australian government complaints that it is not getting enough direct information on the case from Beijing.

"The facts of the case would constitute a violation of Australian laws were the facts (to) happen here in Australia," Liu told the Australian Broadcasting Corp in an interview aired Monday. He did not offer any further details.

"We are dealing with a violation of the Chinese law and in all legal proceedings in different countries there are different provisions about what can be released at what point of time," he said. "It is not up to me ... to say what the law requires and what the law permits."

He said China expected foreign countries to respect its judicial system, adding "the Chinese government respects the independence" of Australia's judicial system.

"I think we would expect the same from other countries," Liu said. "By dealing with this case, we are ... really trying to establish a good environment for all companies in China -- foreign companies operating in China and local Chinese companies."


 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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