Kissinger helps Rio Tinto build bridges with China: Report
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:56
Sydney: Australian mining giant Rio Tinto turned to US elder statesman Henry Kissinger for help in building bridges with China following the jailing of four of its employees, it was reported on Wednesday.

Former secretary of state Kissinger, 86, has been well connected in China since a secret 1971 visit that led to former president Richard Nixon's historic meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong.

The Sydney Morning Herald, without naming its sources, said Kissinger helped secure a meeting on Rio's behalf with Wang Qishan, a Politburo member and former banker who handles many of China's international financial affairs.

Australian businessman Stern Hu was Monday sentenced to 10 years in jail after being convicted of accepting bribes and stealing trade secrets following a three-day trial in Shanghai, much of it held behind closed doors.

Three of his Chinese colleagues at Rio Tinto were sentenced to between seven and 14 years.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today asked China to hold trials in public.

Rudd said there were always going to be "bumps in the road in our relationship with China", after Beijing expressed concerns about Australia's criticisms of the trial.

"I would say to our friends in Beijing, however, that the responsible course of action is to ensure that your judiciary process is transparent, that when people are brought before your courts, that those trials are held publicly," Rudd told reporters.


First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:56

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