With the sentencing of four of its employees on bribery and corporate espionage charges, Rio Tinto has hired Henry Kissinger to help smooth relations with the Chinese government. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
The Herald understands Dr 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.
Hu’s lawyer, Shi Keqiang, told the Herald he had not talked with his client since Hu was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on Monday for receiving bribes and obtaining commercial secrets. Hu, who was sacked by Rio Tinto shortly after the sentencing, has 10 days to lodge an appeal.
The sentencing sparked a war of words, with the Chinese government expressing ”serious concern” over Australian criticism of Hu’s trial. The comment came after the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said he had reservations about the conviction and the secrecy of the Chinese court.