- Title: CHINA: Rio CEO looks to 'collaborative partnership' with China as trial starts
- Date: 23rd March 2010
- Summary: SHANGHAI, CHINA (MARCH 22, 2010) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF SHANGHAI NUMBER 1 INTERMEDIATE PEOPLE'S COURT SECURITY STANDING AT GATE OF COURT SECURITY GUARD CHINESE NATIONAL FLAG COURT ENTRANCE
- Reuters ID: LVA73RKF5LMJDSSXNLN7EJL2J2ZS
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Duration: 00:00:28
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Industry
- Story Text: Chief Executive of Rio Tinto, Tom Albanese, arrived in Beijing as part of a charm offensive launched by the company to repair ties with China as four of the company's employees prepared to stand trial in a Shanghai court.
In an interview with China's state television on Sunday (March 21), one day before the trial was due to begin, Albanese praised a project agreed with its shareholder Chinalco, one of China's largest state-owned firms, to cooperate on an iron mine in Guinea.
Albanese, in Beijing for the second time in one month, said he looked forward to a "collaborative partnership".
"I think we can bring our respective skills together and working together in a collaborative partnership we can create the next big iron ore province and certainly Chinalco as a leading Chinese SOE will benefit from that," he said.
Albanese was in Beijing to attend the China Development Forum and is due to speak at the meeting on Monday (March 22), the same day that the trial of the four from Rio's iron ore team, including Australian citizen Stern Hu, begins in Shanghai.
The executives were detained last summer at the height of fraught negotiations over 2009 iron ore prices, creating a furor over China's opaque state secrets laws.
They eventually faced lesser charges.
The three-day trial comes as foreign business sentiment is souring against China. China has been the leading major growth market since the global financial crisis, but its potential is offset by foreign investors' ongoing frustrations with the way regulations are applied.
China accused the four Rio employees of purportedly seeking industrial and production information about Chinese mines and steel mills. Foreign executives said labeling that a state secret could threaten any firms' need to know about the markets in which they operate.
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