China’s Version of “Soft Power” (UPDATE)

This is an update on the previous post titled: China’s Version of “Soft Power”

Xinhua has just filed a report from its Canberra office with regard to the arrest of Rio Tinto staff in Shanghai.  In the report Xinhua refers to Mr Stern Hu, the Australia staff of Rio Tinto under arrest, as “an Australian passport holder”.  As the Australian has pointed out, Chinese authorities often resort to dirty tactics of treating foreign citizens of Chinese descent as PRC nationals in order to justify imposing dubious charges on them.

Mr Hu is not a junior member of staff who may have strayed over a nebulous line by mistake.  He is the second most senior Rio Tinto executive in China, in charge of marketing and price negotiation with Rio’s biggest buyer.  At this stage, both the Australian government and Rio Tinto appear to be downplaying this incident.  I reckon this is wrong.  They are playing into the hands of Chinese authorities.  For Mr Hu, the best hope of a fair treatment is for his case to be widely publicized.  I am therefore calling upon fellow Australian bloggers (and others who are concerned) to spare some thoughts for Mr Hu’s predicament in your next blog post.  Many thanks!

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