Who is the Rio executive arrested by the Chinese?
This comes via the Sydney Morning Herald:
A year ago, after Stern Hu had survived 20-odd rounds of negotiations and won Rio Tinto and Australia an extraordinary 87 per cent price increase for its iron ore contracts, I asked him if he was being too aggressive.
He said he had no qualms with driving as hard a bargain as he could on price. But he had misgivings about whether Rio Tinto should risk its integrity in China by claiming "force majeure" to wriggle out of long-term contracts to chase higher prices elsewhere.
"We acted in accordance with the letter of the contracts, but not the spirit," he said.
One of the ironies and tragedies of Mr Hu’s incarceration, together with his senior staff, is that he is widely known in China and at Rio Tinto for his integrity and quietly spoken good judgment.
He is reputed to know exactly how far to push China without breaking the relationship.
He is said to understand how relationships work, the importance of face, and almost everything that is worth knowing about the Chinese steel industry and the government and industry bureaucracy that tries to manage it.
It was notable that Chinese steel managers spoke up for Mr Hu yesterday even though he stands accused of one of the most serious crimes.