Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Hu wash-up

The case of Stern Hu makes for interesting reading, if only because parts of it verge on a modern day version of a Cold War novel.

Theories abound from, ranging from the claim that Hu and his colleagues were singled out because of the Chinalco snub, through to a suggestion in Crikey today that at heart the issue is over a power struggle between the current President and both his predecessor and planned successor.

Meanwhile the coalition has realised that there earlier attacks were a bit over the top, and that suggesting that PM Rudd should sort of demand Hu's release have been over-taken by facts. Julie Bishop has been more targeted on the question of whether China has stuck to the principles of the consular agreement between the countries.

Meanwhile I think Richard Farmer, also in Crikey, has nailed it. The best Australian response now is to seek the agreement of the Chinese for Stern Hu to be interviewed by the AFP to ascertain if there are charges against Rio Tinto to be brought under the Criminal Code Amendment (Bribery of Foreign Public Officials) Act 1999.

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