When Henry met Rio

Mao Kissinger

Henry Kissinger meets Mao Zedong during President Nixon’s visit to China, 1971.

John Garnaut
Fairfax Digital, March 29, 2015

American statesman Henry Kissinger pocketed close to US$5 million ($6.4 million) for guiding mining giant Rio Tinto to wash its hands of its jailed China chief, Australian citizen Stern Hu, and build relations with Bejing.

Fairfax can reveal that the 92-year-old former US secretary of state made clear that he would not use his ties with Chinese leaders to “interfere” with the country’s legal system or otherwise assist Hu, who was detained in sensational circumstances in July 2009.

“The personnel part… we didn’t touch it,” said a source close to Kissinger Associates, who was involved in shaping the advice to Rio Tinto.

Instead, Dr Kissinger told the full Rio Tinto board that it should respond to Hu’s arrest by tightly focusing on the needs of its dominant customer.

“There are three companies all trying to get their iron ore into China,” said the source close to Dr Kissinger’s consultancy. “They are each trying to get a better relationship than others with the Chinese government. That’s basically it.”

It is understood that Dr Kissinger conveyed Rio Tinto’s post-Stern Hu commitments to the-then vice-premier, Wang Qishan. Read more…

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