Monday, July 13, 2009
Prof. Donald Clarke over at the China Law Prof Blog has some thoughts on the Chinese arrests of four Rio Tinto employees for "espionage" following the collapse of the Chinalco/Rio Tinto transction last month. He thinks its a serious and unusual situation. I agree, but it also points to an obvious danger. The espionage/state secrets statutes in China are vague and over-broad, meaning that the kind of information that was easily shared with Rio Tinto when everyone thought its deal with Chinalco was still on suddenly became a "state secret" when Rio Tinto walked away from the transaction. It's hard to know what exactly is happening as there is not a lot of information. Who knows, maybe this is just about bribery. One thing for sure, it's better to tread lightly.
The WSJ has the Reuters video here: