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>Rio Tinto Workers admit taking bribes in China

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>China’s high-profile prosecution of executives of the British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto took a bizarre turn on Monday, as the executives, once accused of spying, confessed instead to accepting bribes from Chinese steel makers, the NY Times reports.
The guilty pleas, which came on the first day of a three-day trial in Shanghai, confounded most accounts — including extensive coverage in China’s state-owned media — of why the four executives were arrested last July and what the case reveals about corruption in China’s steel industry, the world’s largest.
Initial accounts of the case, perhaps the most closely watched prosecution of executives of a foreign company, suggested that the executives had sought to obtain confidential information about China’s steel industry by bribing industry officials. They did so, the accounts suggested, so that Rio Tinto, a major seller of iron ore, could raise prices the steel makers pay Rio Tinto for the crucial raw material.
Chinese officials said in July that the Rio Tinto executives had caused “enormous economic losses” through their espionage. All four executives have been in Chinese custody since July.


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