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Chinese ambassador: Chinalco deal "win-win" for Australia-China
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15:45, May 26, 2009

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China has made reassurances that it is not trying to take control of Australia's resources industry through Chinalco's bid for Rio Tinto, Chinese Ambassador to Australia said in Canberra on Tuesday.

Chinese Ambassador to Australia Zhang Junsai told a conference in Canberra on Tuesday that Australians need not worry, saying the deal would be a "win-win" situation and would help develop and promote the relationship between the two countries.

Zhang reassured the conference that China wasn't trying to control Australia's energy and minerals sector through the deal with the state-owned enterprise, Chinalco.

"Such worries are unnecessary," he said.

Zhang said Chinalco might be state owned but it wasn't state run and its primary aim, like most commercial enterprises, was making money.

His views were echoed by Rio Tinto chief executive, Sam Walsh, who said people concerned about China having a greater control or influence on Rio Tinto's operations through the deal with Chinalco "need to get a grip".

Walsh told the Mineral Council of Australia conference in Canberra on Tuesday that it was possible to have close and productive relationships with customers and at the same time maintain commercial independence.

"It beggars belief that any one can now object to this in 2009 ... after nearly 50 years of experience both here and internationally," he said.

Rio Tinto chairman, Jan de Plessis will soon meet investors and government officials in Australia to discuss the proposed Chinalco deal.

The talks may result in consideration of a revision of the proposed alliance which has been criticized by some investors and politicians, but Walsh said Rio Tinto would need to have more discussions before deciding whether there was "any need to revise" the plan.

In February, Rio Tinto and Chinalco signed a deal in which Chinalco would pay 12.3 billion U.S. dollars for stakes in debt-saddled Rio's key iron ore, copper and aluminum assets and 7.3 billion U.S. dollars for convertible notes that could double its equity stake in Rio to 18 percent. The deal is waiting for the approval by the Australian government expected to be announced in mid-June.

Source:Xinhua



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