West shall reflect on Rio Tinto aftermath (2)

09:11, April 01, 2010      

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And third, since Western countries still control the economic and the political fields as well as the global media, their interventions are usually quite effective. But the fact is the temporary "success" they achieve prevents them from seeing the greater price they have to pay in the future.

It is not surprising to see some politicians and the media criticize the verdict, because they have been pursuing the issue with ulterior motives. It is time Rio Tinto; other foreign enterprises in China; the overseas media that once disagreed with China's handling of the case; and the Australians, who allege the four convicts have been treated unfairly, sat back and reflected on the case. They should feel embarrassed for having lobbied for Hu only to realize that they were trying to protect a thief who had stolen from them, too.

The four defendants took worth more than 92.3 million yuan ($13.5 million) in bribes. Hence, it is not difficult to understand why Rio Tinto has reacted more moderately than the politicians and the media. No company would like to spoil its relations with a country that has contributed immensely to its revenue.

In fact, the crimes of Hu and his colleagues should not only embarrass, but also set alarm bells ringing for Rio Tinto and other foreign companies.

The employees of a company that has a strong influence on the market may take advantage of it to seek bribes from suppliers as well as buyers. Three big commercial bribery cases were exposed in China in August 2007. Eight Carrefour executives in Beijing were arrested for taking bribes from suppliers. Joseph Lau, then managing director of MacDonald Hong Kong Limited, was detained by the Hong Kong Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) for taking bribes. And the ICAC arrested 27 employees and suppliers of Little Sheep, a hotpot restaurant chain.


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(Editor:赵晨雁)

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