Sydney. Chinese mining interests in Australia are being held back because they believe they must pay bribes to get what they want, according to a former senator quoted in e-mails released by WikiLeaks.
The private e-mail is one of a huge number from the US-based global intelligence company Stratfor that the whistleblowing organization began publishing on Monday.
The assessment, titled “Insight — China/mining,” said Chinese firms were unable to overcome a corruption mind set when doing business Down Under.
“Where foreign companies do get access to tenements, they always seem to lose out because the mining sector in China is one of the most corrupt sectors of all,” the unnamed former senator reportedly said.
The e-mail is dated mid-2010, just months after Australian mining executive Stern Hu was jailed for 10 years in China after a Shanghai court convicted him of taking kickbacks worth millions of dollars from Chinese steel firms and stealing corporate secrets during 2009 iron ore talks.
In the e-mail, the senator said corruption was widespread in China.
“Ironically, this corruption is one of the impediments to Chinese interests not having accumulated even greater stakes in the resources sector in Australia,” he reportedly said.
“They simply cannot get it in their heads that the rule of law applies to mining projects in Australia.
“They refuse to believe that they have a right to receive a mining lease subject only to complying with relevant environmental permitting conditions.
“They think you have no credibility unless you tell them they need to bribe someone!!!”
WikiLeaks on Monday began publishing a huge tranche of e-mails from Stratfor.