The Rio Tinto detention story keeps getting juicier. You’ll remember that Stern Hu, the head of Rio’s iron ore marketing department in China, was detained along with three other iron-ore team members on suspicion of stealing state secrets. Few details of the case have been made public, but Rio is clearly spooked – to the point that it actually evacuated all its iron-ore and steel research staff from China (cue visions of 1975 Saigon). The long arm of Chinese law was also visible in the case of former Sinopec chairman Chen Tonghai, who was given a suspended death sentence after being convicted on corruption charges. As newsworthy as those stories are, they have been overshadowed – in geekier circles, at least – by the latest GDP growth data emerging from the National Bureau of Statistics. China’s economy grew by 7.9% in the second quarter thanks to fiscal and monetary stimulus, higher than expected (and helping to push the Shanghai market clear of 3,200 points as of lunch time today). Other economic figures are also pointing in positive (or less negative) directions, too. Foreign direct investment was still down in June, but by only 6.8% year-on-year, a marked improvement from May’s 17.81% fall.