Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong has been spending a surprising amount of time in the spotlight for a man without a Wikipedia entry. On the same day that Australian trade minister Simon Crean said that the arrest and detention of Rio Tinto employee and Australian national Stern Hu could have "implications in terms of the way in which [Australian] businesses see the way they do business with China," Li emphasized that Rio’s employees had broken Chinese law and would be dealt with accordingly. That wasn’t all the Shanxi native had to say on commodity-related issues yesterday. In his view, China’s status as consumer of 60% of the world’s iron ore production should translate into a greater say in negotiating ore prices. In other words, China is still holding out for a steeper cut in prices than the 33% reduction earlier secured by Japan and South Korea. Turning his attention to the high-tech arena, Li also grabbed headlines by backing away from his ministry’s earlier requirement that "Green Dam-Youth Escort" content-filtration software be installed on all computers sold in China. Now, said Li, only computers intended for use in public places would be required to use the software.
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