Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan announced that the Australian government remains open to Chinese investment in the country as long as it is in "the national interest," Bloomberg reported. His statement came after the collapse of a US$19.5 billion investment deal in miner Rio Tinto by Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco). "I was engaged in quite productive conversations with the principals. Indeed, the government has been talking to the Chinese government about investment issues as part of a wider trade relationship," Swan said, rejecting speculation that the Australian government was opposed to the deal. Meanwhile, a joint venture deal that would consolidate the iron ore assets of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto was sharply criticized by the general secretary of the China Iron and Steel Association. Shan Shanghua said that the combined company would have a monopoly over Australian iron ore.