Speaking to the media today Smith said the federal government had learned further official reasons for Rio iron ore executive Stern Hu’s detention from a Chinese government website.
The statements on the website reportedly said Hu stole state secrets by bribing Chinese steel company staff, according to reports by ABC News and Dow Jones Newswires.
Hu, along with three other Rio executives, has been detained since the weekend by Chinese officials.
The four executives are yet to be formally charged. Australian diplomatic staff have been unable to gain access to Hu until today.
Meanwhile, according to Dow Jones Newswires, Chinalco has expressed its concern over the situation and said the issue was not related to commercial dealings between Rio and Chinalco.