Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China trial date close for Australian Matthew Ng [The Age]


Just ten days after Australia PM Julia Gillard sounds concern after the matter the Chinese have decided to put Matthew Ng, chief executive of Et-China on trial for taking bribes. The case was highlighted first in 2010 – Aussie businessman Matthew Ng held in Guangzhou (The Australian, November 26, 2010)

For more on Et-China, go here (in Chinese).

– – –

China trial date close for Australian
John Garnaut, Beijing
Source – The Age, published May 7, 2011

Matthew Ng. Photo Source – The Age

LEADING Australian entrepreneur Matthew Ng is likely to be put on trial within weeks, just 10 days after Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised concerns about the case with China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Close supporters of Mr Ng’s were said to be shattered by the news, after previously hearing that prosecutors had refused to accept the police file against him for lack of evidence.

Mr Ng was detained on November 16 after a round of tense commercial negotiations with his Chinese joint venture partner went awry.

He was later charged with the embezzlement of 100,000 yuan ($14,400) in company expenses.

Details of the prosecution case against Mr Ng remained hazy last night as no formal notification had been received by Mr Ng’s wife, his lawyer or the Australian government.

”We have not confirmed the charges yet because we have not received any information,” a close friend of Mr Ng’s said.

”There’s nothing we can do, just wait around,” she said. It is thought a trial date could be announced next week.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said she could not comment because there had been no ”public announcement”.

Mr Ng, 44, founded and ran a travel company called Et-china, which is backed by Australian and international interests that include James Packer’s investment fund, Ellerston Capital.

But Mr Ng had been feuding over control of his company’s profitable subsidiary – Guangzhou GZL International Travel Services – with a state-owned conglomerate.

It had been hoped that Mr Ng would be released after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations with his joint venture partner, Lingnan, and following Ms Gillard’s intervention.

”It seems Beijing told local authorities to resolve the case,” said one close observer. ”And they did.”

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Overseas Chinese, Politics, Population, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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