China’s security watchdog has accused mining giant Rio Tinto of spying on Chinese steel companies for six years, extorting $122 billion from them in the process. The report, by China’s National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets, contradicts not only Rio Tinto’s but also the Australian Government’s comments on the Stern Hu matter. The claims will increase diplomatic tension between Canberra and Beijing and also appear to be a body blow for any hope that Mr Hu and his three fellow detained Rio Tinto colleagues can escape a Chinese prison sentence.