News

The Prime Minister is leading the largest ever trade delegation to China. But what value do these junkets really deliver?

China lifts bank reserve ratio

China stepped up moves to absorb the extra cash sloshing around its economy yesterday by raising the amount of money that lenders must keep on reserve for the third time in a month.

Leading article: Too many ponies ...

When the sport of the elite becomes a sport for the masses, it's time to notch up a victory for social mobility. And when that sport has been associated, not just with any old elite, but with actual kings, and the masses are the billion-plus population of China, the transition is all the more striking.

China wins its first trade complaint against the EU

European Union duties on screws and bolts from China break trade rules and should be revised, the World Trade Organisation said, in a ruling that marks a victory for China in its first WTO dispute against Europe.

Vatican outrage as Chinese bishop ordained

The Vatican denounced China yesterday for ordaining a bishop without papal consent, accusing the government-backed church of damaging the faith and warning that the bishop risked excommunication.

China rescues mine workers

Rescuers have saved 29 men from underground floods in a Chinese coal mine.

Stephen King: Don't let the G20 follow the League of Nations into the dustbin of history

Outlook: The biggest threat to the success of the G20 comes from the obvious point that the 'new powers' are pushing the 'old powers' to one side

A Poet's Guide to Britain, ed Owen Sheers

In his introduction to this anthology of British landscape poetry, Owen Sheers imagines the book as a "conversation" between poets of different eras. His inclusions are solidly predictable, but the juxtapositions are shrewdly done, setting up a kind of call-and-response effect across the ages. Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" ("Dull would he be of soul who could pass by/ A sight so touching in its majesty") is placed next to Alice Oswald's "Another Westminster Bridge" (in which "a million shut-away eyes glance once/ restlessly at the river's ruts and glints" and then "wander swiftly away"), so the reader can compare contemplative romantic and restless modern.

Crimson China, By Betsy Tobin

Betsy Tobin's fourth novel is the story of an imagined survivor of the 2004 disaster in Morecambe Bay which claimed the lives of 21 Chinese cockle-pickers. Illegal immigrant Wen's fate is interwoven with those of two women, his twin sister Lili and depressive alcoholic Angie, who has aborted her own suicide attempt in order to pull him half-drowned from the sea.

Shanghai throws lavish party to close World Expo

Shanghai wrapped up its record-breaking World Expo yesterday with a lavish display of Chinese national pride.

China's Guangzhou tower nears completion

The 437m tower is the tallest structure ever built to a design by a British architect.

Stephen King: Imbalancing act as G20 ministers still fail to deliver

Outlook: If we treated the euro area as a single economy – as we treat the US – we would only worry about the eurozone as a whole

Stephen King: As currency wars wind up, will quick thrills call the shots?

Outlook: Should America print more dollars, there is a risk that demand takes off in the emerging world leading to inflation and asset bubbles

Leading article: Protectionism by other means

The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington has ended in disagreement. The "currency wars", identified by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, are set to continue. In Washington, China was accused by the West of manipulating its currency in order to boost its exports. Western nations, for their part, were accused by China of destabilising the global economy by slashing official interest rates.

Stephen King: China baulks at sharing the West's post-party hangover

The US may soon switch on its monetary printing press to churn out more dollars, benefiting its exporters even as other nations lose out

China to 'support' EU recovery

Chinese premier Wen Jibao yesterday pledged to help Europe's faltering economy into recovery, but urged the EU to drop the remaining barriers to high- tech exports and recognise China as a "full market economy".

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