Voices

If local unrest swells into national protest, will they choose liberalisation or repression

Kim Jong-il set to meet Hu Jintao

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's secrecy-shrouded tour of China came to the capital yesterday for a likely summit with President Hu Jintao, as the North appeals for food aid and Beijing presses its communist ally to reform its ailing economy.

Mystery of 'trip to China' by country's aged leader

North Korea's ruler Kim Jong-il made a surprise visit to China yesterday, South Korean media reported, amid confusing reports about the purpose of the trip and the presence of his son.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (24/04/11)

A thoroughly good egg

Wedding dress claim denied by McQueen label

A spokesman for the Alexander McQueen fashion label has denied claims that its creative director Sarah Burton is to design Kate Middleton's wedding dress.

Rail minister faces corruption probe

China's minister of Railways is under investigation for "severe violations of discipline", a state news agency reports, in a high-profile probe underscoring the wide-ranging corruption that threatens the ruling Communist Party's grip on power.

DJ Taylor: Ricky, don't lose that number

Gervais may have burnt his bridges with LA, Apple says goodbye to Jobs, but Obama bids Hu Jintao a big 'hello'

Video: Obama 'candid' on China's human rights record

Barack and Michelle Obama have welcomed Chinese leader Hu Jintao to the US with a star-studded state dinner at the White House.

Statue marks a major rethink in China's attitude to Confucius

Confucius is back – and raised on a pedestal. The Chinese Communist leadership, which once criticised the ancient philosopher as part of official policy, has sanctioned a huge sculpture of the sage on Tiananmen Square.

US envoy seeks Chinese help to ease Korea crisis

A senior US envoy sought China's help today in easing the threat of war on the Korean peninsula, hoping to gain insights about a Chinese official's recent meeting with North Korea's absolute leader Kim Jong Il.

China vows to curtail rampant corruption in government

China laid out its plans to crack down on lavish parties for government officials yesterday, in an attempt to stem growing public anger about the rampant corruption that is so severe it threatens single-party rule in the world's most populous nation.

American boy, 13, held over protest

A 13-year-old American boy campaigning to turn the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea into a peace park tried to get the Chinese President Hu Jintao's attention yesterday, staging a protest near Tiananmen Square before being led away by police.

The Sketch: Osborne winning the argument? Maybe it's his new Chinese wisdom

Treasury questions. George Osborne answering a range of parochial questions. He's just back from seeing the East. A China observer reports an elegant Chinese welcome from the Premier to the Cameron team: "Wonderful to see you looking so young – you seem so full of energy and I'm sure you will learn very fast!"

Clifford Coonan: The PM's dilemma over challenging China's rulers

It is David Cameron's first visit to China as Prime Minister, and while his Chinese hosts are gearing up for a trade-focused meeting, he will have to raise uncomfortable issues, notably human rights.

Xi Jinping in line for presidency

China's vice-President Xi Jinping was promoted to a key post in the Communist Party's military committee yesterday, affirming his path to the country's leadership.

Nobel row clouds China's five-year plan for growth

The annual meeting of China's leaders began behind closed doors yesterday, with discussions on the economy overshadowed by the threat posed to the Communist Party by the award of the Nobel peace prize to a prominent dissident.

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