Days after the Eurozone's emergency summit meeting yielded relatively successful results the head of the Eurozone bailout fund is in China this morning asking officials to help rescue European nations. China's deputy finance minister has said that his country wants more details before investing in the Eurozone bailout fund. Joining The Takeaway from Beijing is Martin Patience, correspondent for our partner the BBC. Andrew Leung is an international and independent China specialist, and chairman of Andrew Leung International Consultants.
Chinese state media is denying reports this morning that Jiang Zemin is dead. The 84-year-old became China's leader in 1989, and shepherded the country through its unprecedented economic boom before handing power to President Hu Jintao between 2002 and 2004. The BBC is reporting that internet searches for Jiang's name have been blocked. Martin Patience, correspondent for the BBC, reports on the latest from Beijing.
In May, China's inflation rose to its highest level in nearly three years, up 5.5 percent from the same month last year. There has been a wave of violent unrest in urban areas in China over the past three weeks. The country has repeatedly deployed its massive security forces to contain public anger over economic and political issues. BBC China correspondent Martin Patience reports on how high inflation and extremely high food prices are affecting the country.
One of China's most famous artists, Ai Wei Wei was detained Sunday. The artists is an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and many suspect that his detention is part of the government's crackdown on dissent. He is now being investigated for economic crimes according to a government spokesman. The BBC's Beijing correspondent Martin Patience spoke to Wei Wei's wife yesterday who said she hasn't heard from her husband. "I don't know whether to believe the information I received. I don't know what the situation is, the authorities haven't given me an explanation."
China's Premier Wen Jiabao told the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing on Friday that controlling consumer and housing prices was a top priority. In China, where much of the ballooning population seems to be headed into the cities for work, real estate is becoming prohibitively expensive. Food prices are shooting up as well. What does this mean for China's role in the world economy and for U.S. relations with that country?
There’ll be a lot more "out of office" emails in Washington this week as key members of the Obama administration are on trips in South Asia, Asia and the Arabian peninsula. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in China today and will travel to South Korea and Japan later in the week. Vice President Joe Biden has just left Afghanistan and is in Pakistan today; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Qatar, continuing her tour of Arab states after her surprise trip to Yemen yesterday. What do these three top officials hope to accomplish abroad, and what challenges do they face?
Defence Secretary Robert Gates begins a three-day trip to China to meet with China's defence minister. On the agenda: negotiationing old conflicts over Taiwain, arms, stealth fighters and weapons programs. BBC correspondent Martin Patience explains whether these meetings will help to lift tensions between the two countries.
Militants have fired rockets at a national peace conference in Kabul, sparking gun battles outside the venue, where President Karzai brought together delegates to build a consensus for possible reconciliation with the Taliban. According to officials, two militants were killed by Afghan security forces, but no delegates were injured in the attack. President Karzai is believed to have left the event after the attacks continued.
A suicide bomber detonated explosives near Kabul's shopping center, two more blasts followed. Two of the attackers are said to be shot dead. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that they had deliberately targeted foreign aid workers. The population is concerned that if their own government can't protect the capital, how can they protect the rest of the country? Martin Patience, BBC correspondent joins us from Kabul with more.
A message from the Taliban is being heard almost everywhere across Afghanistan. It's from a militant denouncing the evils of the Afghan government and its corrupt officials. The message says that if the Afghan people want justice, only the Taliban can deliver it. For more we go live to Afghanistan, to Martin Patience, Kabul correspondent for our partner, the BBC. We also speak to Christine Fair, from the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University; and Spc. Marco Reininger, spokesperson for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Today, preliminary results come in from last week's hotly-contested presidential election in Afghanistan. Both leading candidates, current President Hamid Karzai and leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah, have claimed victory by margins large enough to avoid a run-off election. For a look at the potential impact the early results could have both there and in the U.S., we talk to Christine Fair, professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, who is just back from Afghanistan as an election monitor; and Martin Patience, BBC correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"There were a number of reports that Karzai actually cut a deal with different Taliban commanders, whereby the Taliban would get their satisfaction of not having people turn up to the vote, i.e. not having folks with their fingers inked in exchange for letting the ballot boxes return with ballots in them." — Christine Fair, who is just back from Afghanistan, where she served as an election monitor.
As voting gets underway in Afghanistan's second-ever presidential election, we talk Martin Patience, an Afghan correspondent for the BBC. Polling centers have opened across the country, but violence has already shuttered some voting spots. Martin is on the ground in Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. The threat of violence is being taken extremely seriously; some 300,000 Afghan and foreign troops will be deployed to protect an estimated 17 million voters at 6,969 polling sites.