Talking points

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 12:00am


Today our editors will be keeping their eyes on ...

Defence minister tours Southeast Asia

As the chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, Chen Bingde , begins his high-profile visit to the United States, another top official, Defence Minister Liang Guanglie (left), starts a relatively low-key tour of Southeast Asia. Liang is meeting his counterparts in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines to 'deepen pragmatic co-operation'. The Obama administration has been trumpeting the return of the US to the region, but Beijing insists territorial disputes in the area should be solved through bilateral channels. China

European Council President in Beijing

European Council president Herman van Rompuy will meet the media in Beijing today. Van Rompuy's visit is meant to reassure China on its buying of distressed European debt, amid trade disputes. The European Commission in Brussels has slapped Europe's first anti-subsidy duty on China, 12 per cent on Chinese glossy paper, and Beijing has hit back with its first anti-subsidy levy against Europe, on potato starch. China

Hot debate on illegal structures

A fierce debate is expected this afternoon when the powerful Heung Yee Kuk, which looks after the interests of indigenous New Territories residents, discusses the recent controversy over illegal structures built on village houses. The issue came to public notice after the Ombudsman revealed that the authorities were effectively ignoring already completed illegal alterations, such as balconies, gardens and even swimming pools, and only cracking down on work in progress - a policy that 'clearly defies common sense and logic'. The debate heated up over the past week when lawmakers and several rural committee heavyweights were found to have illegal structures on their homes. The kuk could announce an action plan to fight any government clean-up exercise. Hong Kong

Finance ministers meet on Greece, Portugal

European finance ministers are scheduled to meet today amid speculation that Greece is headed for more financial trouble. Also on the agenda is the approval of ?78 billion (HK$980 billion) in aid for Portugal and the nomination of Bank of Italy governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank. Business

Jailed for murder, now on trial for slander

An Italian court begins the trial of jailed American student Amanda Knox (left) for allegedly slandering police officers who investigated the killing of her British roommate. Knox was jailed for 26 years in December for her part in the murder of Meredith Kercher after what judges said was a frenzied sex game that spiralled out of control. That trial created a global media sensation. Knox was charged with slandering police after accusing officers of beating her during the investigation. World