Jia Qinglin

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am


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Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

Jia Qinglin in NZ for 40th anniversary of ties

China's top political adviser, Jia Qinglin (left), meets senior New Zealand government officials in Wellington on the second day of a four-day visit. This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and bilateral economic relations have grown substantially in the past few years. Jia said before his arrival that China was ready to work with New Zealand to take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary to enhance their political mutual trust and expand economic co-operation.

Minister back at work after year's third hospital stay

Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung, 68, resumes work after a break for surgery on April 3 to repair a hernia. Earlier this year he was admitted to hospital with legionnaires' disease, and again after breaking his arm in a fall at home. Suen also has a chronic kidney problem that requires regular home-based dialysis.

US, Philippines begin two weeks of military exercises

Thousands of US soldiers begin nearly two weeks of war games in the Philippines as the two nations look to strengthen their military alliance amid concerns over China's rising power. The Balikatan (Shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises are an annual event but this year are expected to display a greater focus, with some of the drills to be held close to South China Sea waters claimed by China. The Philippines insists the exercises, involving 4,500 US personnel and 2,300 Filipino troops, should not be seen by China as a provocation. The competing claims to the strategically vital waters have long made the area one of Asia's potential flashpoints. Tensions spiked last week when Philippine and Chinese ships became locked in a stand-off at a set of islets. The exercises, which run until April 27, are to be held on Luzon and Palawan.

Trial opens of extremist who killed 77 in Norway

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last year, goes on trial in Oslo, where proceedings will focus on whether or not he is sane. Since Breivik has already confessed to the deadliest attacks in post-war Norway, the main line of questioning will revolve around whether he is criminally sane and accountable for his actions, which will determine if he is to be sentenced to prison or a closed psychiatric ward. A first court-ordered psychiatric exam found him insane, while a second opinion came to the opposite conclusion. Breivik has been charged with 'acts of terror' and faces either 21 years in prison - a sentence that could thereafter be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society - or closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.

US candidate favoured to win World Bank presidency

Analysts predict the US will continue to call the shots on the top spot at the World Bank, saying its 66-year lock on the presidency is likely to be affirmed when the bank's directors meet today to fill the post. Agence France-Presse quoted analysts as saying that even after one challenger dropped out on Friday to push his support to the other - Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (far left) - they would not be able to overcome US and European backing for the US nominee, health expert Jim Yong Kim (left).