China Specialist Correspondent
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Sep 29, 2012

Exclusive: North Korean leader seeks trip to China for economic help

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader wants a state visit to China in the latest move in his push to lift the isolated state out of decades of poverty, but risks further fraying ties with his only powerful ally by sticking to the threat of a new nuclear test.

It is not clear whether China will be prepared to host him, as requested, in September when Beijing will be preoccupied with its own leadership change. The leadership may also have its doubts about the unproven Kim Jong-un, who after only four months in office, defied his giant neighbor by conducting a long-range rocket test.

Sep 29, 2012

Exclusive: North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon”

38am EDT (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test, a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters, which will draw further international condemnation following a failed rocket launch if it goes ahead.

The isolated and impoverished state sacrificed the chance of closer ties with the United States when it launched the long-range rocket on April 13 and was censured by the U.N. Security Council, including the North’s sole major ally, China.

Sep 29, 2012

Exclusive: North Korea’s military to share power with Kim’s heir

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea will shift to collective rule from a strongman dictatorship after last week’s death of Kim Jong-il, although his untested young son will be at the head of the ruling coterie, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added that the military, which is trying to develop a nuclear arsenal, has pledged allegiance to the untested Kim Jong-un, who takes over the family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since it was founded after World War Two.

Sep 29, 2012

North Korea plans agriculture reforms – source

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea plans to allow farmers to keep more of their produce in an attempt to boost agricultural output, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said, in a move that could boost supplies, help cap rising food prices and ease malnutrition.

The move to liberalise agriculture under new leader Kim Jong-un, who took office in December 2011 after the death of his father, would reverse a crackdown on private production that started in 2005. It comes amid talk that the youngest Kim to rule the impoverished North is considering reforms to boost the economy.

Sep 29, 2012

Exclusive – North Korea plans agriculture reforms – source

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea plans to allow farmers to keep more of their produce in an attempt to boost agricultural output, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said, in a move that could boost supplies, help cap rising food prices and ease malnutrition.

The move to liberalize agriculture under new leader Kim Jong-un, who took office in December 2011 after the death of his father, would reverse a crackdown on private production that started in 2005. It comes amid talk that the youngest Kim to rule the impoverished North is considering reforms to boost the economy.

Sep 18, 2012

Cop at centre of China scandal took walk on the wild side

BEIJING, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Former police chief Wang Lijun,
at the heart of China’s biggest political scandal in decades,
was known for his wild and flamboyant behaviour, with a final,
dramatic act blowing the story wide open.

Wang, a self-styled crusader against organised crime in the
vast southwestern municipality of Chongqing, stood trial on
Tuesday for attempted defection, bribe-taking and illegal
surveillance. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Sep 14, 2012

China’s Xi recovering from bad back, could appear soon – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping could make a public appearance as early as Saturday as he recovers from a bad back, sources said, dispelling rumours about his health after he dropped out of sight at the start of this month.

Xi has been out of the public eye for almost two weeks and has skipped meetings with foreign leaders and dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sep 14, 2012

Exclusive: China’s Xi recovering from bad back, could appear soon – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping could make a public appearance as early as Saturday as he recovers from a bad back, sources said, dispelling rumors about his health after he dropped out of sight at the start of this month.

Xi has been out of the public eye for almost two weeks and has skipped meetings with foreign leaders and dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sep 11, 2012

China’s Xi not seen in public because of ailment: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping, who has set off a storm of rumors after not showing up at scheduled public events for over a week, is nursing an ailment, possibly a back injury suffered while swimming, sources said on Tuesday.

Xi, who is due to take over the presidency of the world’s second-largest economy in March next year, has skipped several meetings with visiting foreign leaders and dignitaries over the past week, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the premiers of Singapore and Denmark.

Jul 21, 2012

Exclusive – Kim plans economic changes in North Korea after purge: source

BEIJING (Reuters) – Impoverished North Korea is gearing up to experiment with agricultural and economic reforms after young leader Kim Jong-un and his powerful uncle purged the country’s top general for opposing change, a source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.

The source added that the cabinet had created a special bureau to take control of the decaying economy from the military – one of the world’s largest – which under Kim’s father was given pride of place in running the country.

    • About Benjamin

      "Ben is based in Beijing and covers China regulatory news. He is an ethnic Chinese born and raised in the Philippines, and spent 13 years in Beijing and 15 years in Taipei. He joined Reuters in 1991, serving as Beijing bureau chief from August 2008 to August 2010 and Taipei bureau chief from February 2000 to December 2002."
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