China Specialist Correspondent
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Apr 24, 2012

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

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test and has the capacity to carry it out “soon,” a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters.

“Soon. Preparations are almost complete,” the source said when asked whether North Korea was planning to undertake a nuclear test.

Apr 20, 2012

Murdered Briton in China left meagre savings to family – friend

BEIJING (Reuters) – Expatriate British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder has caused political upheaval in China, left his wife and children in a financially uncertain situation in China, prompting a former business associate to pay for their plane tickets to attend his London funeral, a family friend told Reuters.

The account marks the first time that details of Heywood’s financial affairs have emerged since he died in southwest China last November. Family friends also revealed more details about the final few days leading up to his death.

Apr 20, 2012

Exclusive: Murdered Briton in China left meager savings to family; friend

BEIJING (Reuters) – Expatriate British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder has caused political upheaval in China, left his wife and children in a financially uncertain situation in China, prompting a former business associate to pay for their plane tickets to attend his London funeral, a family friend told Reuters.

The account marks the first time that details of Heywood’s financial affairs have emerged since he died in southwest China last November. Family friends also revealed more details about the final few days leading up to his death.

Apr 19, 2012

Brazen and eccentric, the cop at centre of China scandal

CHONGQING/BEIJING (Reuters) – The raucous diners in a hilltop restaurant in southwest China ignored a waiter’s request to quieten down after a complaint from a petite woman at a nearby table.

The woman made a phone call. Minutes later, a man stormed into the hotel restaurant, brandished his pistol and silenced the table of stunned drinkers who instantly recognised him.

Apr 19, 2012

Insight: Brazen and eccentric, the cop at centre of China scandal

CHONGQING/BEIJING (Reuters) – The raucous diners in a hilltop restaurant in southwest China ignored a waiter’s request to quieten down after a complaint from a petite woman at a nearby table.

The woman made a phone call. Minutes later, a man stormed into the hotel restaurant, brandished his pistol and silenced the table of stunned drinkers who instantly recognized him.

Apr 13, 2012

China gags widow of Briton in murder scandal

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese widow of a British businessman thought to have been murdered in a case that has rocked China’s political establishment has been gagged by local police, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Neil Heywood, 41, was found dead in his hotel room in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing last November. The family initially did not suspect foul play. But in a stunning twist, state media announced that Gu Kailai, wife of Chongqing’s disgraced Communist Party boss Bo Xilai, and a household assistant were “highly suspected” of killing Heywood and have been detained.

Apr 11, 2012

China braces for next act in leadership drama

BEIJING (Reuters) – “We can’t keep a lid on this,” China’s disgraced leader Bo Xilai was reportedly told by his police chief when the murder scandal now engulfing Bo’s family first began to unravel.

With a once-in-a-decade leadership handover months away, the Communist Party’s elite must be thinking the same thing as they confront the first very public turmoil at the centre of power in more than 20 years.

Apr 11, 2012

China ejects Bo from elite ranks, wife suspected of murder

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party has banished the country’s brashest and most controversial politician from its top ranks and detained his wife in connection with the murder of a British businessman, the most tumultuous upheaval in the nation’s leadership in decades.

The decision to cast out Bo Xilai from the party’s Central Committee and its Politburo effectively ends the career of the former high-flyer, widely seen as pressing for a top post in China’s next leadership to be decided later this year.

Apr 10, 2012

China suspends Bo from elite ranks, wife suspected of murder

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party suspended former high-flying politician Bo Xilai from its top ranks and named his wife, Gu Kailai, as a suspect in the murder of a British businessman, explosive revelations on Tuesday likely to rattle leadership succession plans.

The decision to banish Bo from the Central Committee and its Politburo, which effectively ends the career of China’s brashest and most controversial politician, and the confirmation that his wife is suspected in the murder of Briton Neil Heywood were reported by the official Xinhua news agency.

Apr 10, 2012

China, between a rocket and a hard place on North Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) – A joke circulating among officials in Beijing pretty much underlines the bind China is in over North Korea’s plans to send a satellite into space.

North Korea’s young ruler Kim Jong-un phones a Chinese leader to tell him about timing of the planned rocket launch. “When will it be?” asks the Chinese leader.

    • 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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