Morning Brief: China’s plan
Top Story China’s National People’s Congress opened today with Premier Wen Jiabao promising aggressive stimulus measures to help the country through the global recession. Wen set a target growth rate of 8 percent for the year, down from 9 percent last year and 13 percent in 2007. Wen did not specify exactly how the additional ...
China’s National People’s Congress opened today with Premier Wen Jiabao promising aggressive stimulus measures to help the country through the global recession. Wen set a target growth rate of 8 percent for the year, down from 9 percent last year and 13 percent in 2007. Wen did not specify exactly how the additional $586 billion in stimulus would be spent, though Wen did promise measures to boost domestic demand and stimulate consumer spending. Asian markets gained on news of China’s new spending.
Wen also said his country is willing to open negotiations with Taiwan on political and military matters due to recent “major breakthroughs” in cross-strait relations. Again, Wen did not go into the specifics of when or how these talks would be conducted.
A defiant Sudanese President Omar al Bashir vowed to resist the International Criminal Court’s warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges. Sudan has ordered several international aid agencies to leave the country in retaliation.
The U.S. navy is close to handing suspected pirates over to Kenya for prosecution.
Barack Obama renewed U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Israeli police recommended bringing corruption charges against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Iraqi Kurds have been expanding their territory, setting up a potential flashpoint for conflict after U.S. withdrawal.
A car bombing at a market in Baghdad killed 14.
Kyrgyzstan now says they’re willing to negotiate a deal to keep U.S. troops in the country.
Pakistan’s opposition says this week’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team is evidence that the country’s security has broken down.
Chinese officials have imposed unofficial martial law in Tibet, writes the New York Times‘ Edward Wong.
General Motors warned it may soon be facing bankruptcy.
The two officials ousted in President Raul Castro’s cabinet shakeup have apologized for their “mistakes.”
The Mexican government is concerned about getting less U.S. funding for its war on drugs.
Eurozone interest rates were slashed to a record low 1.5 percent.
NATO is moving toward reestablishing ties with Russia.
Speaking before the U.S. Congress, British PM Gordon Brown asked for international unity in fighting the global “economic hurricane.” All in all, he seemed to get a much better reception on the hill than he did at the White House.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Joshua Keating is a former associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
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