tv BBC World News WHUT December 17, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EST
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> rising tensions between tokyo and beijing. japan plans to boost defense is to confront china's military might. china called japan's it new strategic stance irresponsible. china reaches out to pakistan. the chinese premier offers economic and political support in islamabad. welcome to "gmt." a world of news and opinion. also on the program -- zimbabwe's fragile coalition government under severe strain. does mugabe want elections early next year?
shia muslims are around the world marking the holiest day in their calendar amid tight security. it is midday in london, 5:00 p.m. in islamabad and 9:00 p.m. in tokyo where china's growing power prompted a major shift in military strategy. the japanese government announced plans to overhaul the fences, with an emphasis on china's military buildup to the south, as china looks to tie it up billions of dollars of trade deals with pakistan. more from islam about in a moment but forced the report from tokyo on a move china is already calling irresponsible -- more from islamabad in a moment. >> japan is reshaping its defense in response to the shifting balance of power in asia. cutting the number of tanks in the north and expanding forces in the south.
defense will be strengthened to guard against an unpredictable -- also be strengthened to guard against unpredictable north korea. >> troops with mobility is a program for the tough security environment and a new era. >> when a chinese trawler collided with a japanese patrol ships relations were strained. the fishing captain was arrested. china broke off contacts, claiming the island where the incident took place were rightfully trainees. a it -- it added to japan's alarm over china's growing activity at sea. >> china's lack of transparency and ever increasing military spending, as well as the fact we have to protect against china on several matters throughout the year has become a concern. >> japan and the united states held its biggest ever joint
exercise. japan's center-left government elected last year had wanted to be less dependent on the united states and closer to its asian neighbors. now it is calling for the u.s.- japan of lines to be strengthened. in reordering its defense, it is moving out of the cold war era and recognizing the new challenges emerging. the prime minister has said it is not a threat to any of the countries neighbors -- country's neighbors. but the strategy will be watched closely in asia because japan that a wartime aggression has neither been forgotten nor forgiven. >> sticking with china, its growing economic and political influence is currently in display and pakistan. chinese premier -- about -- wen jiabao is on a three-day visit to pakistan.
pakistan is hoping it will seal trade deals worth $20 billion. a report from islamabad. >> they will tell you china has always been a friend of theirs. through good times and bad, the perception is beijing -- likely to be even more pleased by this visit. wen jiabao due to sign trade deals worth billions of dollars. the oil and gas sector, i.t. and telecom, mining, and the nuclear power program are all likely to benefit further. pakistanis who have been facing a frequent electricity cuts and gas shortages are desperate for more investment in their energy provision and they're hoping china could give more guarantees to do that. maybe trade is the focus of this visit, but historically the foundation of the relationship has been military links.
china has provided pakistan with military hard way. what does pakistan have to give in return? offering itself as a trade route. a transit path from the highway in northern pakistan to the port would give the chinese quicker access to valuable markets in the middle east and europe and an opportunity to build on that by developing industry in western china. >> i think the viability and potential of this trade is huge. china certainly is going to use this, is not in the near future, i think it 10 years time this would be a very important route for china. >> this is the pakistan-china friendship center due to be inaugurated by wen jiabao during his visit. but really there are very few signs of pakistan and china will stop being friends in the near future. even so, there is some recognition that pakistan has to do a bit more than just
offering up a strategic location and its friendship if it is to keep china interested in investing here. bbc news, the islamabad. >> to discuss chinese diplomacy in asia i am joined by the bbc that a chinese -- china editor. let us start with japan. we heard anger from beijing because of the new strategic policy adopted by the japanese, but they can't be surprised in china, can they? >> not really. ever since the boat collision and southeast of japan, china knows this incident will have an impact on bilateral relations and also probably the alliance's or regional perception of china in the medium-term future. i have to say, the china threat perceived by japan is not -- in
quite a few other neighboring countries like vietnam and india, there are tensions about territorial disputes and a maritime disputes as well. there is a lot of work the chinese need to do to reduce the that kind of perception of threat. >> i posed the rhetorical question at the beginning of "gmt," which is, are we looking at the beginning of a new arms race in east asia? do you think we might be? >> it looks that way because simply because in many countries in the region and probably the united states, too, have perceived china's a rise, china's military mobilization, as well as what is being talked about as the lack of transparency both militarily and politically, i think that is the danger. on the other hand, we have to
say that the chinese side always say they're developments and right are peaceful, but how peaceful that can be, it is up to the chinese to l.a. all of the fears. >> thinking about south asia, we have premier wen jiabao in india and now in pakistan. is it possible for china to be friendly with both and pursue a very active trading economic relationship with both at the same time? >> china knows that it's close relationship with pakistan is a sticking point for its ties in new delhi and that is why the chinese premier chose to visit india first and then goes on to pakistan. it will take some time for the two big players to establish trust. but both sides need to make the best and most of their opportunities for their economic
development before they put too much emphasis on too much money -- and too much money into the military buildup. it would not serve either country very good. >> thank you very much for joining us. let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. north korea warned it will launch a new attack against south korea if the south goes ahead with a plan to live fire exercises, and ireland near the disputed border. the north says the intensity and scope of the response will be stronger than last month's shelling of an island in which four south koreans, including two civilians, were killed. australian security forces say they have now recovered 30 bodies from a boat that sank off of christmas island. the dead included 22 adults and eight children. there have been protests inside a detention center inside the island that holds migrants. they claim conditions inside are poor. supporters of one of the two
rivals that claim they won the presidential election in ivory coast say they plan to take to the streets again. the threat comes a day after gun battles and the main city left at least 20 dead. -- in the main city left at least 20 dead. shia muslims marking the holiest day in their calendar. it comes at the climax of a period of mourning. in the iraqi city of karbala 2 million shiites gathered. they arrested 73 al qaeda suspects who officials say were implicated in plotting attacks against pilgrims in karbala. joining me from washington is a senior fellow at the washington institute for near east policy. ashura is a hugely important
day for shia. do they then the political frustrations as well as political obligations? >> ashura has two aspects, religious and political, as islam itself. throughout history, shiites have been a minority under persecution, so they were using it as a big event to protest against existing political order. religiously, it is like passion of christ in christianity but politically it is a big opportunity to protest against the existing ruler, and especially protesting against unjust an illegitimate government -- and illegitimate government. >> let us get specific about
iran. why is it that in iran, ana shia nation, last year we saw the green political movement making noise but this year it does not seem to be happening. why? >> it is simple, because government last year it got control over everything. they arrested many, many political activists and journalists, they put them in prison. they have been subjected to torture. it does not mean that the government is not concerned about any possibility in the future to see that message which and escalates again. it does not matter if ashura or any other political religious
ceremony occasion, the government is deeply concerned about any public gatherings of people and the government thinks that any public gathering can turn to political protest against the government. >> do you think that this ashura, the arab world, think and perhaps of lebanon or other countries with shia populations, are they feeling particularly frustrated or impressed -- oprah's in part, because we have the wikileaks revelations that those regimes are desperately suspicious not only of iran but their own shia populations? >> for a long time, especially under the influence of arab nationalism, shia have been ignored in ever world and the definition of arab world is it sunni arab.
after the rise of shia in the last two decades we will see the tension more and more in the coming years. it is going to become a big concern for the arab populations as well as ever governments. >> thank you very much for joining us on "gmt." still to come on the program, on the lookout for gun smugglers. how america's relaxed gumballs are fuelling mexico's a violent drug the -- gun laws are fuelling mexico's violent drug wars. lawyers for the wikileaks founder julian assange say the reports the u.s. government is to indict him as a co- conspirator and the disclosure of classified information. he has been freed on bail.
>> julian assange emerges from the high court in london after winning his bail battle. released from prison on condition he stays at the home of a friend and supporter where we arrived on thursday. >> a very nice to be free for christmas and smell the fresh air. >> but julian assange's legal battle is far from over. sweden still wants hand expedite -- extradited. he is accused of sexually assaulting two women their august of this year and he denies the allegations. in an interview with the bbc he was asked whether he thought what was going on in sweden was a smear attempts. >> yes, and that is a statement that was made clear from the beginning. it does not mean that we know precisely who is behind it. >> julian assange was also asked whether he would give his word that he would not try to have gone ahead of his next court hearing. >> we have done everything by
the book. we have tried as hard as possible to set up a situation where we can clear my name of these allegations. but what we have not seen is the provision of any evidence or material to allow us to do that. >> the case is separate from accusations he faces as the head of wikileaks. he is under attack in the u.s. for leaking 250,000 confidential diplomatic documents. many there believe it is an attack that threatens national security and endangers lives. with julian assange out of prison, the question now is whether more cables will be released over the coming weeks. >> obviously now but i am back to assist the directing of our ship, our work will proceed in a faster manner. >> as far as the expedition attend is concerned, a full hearing may not be held for several months.
bbc world -- bbc news. >> california has become the first u.s. state to approve a carbon trading scheme to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. it would allow polluting companies to buy and sell permits, giving them an incentive to cut emissions over time. the amount of pollution allowed will also be cut. in 2012 the scheme will create the world's second largest market after that in europe. if you have of views on this story or any other we would love to hear from it. we have our own world news facebook page and you can find us on twitter as well. this is "gmt" from bbc will lose. our main story this hour -- china says japan has been irresponsible as describing its military power as a matter of international concerns. aaron is here with all the
latest business. news of a big compromise and the united states. >> big compromise and very controversial, indeed. that is because tax cut brought in during the bush era have been extended for two years after they cleared their final hurdle cleared the house voted by a large majority in a late-night vote. the measure, as i mentioned, is a compromise struck by president obama with the republican opposition. many democrats were not happy because the bill includes savings for households earning more than $250,000. the white house will now found -- signed it into law. more from david. good to see but i mentioned the two thec -- big c words, compromise and controversial. but how much hope is riding on the tax cut extension in terms of good it -- doing good for the u.s. economy? >> season's greetings to you. i think quite a lot because of looks a little bit like the last roll the dice. the problem in the united states
of america is this horrendous unemployment figure of 9.8%. 15 million people out of work. and the economy can't be expected to -- with great respect to president obama he is not in this sort of lame department as a result of losing his majority in congress. so, this really got through without a problem at all. the problem is, of course, there is no certainty that quantitative easing or something of this nature actually works. but everything else has failed to really get people back to work in the united states. therefore i feel that is what they are left to do. >> let me ask you this briefly because the opposition will say, hang on, this will only added to the huge u.s. budget deficit and the fact that it is only temporary, only a short-term fix. >> i was waiting for that missile from you anyway. quite right. the fact is that 2% cut in the
employment tax could add 850 billion pounds to the already gargantuan budget deficit the united states has. but whether we like it not, there is a general feeling around the work -- around the world that the united states has a better chance of cutting back and attracting funds to the tourism market that pretty much any other country. president money -- president obama did say it was his intention to half the budget deficit before too long. >> season's greetings to you at all -- as well. permanent bailout funds for struggling eu economies were accepted by government leaders in brussels. however, the eu members have yet to agree on what those steps might be, including how they work and what it would cost. u.s. officials arrested three technology companies and executives and a widening investigation into insider trading by hedge funds regulators, charged with leaking
confidential and for ms. baird one of the men, an employee but the taiwan semiconductor manufacturing, was fired for violating company policy. that is it for business for now. >> thank you very much, indeed. the president of zimbabwe robert mugabe is expected to ask the zanu pf party to back him in elections next year. he also wants the power-sharing deal with morgan that the rri's movement to be ended when the current agreement expires. zanu-pf our meeting in the northern city. karen, as i under stick -- understood it, mr. tsvangarai said there would be no election until there are constitutional reforms. how is this going to work? >> mr. mugabe's says the power- sharing deal will ended february and as every plan to push ahead with elections, possibly as
early as june of next year and his message to the party faithful. it is that be prepared and be prepared to fight. certainly what we heard today is vintage mugabe fighting talk. the man who knows that in this particular part of zimbabwe he lost a lot of ground in the last election. the kind of message he is trying to convey, anti-western sentiment, more talk of sanctions and threats to kick out western diplomat to meddle in zimbabwe that the affairs, the very much plane to an audience. >> the not mean the coalition is in danger of imminent collapse -- does not mean the coalition is in danger of imminent collapse. >> i think there is an element of reality -- ralpolitik, preparing for presidential elections in six months' time. the agreement that bonds the two parties together -- it
technically expires in february. but many people who brokered it, including the regional bodies, said there is no reason why it cannot continue beyond their -- then. there is real pressure to try to get the parties to keep working together for a few months more, not least because of the reforms he talked about have not been implemented. most of all, there is not a new constitution and that is seen as a precursor to avoid the bloodshed and the problems. >> thank you very much for joining us on "gmt." this week, a grim milestone passed in the mexican border city of juawez with a number of murders reads 3000. almost all of them drug related. research shows most of the guns used in mexico originate in america and we have been out with the u.s. fire arms special agent who explains the challenges is bureau faces in tracking the cross border gun smugglers. the agent identity is concealed for his own protection. >> i am a special agent with the bureau of alcohol, tobacco,
firearms and -- and explosives, otherwise known as atf. been here in houston for six years now. 12 years over and the city of most of the work i do involves chasing down felons who are in possession of firearms. what we see here, gun's going from texas to mexico. most of the gun trafficking we see involves the use of what we call straw purchasers, which are persons who have no criminal history and are able to just walk into a gun store and buy a gun and walked out. straw purchasers come from all walks -- male, female, single mother, grandfathers. a typical houston neighborhood where you may find some people who are in little down on their luck and they need an extra dollar and straw purchasing is a
way to get that. one gal from a single mom, ticket, behind on her rent. a guy offered her $100 for a gun and she went and bought three guns for $3 and it took 50 minutes to do it. coming up on an example of one of our former gun stores in town that had seen some straw purchases. we had a couple of instances where they purchased guns from the shop. he is no longer in the business of selling guns, he sells military surplus and ammunition now. >> fascinating insight. more on the mexican drug wars on the bbc news america -- steve kingston investigate how the it is for cartels to get guns across the border, on world news america at these times. a former but -- from the "gmt" team, it is good buy. thanks for watching.
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