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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 16:31 GMT
BBC takes political debate to China
Shanghai skyline
Shanghai symbolises China's recent dynamic economic success
BBC Television's flagship political discussion programme, Question Time, will broadcast a special edition from Shanghai on Thursday 10 March.

The panel includes a wide variety of political views, from within China and from outside. The debate will be in English with David Dimbleby in the chair as normal.

This special edition of Question Time will be broadcast on Thursday 10 March on BBC One at 2235 GMT and on BBC World on Saturday 12 March.

Chinese Government spokesman Liu Jianchao and former Hong Kong Governor and EU Commissioner Chris Patten are taking part in the programme, answering questions before a live studio audience.

Also on the panel are the Hong Kong designer and businessman David Tang, Long Yongtu - General Secretary of the Boao Forum and Goodwill Ambassador to the UN Industrial Development Organisation and writer and broadcaster Isabel Hilton.

To have a programme from China with known critics of the Chinese government on the panel is something I never thought would happen
David Dimbleby
The Shanghai audience will be able to put forward any questions they like on the most important political issues in China today.

David Dimbleby said: "It's a breakthrough. To have a programme from China with known critics of the Chinese government on the panel is something I never thought would happen. It's a big challenge and should be riveting to watch."

Question Time routinely tours around the UK but has had occasional overseas editions including in the Middle East, Brussels, Australia and most recently in Miami, Florida ahead of the recent US presidential election.

China Week

The special edition of Question Time is part of the BBC's China Week, a themed week of news reports and programmes.

Adrian Van Klaveren, Deputy Director, BBC News, says: "China is changing fast and opening up, so this week of special output gives us a chance to reflect on what's happening and what it means for the world.

BBC World Service China Week programmes include editions of Outlook, Talking Point and World Business Report. While on both BBC World and BBC News 24, former Beijing Correspondent, Carrie Gracie will be reporting on China's evolving economy, culture and politics in China Live!.

The programme will be broadcast on Thursday 10 March on BBC One at 2235 GMT and on BBC World on Saturday 12 March.



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