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Last Updated: Monday, 7 March, 2005, 14:32 GMT
This week's panel
As part of the BBC's China Week, Question Time visited Shanghai for a special debate looking at issues affecting China and its relations with the UK and the rest of the world.

David Dimbleby was joined by Chinese Government spokesman Liu Jianchao, former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten, entrepreneur David Tang, General Secretary of the Boao Forum Long Yongtu and writer Isabel Hilton.

Liu Jianchao
LIU JIANCHAO

Title: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman

Career: Liu Jianchao speaks regularly to the world's media as a spokesman for the Chinese government.

As China's booming economy increases its influence, he explains China's view on everything from nuclear proliferation to his government's ambition for a united China including Taiwan.

He has defended China's human rights record, pointing to important recent progress and accusing US critics of double standards and interfering in China's internal politics.


Chris Patten
CHRIS PATTEN

Title: Former Hong Kong Governor

Career: Chris Patten was the last colonial Governor of Hong Kong before the territory was returned to China.

He outraged Beijing by introducing democratic reforms shortly before the handover in 1997 which were repealed soon after the restoration of Chinese rule.

Despite objections from China he was appointed an EU Commissioner in 1999, looking after trade and then external relations until he stepped down last year.


David Tang
DAVID TANG

Title: Entrepreneur and designer

Career: David Tang created the highly successful China Clubs and Shanghai Tang department stores.

He is one of Hong Kong's best known public figures and spends much of his time tending to his business interests around the world, focusing on Hong Kong, London and Cuba.

He has also taught philosophy at Beijing University and sits on the board of several large companies across the globe, including the Savoy Group and Tommy Hilfiger.


Long Yongtu
LONG YONGTU

Title: General Secretary, Boao Forum for Asia

Career: Long Yongtu led China's successful negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

At the Boao Forum he helps promote the development of Asian countries through greater economic integration across the region.

He has worked for the United Nations Development Programme in New York and Korea, and is a Goodwill Ambassador to the UN Industrial Development Organisation.


Isabel Hilton
ISABEL HILTON

Title: Writer and journalist

Career: Isabel Hilton is an expert on Chinese affairs as well as a newspaper columnist and TV and radio presenter.

She has written books and TV documentaries on China and has been openly critical of some government policies, most notably over Tibet.

She has studied in Beijing and Shanghai, speaks fluent Mandarin and has lectured on the country's economic reforms and its relationship with the EU.


BBC ONE's Question Time is broadcast on Thursdays at 2235 GMT. This special edition of the programme will also be broadcast on BBC World on Saturday 12 March.



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