Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will hold annual trade talks in Beijing next week, China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an array of long-held tensions. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang will host U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman for the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on December 19-20, ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a press briefing. U.S. politicians are eager to attract Chinese investment as a source of new jobs and economic growth, though high-profile Chinese projects have been scrapped after running into national security concerns. Officials cited food safety worries in a review of the acquisition of the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc, by China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd, though the deal received U.S. approval in September.
A senior US law enforcement agent has provided a major breakthrough in a Navy corruption scandal by agreeing to plead guilty to taking bribes, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The case has already implicated half a dozen navy officers and could taint more. John B. Beliveau II, a supervisory special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, will enter a guilty plea next week in San Diego, the Post said, quoting court records and his attorney. Beliveau was arrested in September and charged with helping Singapore-based Navy contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia dodge multiple criminal investigations by leaking inside information about NCIS probes in exchange for prostitutes, cash and other favors.
The number of people with jobs in the euro zone was unchanged for the second consecutive quarter in the three months to September, showing the bloc's economic recovery has not yet filtered through to the labour market. But euro zone employment was shrinking more slowly than a year ago on a year-on-year basis -- it contracted 0.8 percent in the third quarter against -1.1 in the previous three months, data from the EU's Eurostat showed on Friday. Job creation, like the uneven economic recovery, differs from country to country and from sector to sector. While Europe's largest economy Germany saw a quarterly 0.2 percent rise in employment, the second largest France registered no change for a third consecutive quarter.