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  1. Angus Walker

Rare opportunity to question China's premier

Premier Wen Jiabao's annual press conference is a rare opportunity for domestic and foreign journalists to ask him questions directly, although the questions must be arranged in advance.

He speaks very slowly - just three questions and answers in 40 minutes so far. He averages around 12 minutes per answer. Roughly the same length as many best man speeches - minus the jokes.

So far he has said that he hopes the US will ease restrictions in China's exports to the country.

  1. Angus Walker

Wen Jiabao 'truly sorry'

The Great Hall of the People, Beijing Credit: Angus Walker

China's premier Wen Jiabao is using today's annual press conference - his last before stepping down in October - as an opportunity to say good bye to the people. He said: "I have the courage to face the people ... ultimately history will have the final say."

He also said he has "many regrets" and that he should take responsibility for problems in the economy, for which he is "truly sorry".

  1. Angus Walker

Plain clothes police issued with fire extinguishers

A plain-clothes security team Credit: Angus Walker

A team of plain-clothes security police wait outside the room where Premier Wen Jiabao is delivering his annual press conference.

The squad has been issued with small fire extinguishers, perhaps in response to the spate of self-immolations in protest at what some see as China's occupation of Tibet.

More than 20 Tibetan monks and nuns have set themselves on fire in last year, mainly in south-west China.