China: Syria must heed calls

China's prime minister has warned Syria and the Middle East that the call for democracy from their people must be ''respected and truly responded to''.

Premier Wen also admitted that urgent political and economic reform in China is needed.

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.

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