China

Chinese officials are under fire after a local government tried to repair a section of the Great Wall by apparently just paving it over. Now, a centuries-old stretch of the wall looks more like a gray sidewalk than a global treasure.

"The five-mile stretch of wall in northeast Liaoning province is known as a particularly scenic part of the 'wild wall,' " NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing. "Its towers and parapets are partially crumbled by seven centuries of wind and rain."

China's first-ever space lab will be returning to Earth in late 2017, and "most parts" of the spacecraft will burn up on re-entry, the country's space program announced last week.

The news came after months of speculation that China had lost control of the Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace-1," the space lab that was launched in 2011 with great fanfare.

Canada and China have agreed to hold negotiations on a possible mutual extradition treaty, according to statements posted to the websites of both governments.

The story is as tragic as it is horrifying.

An impoverished young mother from China's Gansu province killed her four young children and herself. Her husband later killed himself as well. The murder-suicide case has gone viral on Chinese social media, as commenters wonder if the family's poverty contributed to the turn of events.

On August 26, neighbors say Yang Gailan fed her four children, all under the age of seven, and took them with her to tend to the sheep. They never came back.

The relationship between the U.S. and China these days is fraught with political tensions. But both countries are committed to sending more of their young people to study language and culture in each other's countries — and a component of that is sending more U.S. minority students to China.

That's both to provide more students of color with the opportunity to study overseas, and to create a student body abroad that is more representative of U.S. diversity.

According to China's education ministry, 21,975 American students studied in China in 2015.

On A Rural Taiwanese Island, Modern China Beckons

Sep 11, 2016

Plastic water bottles, brown medicine vials, and Styrofoam coffee cups wash up on the beaches of Taiwan's Kinmen Island. This is the daily tide of garbage from the world's most populous nation, just one mile across the channel.

But it wasn't always garbage that came floating across from mainland China. Communist troops from China's Red Army stormed this beach in 1949. Thousands of Chinese soldiers who tried to take this island from Taiwan were massacred.

Air China has apologized for a story in its in-flight magazine that told would-be visitors to London that "precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people."

China's flagship airline has removed copies of the magazine, Wings of China, from its planes, The Associated Press reports. The airline tells the AP it has instructed the magazine's publishers to "strengthen their content review and avoid making similar mistakes."

A chaotic and tense scene unfolded just after Air Force One touched down in Hangzhou, China, where U.S. and global leaders are gathered to discuss the world economy, promote growth and curb carbon emissions.

Obama's customary exit from the plane came not from the usual door high on the fuselage, but instead from a lower portal. It seems there were no higher stairs available to roll up to the usual door.

Just days after editors ended publication of China's leading liberal history journal last month, a new edition of the magazine is out again. But the original publishers are calling this a pirate edition — and they're preparing to fight it in court.

The magazine, the Annals of the Chinese Nation, or Yanhuang Chunqiu in Chinese, is seen as the standard bearer of the embattled liberal wing of China's ruling Communist Party. The publication has made bold calls for democratic reforms and questions the party's version of history.

An international tribunal in The Hague has invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea in a first-ever ruling. The decision has been rejected by Beijing.

The disputed waters are claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries. But China has been the most aggressive in staking out its claim — marking a "nine-dash line" around the bulk of the islands and waters, and building up artificial islands within the disputed region.

A fishing boat captain is dead and China is asking for a "responsible explanation," after an anti-ship missile was launched toward China from a Taiwanese Navy vessel Friday. Navy officials are apologizing for what they call an accident – a mistake made during a simulation drill.

The incident occurred Friday morning, when a 500-ton corvette that was sitting in the Zuoying Military Harbor launched a supersonic missile that streaked nearly 40 nautical miles before hitting a Taiwanese boat that had been trawling for shrimp.

Just as the U.S. is battling diet-related diseases, obesity and climate change, so, too, is China.

And among the proposed strategies to combat these problems is this: Eat less meat.

A powerful tornado, hailstorms and heavy rain hit eastern China's Jiangsu province Thursday, killing at least 78 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The news service adds that "nearly 500 people were injured, 200 critically."

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation corn and soybean farmer. He and his dad run a small farm about 30 miles from Topeka, Kan.

The U.S. and China are the two largest economies in the world — and interdependent in a host of ways. But as leaders from both countries start annual high-level talks in Beijing, disagreements over how China does business are creating some trust issues in the relationship.

"You might want to think of the US China relationship as kind of like an arranged marriage," says Arthur Kroeber, a Beijing-based economist and author of China's Economy: What You Need to Know.

Minhae Kim didn't check air pollution levels before bringing her one-year-old to Seoul's Yongsan Family Park.

Perhaps she should have. On this day — and on most days this spring — the measures of the most dangerous kind of pollution in Seoul exceed the World Health Organization's recommended limit. And Korea ranks near the very bottom for air quality in Yale University's latest 180-country Environmental Performance Index.

Apple Inc. is investing $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, China's most popular ride-hailing app.

It's a striking foray into the Chinese market — where Apple has recently faced strategic challenges — and a possible hint as to Apple's continued interest in the world of transportation. The company has widely been rumored to be working on self-driving cars.

One recent afternoon, I was walking up Nanjing West Road, Shanghai's traditional shopping street, when I ran into a crowd of protesters being chased off by a plainclothes cop wielding a bullhorn and a line of uniformed police. Demonstrations like this in the heart of the city are rare and sensitive for the government, which fears political unrest as China's economic growth continues to slow.

I asked a fleeing protester what had happened.

"Don't walk alongside me," pleaded the woman, named Zhao, staring straight ahead. "The police will detain me."

It only opened around six months ago — and now comes word that Apple's iTunes Movies store in China is closed at least temporarily, along with its iBooks Store. The company has issued a statement saying that it hopes to reopen the movie and book services soon.

The closure was reportedly ordered by the Chinese government last week; according to local media, it comes just as a controversial Hong Kong film that's been censored in China is being released on Apple's Hong Kong iTunes service.

The dispute over the South China Sea, one of the most complicated geopolitical issues of the 21st century, keeps heating up. China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and other regional governments are all part of the dispute — along with the United States.

Here are four key things to know about the dispute.

1. What's At Stake

The South China Sea holds immense resources, from the oil and gas located underneath the seabed to the lucrative fishing it has afforded for generations.

It's not often that the governments of major nations are so concerned about hunting down the authors of anonymous online letters.

But that is what's happening in China, as police have detained and questioned journalists and the families in China of overseas dissidents, in an apparent effort to find out who wrote a letter calling for President Xi Jinping to step down.

In 2009, pro soccer player Lyle Martin was playing for the Vancouver White Caps, in a North American league below Major League Soccer, when he got talking with a teammate about his future. The teammate introduced him to an agent who floated the idea of playing in China.

"I was like, 'China?!'" Martin says. "Are we talking about the same place?"

Last summer, a Chinese-American woman and NPR listener reached out with an unusual request. She asked me to help find her sister, who'd vanished in the mountains of Yunnan province in southwest China.

"My little sister has been missing since Nov. 23, 2013," the woman wrote in an email. "She married a farmer in a remote village and was abused by her husband shortly after her marriage. She escaped from him after a few abuses."

At first glance, the front-page headlines in China's Southern Metropolis Daily on Feb. 20 looked like normal fare: coverage of a speech by President Xi Jinping and a politician's funeral.

But read vertically, and there's a message that seems to criticize a government crackdown on the media.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Beijing reports that an editor at the major tabloid has been fired for allegedly sneaking in the subversive message, and walks us through what it says.

Ren Zhiqiang, 54, is a brash, sharp-tongued Chinese real estate mogul who is sometimes likened to Donald Trump. In recent days, he has become the target of a government campaign to discredit him, becoming the focus of a bitter debate about Communist Party control of media and the limits of free speech.

In the wake of North Korea's nuclear weapons test last month and its long-range missile test in early February, the U.S. and China have agreed on a draft U.N. resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea is already under a raft of international sanctions, but the new proposal would tighten them and impose new bans.

"We have seen evidence of surface-to-air missile deployments to Woody Island," a U.S. defense official says, in the first official public comments about China placing a weapons system on a disputed island in the South China Sea.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports:

"The missiles appear to be Chinese HQ-9s with a range of more than 100 miles, which would pose a potential threat to aircraft in the area. Woody Island is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside.

Customers go past a window where travelers can exchange foreign currencies, up a narrow staircase and into a room stacked high with books. The walls are painted red and decked out with 1960s Cultural Revolution propaganda posters and other Mao-era memorabilia. The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There are legitimate questions about proposed multi-billion dollar methanol plants at the ports of Tacoma and Kalama, according to Gov. Jay Inslee. He said the plants offer benefits but their water usage and possible pollution need to be carefully considered. 

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Starbucks shares fell about 4 percent after the close of regular trading on Thursday after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results. 

In China, sales growth at the company's stores that have been open at least a year showed a slowdown, adding to recent concerns about the health of that country’s economy. 

Pages