China Week: Zhou charged, the AIIB and a lotus

  • 3 April 2015
  • From the section China
Zhou Yongkang is seen in Biriatou on 20 July 2006, during a private visit in the French Basque region
China's fallen security chief Zhou has been charged with bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets

So we now know that China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang will go on trial in Tianjin and we now know the charges he will face.

The important thing to watch here is not so much the corruption counts, or "exchanging power and money for sex", (lurid though these allegations are), but the charge of "intentional disclosure of state secrets".

The Supreme People's Court annual work report said "Zhou undermined party solidarity and engaged in political activities not approved by the authorities". The People's Daily declared him a "traitor to the party".

State media have reported secret meetings between Zhou Yongkang and disgraced former Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai, railing against the formation of factions and cliques.

It looks as if the case against Mr Zhou may centre on the torrid spring and summer of 2012 which saw many strange goings on before the triumphant coronation of Xi Jinping at the 18th Party Congress.

Richest woman

This picture taken on 12 March, 2015 shows Zhou Qunfei, chairwoman and president of Hunan-based Lens Technology, during an interview in Changsha, central China's Hunan province
Rags to riches: Former factory worker Zhou Qunfei is now China's richest woman

Read full article China Week: Zhou charged, the AIIB and a lotus

China week: Hunting corrupt 'foxes'

  • 20 March 2015
  • From the section China
Delegates and officials conduct the closing of the Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 13 March 2015
Chinese parliamentary sessions: the stuff dreams are made of?

I had a dream.

Not of the Martin Luther King variety, nor exactly a nightmare. No, it was a prosaic dream about the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC), the advisory body which sits alongside the National People's Congress and repeats what it is told.

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Wang Jing: The man behind the Nicaragua canal project

  • 18 March 2015
  • From the section China

The Chinese billionaire who intends to build a shipping canal through Nicaragua connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific has dismissed the project's critics.

Speaking to the BBC in a rare broadcast interview, Wang Jing said that having Chinese companies leading the project will help ensure its success.

Read full article Wang Jing: The man behind the Nicaragua canal project

China week: Women and politics

  • 13 March 2015
  • From the section China
A security guard watches through the curtain during the 3rd plenary session of the third session of the 12th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 12 March, 2015
Curtain call: China's annual National People's Congress draws to a close on 15 March

I feel like a time traveller in my own life heading to a National People's Congress, especially after I noticed a photo of myself from 1993 in China Daily's trip down NPC memory lane.

But little seems to have changed: the same stage set, the same choreography, the same struggle to discover anything worth reporting.

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The man protecting China's elephants

  • 4 March 2015
  • From the section China
Prince William meets a rescued elephant called "Ran Ran" at the Xishuangbanna Elephant Sanctuary on 4 March, 2015
The prince visited an elephant sanctuary on the final day of his tour in China

Prince William kept the best for last. After two days of diplomatic pleasantries and ribbon cutting, his third and final day of engagements in China included delivering a basket of carrots to a 13-year-old Asian elephant called Ran Ran.

The prince does a lot of charity work to highlight elephant poaching and the trade in ivory.

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The prince and the Party: Five elephants in the room

  • 28 February 2015
  • From the section China
Photo taken on November 18, 2010 shows a male elephant grazing at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, based in Isiolo, where Britain's Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton were staying before the engagement while on holiday in Kenya last month.
There are a few topics that Prince William is not likely to mention during his visit to China

On Sunday evening, Prince William arrives in Beijing at the start of a three day visit to China.

At state level, the objective is to promote brand Britain, and at a personal level, it's an opportunity to talk about his abiding passion: elephant protection.

Read full article The prince and the Party: Five elephants in the room

China week: Lunar New Year satire and the 'Power Queen'

  • 13 February 2015
  • From the section China

Money, money, money…. a big theme this week.

The headline number is $2.48m (£1.60m), sitting in a bank account in Switzerland in the name of Li Xiaolin.

Read full article China week: Lunar New Year satire and the 'Power Queen'

China week: A miscarriage of justice and a cyber crackdown

  • 6 February 2015
  • From the section China

I'm writing from the back seat of a Chinese police car.

An interesting enough location you might think, but the novelty wears off if you sit in gridlocked traffic for long enough, and I can now report first-hand that however magisterial the Chinese state, its citizens, when stuck in traffic, do not readily give way for a police car.

Read full article China week: A miscarriage of justice and a cyber crackdown

China week: Beijing's long commute and Shanghai's baby count

  • 30 January 2015
  • From the section China
People wait for a subway at Sihui East Station during the first weekday after the subway adopted a new fare policy on 29 December 2014 in Beijing, China
Beijingers on average have a longer commute than even New Yorkers

This week we learned that urban China is getting right up there on a new parameter of inconvenient city living: length of commute.

Internet search engine Baidu has done a survey of three million citizens in 300 cities and announced that Beijing has the longest average commute in China at 52 minutes, which is longer even than New York.

Read full article China week: Beijing's long commute and Shanghai's baby count

China week: Football dreams and lessons from Zhou

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section China
China's Sun Ke and Australia's Mathew Leckie fight for the ball during the quarter-final football match between Australia and China at the AFC Asian Cup in Brisbane on 22 January, 2015
China proved to be a strong contender at the 2015 Asian Cup

This week, a lesson from Chinese football fans in setting expectations at rock bottom so that you can be pleasantly surprised by reality.

Asian Cup hosts Australia trounced China in the quarter finals on Thursday night, but not before the team had astonished their downtrodden fans by winning three qualifiers.

Read full article China week: Football dreams and lessons from Zhou