Communist Party congress is expected to secure president Xi Jinping’s grip on power

Communist Party congress focuses on ‘moderately wealthy’ future

Stewardesses prepare tea flasks for delegates before the opening ceremony of the  Communist Party congress. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

Impeccable stage management projects message of Communist Party firmly in control

President Xi Jinping arriving for the opening session of China’s Communist Party congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on  Wednesday. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

‘Hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ leader urges in epic speech

Attendees look at a slideshow of Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Five Years of Sheer Endeavour show at the Beijing Exhibition Centre as he is poised to become the most powerful figure in Chinese politics since Mao Zedong. Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

‘Crises and chaos’ of West pointed out as Xi Jinping ideas set to find place in constitution

Performers prepare for the 19th Communist Party Congress in Huaibei in China’s eastern Anhui province. Photograph:  AFP/Getty Images

Communist Party gathering set to consolidate Xi Jinping political strongman status

Paramilitary police officers   keep watch   in the old part of Beijing as the capital prepares for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Beijing Letter: Activists detained amid high security as Xi Jinping set for second term

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, attends an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 13th, 2017. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Appointment of Kim Jong-un’s sister shows leader is keen to copper-fasten family’s position

 A WeChat spokesperson said it was “very sorry for the inappropriate translation”. Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Artificial intelligence glitch blamed for error, the latest in series of racial incidents in China

China officially tolerates the observance of Buddhism and major religious organisations such as Christianity and Islam. Photograph: Tass via Getty Images

Superstition breeds corruption, the People’s Daily says

A US air force B-1B bomber taking off from Andersen air force base, Guam, on Tuesday. Photograph: Joshua Smoot/AFP/Getty Images

B-1B bombers conduct live firing drill with South Korean fighter jets

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: Pyongyang has been boosting its cyberwarfare capabilities in recent years, taking aim at both government targets as well as corporate networks. Photograph: KCNA via Reuters

North Korea to use paragliders as part of invasion plans, military officials believe

 Chinese president Xi Jinping: expected to tighten his grip on power and reshuffle the leadership. Photograph: EPA/ Roman Pilipey

President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corrupt communists are a key plank of policy

 Kim Jong-un with his sister Kim Yo-jong in April 2017: the North Korean leader has promoted his younger sister to the centre of power. Photograph:  Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Reshuffle comes as Trump says ‘only one thing’ would work in dealing with Pyongyang

A Hong Kong fan waves a flag that reads ‘Die for Hong Kong’ during a world cup qualifier at Mong Kok stadium in Hong Kong in 2015. File photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

First-time Hong Kong fans have mocked the anthem since new rules criminalising the act

Visitors arrive to attend an exhibition highlighting China’s achievements under five years of leadership by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Exhibition Hall in Beijing.  Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

An exhibition lays out the achievements of the Chinese president’s five years in power

A refugee prepares to perform a ceremonial offering to relatives in North Korea, near the Demilitarised Zone. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Seoul makes plea in overture towards better relations with volatile neighbour

An activists holds a placard bearing a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

President’s anti-pollution measures are a big boost to China, state media says

Chinese security personnel keep watch on pedestrian traffic during the week-long ‘Golden Week’ holidays at a zebra crossing in Shanghai. Photograph:  Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Tourism hotspots packed with 710m trips expected over eight-day holiday period

People march through the streets of Hong Kong during an “anti-authoritarian” rally on China’s National Day, in Hong Kong, on Sunday. Photograph: Alex Hoffard/EPA

Events in Beijing mark 68th anniversary of founding of People’s Republic of China

The North Korean and Chinese flags: The Korean nuclear crisis has put China in an awkward position and Beijing repeatedly emphasises its stance calling for talks. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Beijing steps up pressure after UN sanctions over nuclear crisis

The view from Singapore’s tallest building, the Tanjong Pagar Centre, which towers over the Central Business District and is lit by reduced-energy usage lighting system created by the Dublin-headquartered Cylon Controls. Photograph: Clifford Coonan

Financial crisis and impending Brexit pushes firms to seize opportunities in Asia

Mr Manuel Furer, Kingspan regional managing director for Australasia and Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald cut the ribbon to officially open Kingspan’s first office in Asia.

Cavan building products groups aims to double sales in Asia Pacific to €20m this year

The North Korean town of Sinuiju, behind the Friendship Bridge, in China’s northeast Liaoning province.  China’s biggest banks have frozen financial transactions for North Koreans, employees say, in a sign Beijing is tightening the screws on its ally. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Dandong Letter: UN sanctions are slowing traffic on the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge

  Kim Jong-un delivers a statement in Pyongyang in reply  to   US president   Donald Trump’s recent speech at the UN: “Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation”, he said. Photograph:  KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty

Pyongyang’s proposed test of H-bomb in the Pacific likely to cross China’s ‘red line’

An  undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting a fruit farm in South Hwanghae Province, North Korea. Photograph:  AFP Photo/KCNA

Foreign minister says he ‘feels sorry’ for US president’s aides after fiery UN speech

Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Pool

President lays down tough message ahead of key Communist Party meeting

China’s president Xi Jinping. The OECD ranks China 59th out of 62 countries in terms of its openness to foreign direct investment. Photograph: Bloomberg

Forthcoming Communist Party meeting unlikely to yield meaningful reform

An example of a rentable sex doll marketed as a “shared girlfriend”:  shared bikes and umbrellas are commonplace in China but this latest initiative crossed a line  as far as the Communist Party is concerned. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images

‘Shared girlfriend’ raises ire as subscription schemes grow ever more popular in Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting a launching drill of the  strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12. Photograph: AFP Photo/KCNA

François Godement believes solution will be difficult and sanctions an imperfect response

Two North Korean men smile on the Yalu river opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Poor North Koreans on the Chinese border contrast with leadership’s powerful image

Liu Jieyi, Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, during a meeting of the UN Security Council on the subject of North Korea in New York on September 11th. Photograph:  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pragmatism has driven China’s approach so far, but it may have to reconsider its strategy

Pro-democracy protesters with a photo of Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-che and other activists during a demonstration in Hong Kong on Monday. Photograph:  Bobby Yip/Reuters

Lee Ming-che used chatrooms to promote democratic message

Chinese president Xi Jinping: “Facts have proved time and again that eventually, the Korean peninsula issue can only be solved through peaceful means, such as dialogue and consultation.” Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

Xi’s talks with German chancellor the latest effort to act as honest broker in dispute

A South Korean official watches television news channels showing North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un yesterday. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

China wary of cutting off oil supply for fear of provoking direct conflict with neighbour

A Chinese Catholic deacon sprays holy water on worshippers at the Palm Sunday Mass  at an “underground” church on April 9th, 2017, near Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China. Photograph: Kevin Fraye

Ian Johnson and Jennifer Lin sensitively explore formal belief in post-Mao China

Director Wu Jin has spoken of watching the People’s Liberation Army in action after the 2008 earthquake, telling the ‘People’s Daily’ how he “wanted to showcase the kindness, wit, courage and sacrifice of Chinese soldiers”. Photograph: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Beijing Letter: China’s most successful movie ever pushes the patriotic buttons

Howard Lam claimed he was abducted by Chinese security officials who punched staples into his legs after he tried to pass an autographed postcard of Lionel Messi to Liu Xia. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Liu Xiaobo's wife Liu Xia has not been seen since his funeral a month ago

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a military operation at an undisclosed location in North Korea in April. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea’s leader is an easy target for jokes but calling him mad underestimates him

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi (right), shakes hands with North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho. Photograph: Reuters

However, Beijing will back North if US opens hostilities, according to newspaper editorial

North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, (left) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart,  Wang Yi,    before their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 50th Association of Southeast Asia Nations regional forum in Manila on  August 6th. Photograph: Reuters

Beijing calls for dialogue on ‘complex’ situation after Donald Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ threat

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte at the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in Manila on Tuesday. Photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Summit meeting between Vietnam and China cancelled over South China Sea row

Beijing’s security services are buttressing the system of controls known as the Great Firewall of China to make surveillance easier and online dissent harder. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Beijing Letter: Party congress and death of Nobel peace laureate catalysts for censorship

A file photo distributed by the North Korean government on Saturday, July 29th, 2017, showing what it said was the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location. Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

Statement says missile tests in July proved entire United States was in its firing range

Pedestrians and vehicles pass before portraits of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung (left) and Kim Jong-Il  in Pyongyang. Photograph: Ed Jones  AFP/Getty Images

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi urges more international dialogue over missile crisis

Pre-flight propeller inspection: a US navy EP-3 aircraft had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into a Chinese fighter jet that suddenly pulled up in front of the American plane in contested skies above the East China Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon said.

Aerial encounters and events in South China Sea creating strain

Chelsea’s Kenedy has apologised for comments made on Instagram. Photograph:  Clive Rose/Getty Images

Player was booed by Chinese fans after comments posted on social media

Liu Xia: wife of veteran Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo remains under house arrest. Photograph:  Reuters/David Gray

Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un: The country’s growth mainly came from industries such as mining and manufacturing, as well as utilities such as electricity, gas, and water supplies.  Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Mining and manufacturing, as well as nuclear programme, boosted economy

An Audi AG RSQ concept automobile stands on display during a launch event. File photograph: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Audi clip features a woman being examined like an animal by her future mother-in-law

A worker carries a steel bar at a construction site of a residential building in Huzhou, China

Asian economy grew 6.9 per cent in second quarter from year earlier

 Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia prays as Chinese officials bury her husband’s ashes at sea off the coast of   Dalian, Liaoning Province, on Saturday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

China says his wife Liu Xia is ‘free’ but her friends are worried for her safety

A handout photo provided by the Shenyang Municipal Information Office shows late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia (right) praying as they bury Liu’s ashes at sea. Photograph: AFP

China says his wife Liu Xia is ‘free’ but her friends are worried for her safety

Ming Li, a consultant at the Weiqing mistress hunters agency, comforts one of her clients.

Keeping errant spouses from affairs with ‘little thirds’ is big business in China

Candles are formed in the shape of a heart during a vigil for  Liu Xiaobo outside China’s consulate in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Chinese dissident’s last words to his wife Liu Xia were ‘Live on well’

Pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law and Leung Kwok-hung  speak to the media before the verdict was handed down. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

Legal move to oust lawmakers changes balance of power in legislature

 Late Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo  and his wife Liu Xia photographed in Beijing on October 22nd, 2002. File photograph: Liu family handout/AFP Photo/Getty Images

‘To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, suppress truth’

An impromptu shrine to late Nobel laureate and pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo outside China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, China, July 13th, 2017. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

News of democracy proponent’s death prompts rage online among rights activists

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and and Ri Sol-ju. Photograph: AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

Kim Jong-un’s spouse spotted at celebration for promoted missile agency chief

 Ethnic Uyghur members of the Communist Party of China carry a flag past a billboard of President Xi Jinping in the old town of Kashgar, in the Xinjiang province. Photograph:  Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Autumn gathering expected to name Xi Jinping in pantheon of great Chinese leaders

Pro-democracy activists stage a sit-in protest demanding the release of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, outside China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

One clip of ailing Nobel winner shows doctors praising cancer care he is receiving

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping prior to their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Xi reiterates Chinese view that dialogue is needed to resolve standoff

Jia Yueting, co-founder and head of  LeEco:  “We’ll repay our debts to financial institutions, suppliers and everyone else.” Photograph: Reuters

Jia Yueting says he’ll pay back his debts and will survive to disrupt the auto industry

 Chinese president Xi Jinping (second left) and his wife Peng Liyuan (left), German chancellor Angela Merkel and Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association, at  a Germany vs China under-12 soccer match at Olympic Park in Berlin, Germany,  July 5th, 2017. Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

Will champions of globalisation Xi and Merkel stay united in face of America First policy?

Chinese activists hold some of the one thousand postcards containing messages of support to be sent from the public to Liu Xiaobo. Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

Decision to invite US and German doctors comes before G20 meeting in Hamburg

The US Army and South Korean military responded to North Korea’s missile launch with a combined ballistic missile exercise on Wednesday, into South Korean waters along the country’s eastern coastline. Photograph: South Korean Defense Ministry/Getty Images

Kim Jong-un tells US it sent a ‘package of gifts on its Independence Day’ after missile test

A woman walks past a television screen showing a picture of North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at a railway station in Seoul on July 4, 2017. Photograph: Jung  Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Trump: ‘N Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do?’

A firework display over celebrations at Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Saturday, July 1st, 2017. President Xi Jinping warned challenges to China’s rule would not be tolerated.  Photograph: Billy HC Kwok/Bloomberg

Hong Kong Letter: Contrasting styles then and now, but Beijing is far more assertive

US president Donald Trump meeting President Xi Jinping of China in April 2017:  Mr Trump has tweeted that his bid to secure a more robust approach by China to North Korea had “not worked out”. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Donald Trump calls Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe to discuss relations with North Korea

Pro-independence demonstrators in Hong Kong  during a protest to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover of sovereignty from Britain to China on July 1st, 1997. Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

A regular Irish Times selection of challenging writing on world affairs

 An activist  argues with the police during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA

Activists demand democracy 20 years after transfer of territory from Britain to China

Attack helicopters at a military base in Taoyuan County, northern Taiwan. File photograph: Military News Agency/EPA

Aircraft carrier passes close to the island en route to anniversary events in Hong Kong

A pro-China supporter is stopped by police as he tries to get closer to pro-democracy supporters. Photograph: REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Thousands of protesters gather to demand more democracy despite Chinese president’s warning

 Chinese president Xi Jinping and new Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam after she is sworn in during her inauguration ceremony at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre in Hong Kong, China. Photograph: Jerome Favre/EPA

Tens of thousands attend march as Carrie Lam sworn in as territory’s chief executive

Fans of Beijing Guoan display a ‘Green Invasion’ flag during a match against Chongcing Lifan FC in 2015. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

With a new coaching team in place, the next step for Beijing Guoan is some big signings

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops stand in formation  at the Shek Kong Barracks in Hong Kong on Friday. Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

‘Comrades, you are diligent and hard working’: Xi Jinping inspects troops

A candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on Thursday. Analysts say the focus  is now  much more on the “one country” element than the “two systems”, and expect Beijing to interfere much more. Photograph:  Roman Pilipe/EPA

Growing fears of eroding freedom after two decades of Chinese rule

China’s president Xi Jinping and his wife  Peng Liyuan are greeted on arrival at  Hong Kong International Airport  on Thursday. Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Wave of protests expected as Xi Jinping arrives for first visit as Chinese president

A decoration marking 20 years anniversary under China’s rule on display outside a shopping mall in Beijing. Photograph: AP Photo/Andy Wong

Young people in Hong Kong remain sceptical about ‘one country, two systems’ model

Activists  led by Umbrella protest leader Joshua Wong (centre) on Monday draped a black cloth over a statue of a bauhinia flower presented by China in 1997 as a symbol of co-operation. Photograph: Jerome Favre/EPA

Leader will attend events to mark 20th anniversary of reversion to Chinese rule

 Liu Xiaobo pictured in 2005  in Guangzhou in southern China. Photograph: Getty Images

Liu Xiaobo diagnosed with terminal cancer of the liver, his lawyer says

 President Xi Jinping’s government has cracked down on personal freedom in China. Photograph:  EPA/Fred Dufour

Big Brother fears as China uses big data to make people behave themselves

A rescue worker takes a nap at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. Photograph: AP

Authorities say 25 people dead with 93 still missing in Xinmo, Sichuan province

Choi Soon-sil arriving at a court in Seoul, South Korea on Friday where she received a three-year jail sentence. Photograph: Park Ji-hye/News1 via Reuters

Choi Soon-sil receives three-year sentence for soliciting favours for her daughter

A group of more that 10 people went to Su Yinxia’s company on April 14th last year to collect a 1.35 million yuan (€176,000) debt, the ‘Global Times’ newspaper reported

Yu Huan's life sentence slashed to five years as he was defending his mother's honour

News of the regulator’s investigations hit shares in some of the companies, which are among China’s biggest blue-chips. Photograph: Reuters

Companies under scrutiny include HNA, owner of Irish leasing firm Avolon

South Korean president Moon Jae-in says his country would not be stopping joint military drills with the US, as they are defensive. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

North Korea’s ambassador to India says US joint drills with South Korea must end

US student Otto Frederick Warmbier: was arrested in North Korea and died days after being evacuated back to the US in a coma. Photograph:   AFP/KCNA/ Getty

Anger over death of US student Otto Warmbier ahead of US-China security talks

John F Kennedy airport, New York. Photograph: Justin Lane/Reuters/File

Delegation ‘literally mugged’ in ‘illegal and heinous act of provocation’ in New York

Mai Thi Bach Lan in Binh Tan district, Ho Chi Minh City: her husband  was required to prepare a traditional meal with the family. Photograph: Clifford Coonan

Irish-funded scheme in Vietnam teaches men their responsibilities at home and in kitchen

Vietnam’s 22 million work-age women spend 110 million hours a year on unpaid care work, equal to more than 13 million working days.

Gender stereotypes consign women to doing the bulk of unpaid domestic work

The HNA logo on a building in Beijing.  Photograph: Getty Images

Chinese company that owns Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon files defamation lawsuit

An investigator at the scene on Friday of an explosion outside a kindergarten in rural Fengxian county in China . Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Two people died immediately in explosion that may have been caused by a gas canister

A screengrab taken from  China’s state broadcaster CCTV showing the aftermath of an explosion outside a kindergarten in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou. Photograph: CCTV/AFP/Getty Images

Reports say no children among the dead after blast blamed on cooking cylinder accident

Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), looks on. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Multinational lender approves its first equity investment in Indian infrastructure

International fees for ‘non-EU’ students at Irish universities range from €8,000 to over €20,000 per academic year. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Survey finds Irish in Asia feel discriminated against for having to pay non-EU fees

 Women making toys for export at a factory in Ganyu in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. The central government is working to shift China’s economic model away from over-reliance on exports and investment.  Photograph: AFP

Cooling property market and lower investment may force slower growth

Senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, has links to Chinese billionaire Wu Xiaohui. Photograph: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Wu Xiaohui reportedly detained by authorities on suspicion of financial irregularities

Commuters wear masks on a polluted day in Beijing.  Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China steps up enforcement as part of efforts to boost environmental standing

Workers on an assembly line at a Huajian international shoe factory, which makes shoes for Ivanka Trump and other designers, in Dongguan, China. Photograph: Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times

Detained activists were selling commercial secrets to unnamed foreign firms, says China

A South Korean man watches a news broadcast on North Korea’s recent medium-range ballistic missile launch at a station in Seoul, South Korea, on May 22nd.  Photograph:  Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Firing is North Korea’s 10th rocket launch this year despite international criticism

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