A cast iron Hong Kong post box is seen with British royal cipher in Central District, Hong Kong, China, October 2015. Photograph: Alex Hofford

Decision over colonial-era royal insignia stirs controversy as some fight to ‘retain heritage’

A 2012 file photograph of Fujian province governor Su Shulin. Photograph: Reuters

Inquiry into former head of state energy giant is seen as part of wider crackdown

A sculpture  at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, China. China applied to Unesco to list material relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and wartime sex slavery the Memory of the World programme. Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

Tokyo wants Beijing to stop entering material relating to wartime atrocities

Hong Kong University students, faculty members and staff take part in a protest on Tuesday  after the university’s governing council rejected the appointment of pro-democracy professor  Johannes Chan Man-mun as a pro-vice-chancellor. Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

A year on since the tear gas and democratic struggle still seen as a long-term campaign

Beijing traffic: China has halved sales tax on small cars in a bid to revive flagging economic growth. Photograph: EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Sales tax cut amid various positive signs for the Chinese economy

Billionaire Li Ka-shing: his focus is moving towards developed markets such as Europe. Photograph: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Asia’s richest man warns against state media attacks over investment decisions

China biker held after record-breaking circuit of Beijing ring road. Screengrab.

Daredevil reaches speeds of three times the legal limit for feat which went viral on social media

Trees are blown by Typhoon Mujigae on a street in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province. Photograph: Reuters

Storm wreaks trail of destruction and flooding as authorities issue ‘red alert’

Residents look at damage caused by a parcel bomb  in Liucheng county, Guangxi province, China. Police said the attacks were related to a “criminal case”. Photograph: EPA

Attack in Guangxi province appears to be the work of a disgruntled citizen

Fergus Clarke of Lamplight Analytics: “We created a platform that aggregates what people are saying across millions of social media websites in nearly 200 languages and technology that draws meaning from these posts.”

Fergus Clarke’s Lamplight Analytics uses social media data to draw insights

A man looks at the Pudong financial district of Shanghai: China’s economy has registered its slowest growth in a quarter century. Photograph: REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

Bank cuts its GDP growth forecasts for Developing Asia to 5.8 per cent for 2015

 UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, China’s president Xi Jinping and Mexico’s president Enrique Pena Nieto at the global leaders’ meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment at the UN General Assembly. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

Clinton calls Xi Jinping ‘shameless’ for hosting forum in wake of feminist arrests

Two students at Beijing University delvier their contribution to the video praising  Xi Jinping. Photograph:  Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Communist Party organ ‘People’s Daily’ makes clip for Chinese leader’s US visit

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping: finding ways to co-operate fruitfully is high on the agenda.  Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Phalanx of top corporate leaders will be mix of state and private sector companies

China’s August industrial production posted slightly better year on year growth at 6.1 per cent, but still below what markets were expecting. Photograph: Reuters

Better, smarter investment expected to form core of Five Year Plan to encourage growth

     Rupert Murdoch and Chinese president Xi Jinping: Xi offered  assurances to the News Corp chairman that China would remain open to overseas journalists, despite the government withholding residence visas for foreign reporters. Photograph: China Daily/Reuters

Both sides emphasise positives of relationship but establishing rapport will be difficult

Hong Kong financial secretary John Tsang with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton and Ambassador to China Paul Kavanagh at the official opening of Ireland’s first consulate-general in Hong Kong.  city in Asia, according to local media. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Diplomatic mission will look to build on longstanding Irish connections with Hong Kong and Macau

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton. “We are getting traction on the trade side and the investment side. Things are heading in the right direction”

Some 40 Irish companies are involved in trade mission to China along with Minister

Chinese premier Li Keqiang  told  the World Economic Forum  in Dalian that China would “not see a hard landing”. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Authorities try to calm fears as they aim to balance stimulus with need for reform

Uber in China: drivers have been logging in bogus rides Uber in China: drivers have been logging in bogus rides

Best con of the past week was when a farmer claimed to be a princess of the Qing dynasty

Guo Meimei in front of one of her Maserati  sports cars: it was a very different-looking Guo who appeared in  court this week. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Guo Meimei was convicted on gambling, fraud and prostitution charges

Tourists in Bangkok: a growing number of Chinese are visiting Thailand. There have been concerns about the potential damage that some tourists are doing to China’s image abroad. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

State news agency accuses passengers accused of humiliating country

The People’s Bank of China in Beijing:  the bank,  the ministry of housing and urban-rural development and the ministry of finance have lowered the downpayment required on a second apartment  to 20 per cent. Photograph:  Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese government hopes new stimulus will lead to investment in economy

The dramatic sell-off in Chinese stocks caused turmoil in markets. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Investigation led to many prominent figures being arrested for online rumour-mongering

Anti-tank missiles are displayed at the military parade in Beijing on September 3rd, 2015. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Troop cut announced as Beijing marks 70th anniversary of victory over Japan

The Long Room, Trinity College: inspiration for the set of Harry Potter

Documentary an excellent way of showcasing Ireland, says Tourism Ireland chief

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Photograph: AFP

Residents living in zone within 20km of border will be allowed to trade

The “rumour-mongering” arrests come after China’s stock market has seen huge losses since it peaked in mid-June, and worries about economic growth have added to jitters. Photograph: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Arrests relate to ‘rumour-mongering’ about stock market collapse and Tianjin explosions

Ups and downs: stock-market prices at a Chinese securities firm. Photograph: AFP/Getty

Communist Party newspaper says economy is sound but stock market disagrees

Overheating: an investor cools herself as she monitors share prices at a securities firm in Shanghai. China’s key indices lost a fifth of their value and wiped out nearly all of this year’s gains in six days. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty

As volatility stalks global markets, China tries to restore confidence in economy

The aftermath of the chemical warehouse explosion in Tianjin: at least 145 were killed in the blast  this month. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Officials accused of oversight failure in port explosions that killed at least 145

 Chinese actors play Japanese soldiers in a film.  China is to  mark in style  the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, or the second World War. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China suffered terribly in the second World War but ceremony will display its confidence

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed  on August 25th at 17,806.70, down 733.98 points, while the US dollar traded in the upper 191 yen range. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/EPA

Fifth interest rate cut since November expected to boost activity

China crisis: an investor at a brokerage house in Shanghai yesterday. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Stock market slide is worst since 2009 global financial crisis

Thai soldiers inspect the scene after a bomb exploded outside the Erawana shrine in central Bangkok

The government is hoping tourists will forget the blast before the season begins in October

A damaged fire truck at the site of the massive explosions in Tianjin, the world’s 10th largest port. Photograph:  Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Binhai’s economy could face downturn pressure on its trade and logistics industries

Caged rabbits, placed by the authorities as a test of the living conditions near the site of last week’s blasts in Tianjin. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

The death toll from the blasts stands at 116 and another 60 people are missing

Bomb-damaged Brahma statue at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok. Photograph: Jerome Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

Officials believe at least 10 people planned Erawan shrine blast, including foreigners

A policeman  works  in heavy smog in Harbin,  northeast China. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Despite good news China overtook US to be biggest producer of greenhouse gases

An image released by the Royal Thai Police  shows a sketch of the main suspect in Monday’s deadly blast. Reuters/Royal Thai Police

Identikit sketch released of man sought in connection with explosion that killed 20

Thai police at work after a second bomb was thrown at Sathorn pier in the city yesterday. No one was hurt. Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA

Targeting a tourist area would be a surprising move by any disaffectied domestic group

An image released by Thai police shows a man wearing a yellow T-shirt near the Erawan Shrine before the  explosion occurred on Monday in Bangkok. Photograph: Royal Thai Police via AP

Thai police ‘not ruling out anything’ in search for those responsible for blast

A woman in central Bangkok offers a prayer for the victims after the bombing on Monday. Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Department of Foreign Affairs cautions ‘strong level of security awarness’ after blast

In April, about $5 million (€4.5 million) was removed from a Ryanair account by electronic transfer via a Chinese bank. The Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin was asked to assist in its recovery via counterpart agencies in Asia, and the authorities were able to track down the funds, which were reportedly returned. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Police talk of a wave of sophisticated fraud

Vehicles burnt in Tianjin’s warehouse explosion on August 14th. Photograph: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

VW, Renault among badly hit firms

 Relatives of people missing at the scene of the explosion in central Bangkok. Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Member of ruling junta says bomb was aimed at damaging Thai economy

A resident affected by the explosions that hit a nearby chemical warehouse last week cries as she joins a protest outside the hotel where authorities are holding a press conferences in Tianjin on Monday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

After the blasts in China, 698 people remain in hospital, 57 in critical condition

A damaged building is seen among debris at the site of Wednesday night’s explosions in Tianjin. Photograph: Reuters/China Daily

Majority of the 95 people known to be still missing after disaster are firefighters

Windows blown out by two devastating explosions are scattered on the ground in Tianjin municipality yesterday. Photograph: Chinatopix via AP

Deaths still rising after massive explosions in northeastern Chinese port city

Local families fearful that rain could cause further explosions in port of Tianjin

Foreign currency exchange booth in Hong Kong:  the surprise devaluation of the Chinese yuan this week unsettled global financial markets. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

The real test of the Communist Party’s popularity may have arrived as economy slows

Smoke billows from the site of an explosion that reduced a parking lot filled with new cars to charred remains in northeastern China’s Tianjin municipality.  Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP

At least 50 dead and hundreds injured in two explosions, writes Clifford Coonan in Tianjin

Fire and smoke rise at the site of the massive explosions in Tianjin. Enormous explosions in a major Chinese port city killed at least 44 people and injured more than 500. Photograph: Getty Images/AFP

With 50 dead and hundreds injured, thoughts turn to environmental fallout from blasts

A clerk counts Chinese 100-yuan banknotes. China devalued its currency on Tuesday after a run of poor economic data. Photograph: Reuters/China Daily/Files

Currency intervention seen as attempt to stimulate exports and boost stalling growth

A Beijing-based guitarist. China’s government is currently waging a moral crusade

Proscribed catalogue takes aim at undesirable songs with ‘severely problematic content’

Huawei’s “Seeds for the Future” programme will teach students Katie Rock, Alan Flynn and Helen Fletcher many aspects of the IT firm’s business

Telecom giant’s course will teach students about technology industry and Mandarin

 China’s president Xi Jinping visited Croke Park two years ago: the Asia Pacific Irish Business Forum was announced at the stadium the day after Kerry beat Kildare in the GAA Championship. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Kerry-based Fexco the main sponsor of event that takes place in Shanghai in October

China’s president Xi Jinping, with his wife Peng Liyuan: some commentators say he  may not turn up at the Communist Party gathering in the seaside town of Beidaihe. Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

Political matters and China’s economy likely to dominate discussions -- if it happens

Children at Chongshan primary school in southern China’s Guangxi. One head teacher told the BBC website that Chinese teaching methods were on a collision course with teenage British culture and values. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Beijing Letter: BBC documentary sparks debate on education philosophy

 Chinese premier Li Keqiang: Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein – Pool/Getty Images

China’s producer-price index, measuring prices at factory gate, fell 5.4 per cent in July

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi speaking during a joint press conference with General Tanasak Patimapragorn of Thailand. Photograph: EPA

General Tanasak Patimapragorn says how much he loves Wang Yi

Queen Elsa in ‘Frozen’: The decision to make Beijing the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics has  attracted plenty of controversy.

Online critics see strong similarities between the two power ballads

Shi Yongxin has come in for regular criticism over his  efforts to run the temple and its famed kung fu fighting monks like a business. Photograph: Yang Zhanghai/FZWB/ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

Cleric Shi Yongxin investigated over claims he fathered children, embezzled funds and ate meat

 The financial district of Pudong in Shanghai: officials from the city travelled to Ireland as part of China’s Senior Officials Training Programme. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Visits to Dublin and Cork on the agenda for the party of 16 Chinese senior delegates

China’s main share markets have lost about 30 per cent of their value since the middle of June. Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Fears that heavy speculative selling could have destabilising effect on China’s economy

Chinese industrialist Li Jinyuan  brought 6,400 of his employees on holiday to France in May – a trip that cost more than €13million – where they formed a record-breaking ‘longest human phrase’, reading ‘Tiens’ dream is Nice in the Côte d’Azur’. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

About 120 million Chinese people are expected to travel abroad this year and to spend billions

UnionPay: its days of domination may be under threat after a complaint in 2012 by the United States to the World Trade Organisation

Payments company faces increased competition in China from foreign firms

Troubling times: checking stock prices recently in Nanjing, China. Photograph: Reuters/China Daily

Government intervention in market slowdown prompts fears for reform

A survey by Vinexpo showed that, by 2018, Chinese wine consumption will grow by a further 24.8 per cent

Chinese now regard wine to be a healthy and sophisticated drink

Employees at a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in the southern Guangdong province. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Expansion highlights growing competition with China for manufacturing jobs

An investor smiles as she walks past an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Fuyang,  China, yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

The Chinese government acted decisively, but fears of volatility still stalk the markets

An investor adjusts his glasses as he looks at a computer screen in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Fuyang, Anhui province, China. Photograph:  China Daily/Reuters

Market players anxious about government intervention

The People’s Bank of China building in Beijing. The World Bank urged China to quicken the pace of reform

‘Wasteful investment, over-indebtedness, and a weakly regulated shadow-banking system’ needs to be dealt with, says report

President Xi Jinping: his government has taken a hard line on human rights and dissent and human rights defenders are regularly rounded up in frequent crackdowns. Photograph:  Ria Novosti/Host Photo Agency/Getty Images

At least 52 lawyers and activists detained or questioned, says Amnesty International

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China, July 10, 2015. Photo: Reuters

More than $3 trillion has been wiped off the Chinese stock market in recent weeks

Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai. Photograph: Reuters/Aly Song

The Chinese stock market is surprisingly parochial, and its collapse may not have the global fallout many fear

 Chinese people walk down Financial Street in Beijing yesterday. Market players are  holding their breath to see if yesterday’s market rebound was a “dead cat bounce” or a signal  the bull run can continue, albeit at a less frantic pace. Photograph: EPA

Benchmark Shanghai index sees biggest daily rise in six years

Schoolchildren in Beijing visit the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, marking China’s second World War victory over Japan. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The key message is a warning against what China sees as Japan’s revived militarism

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange look on as as news related to the falling stock market in China is shown on a television screen. Photograph: Reuters

Crisis could be worse than Greece as value of shares down by 30% since mid-June

Shanghai Composite Index: for every stock that rose, 16 fell, part of a broader decline which has seen the index fall more than 30 per cent in three weeks. Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

Markets remain unsettled after premier Li Keqiang fails to address stock market crisis

Hong Kong: programme will support engagement between the Irish community and ‘Friends of Ireland’. Photograph: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

Programme will run for six months initially

China’s president Xi Jinping: the bank is a key part of his  efforts to boost China’s influence, called “peripheral diplomacy”, and redress  China’s poor levels of representation on international bodies such as the World Bank and ADB.  Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

AIIB is a sign of China’s growing influence in the region

US navy crewman points to a computer screen purportedly showing Chinese construction on the reclaimed land of Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photograph: US navy/Handout/Reuters

Airstrip will facilitate most Chinese military aircraft landing in Spratly archipelago

Tourists walk along the Great Wall of China. Adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities – including stealing the bricks to build houses – are doing more damage to China’s most famous landmark than the Mongol hordes ever did.File photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Poor conditions and theft of bricks for houses do more damage than Mongol hordes did

Beijing: China plans to link up the capital with the nearby city of Tianjin and the neighbouring province of Hebei into a city that will be as big as Uruguay and have a population of 100 million people. Photograph: Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

Plans in place to link up capital Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province into a giant urban zone

President Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to guide  children of China’s nouveau riche to “live a positive life”. Photograph: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg

Children of the nouveau riche among the worst traffic violators and also seen as spoiled

Construction site in Beijing’s central business district:  report by London-based research house Capital Economics believes that China’s economic growth is being overstated by one to two percentage points because of a glitch in the way the data is calculated. Photograph: Reuters/Jason Lee

GDP deflator may be giving a skewed picture of real economic picture

Maserati sports car in China: a crackdown on corruption has  led to sluggish sales of high-end vehicles. Photograph:  Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

‘New Normal’ economy a tough environment for high-end luxury supercars

Police officers stand guard near a protest site outside the legislative council building in Hong Kong where pro-democracy lawmakers on Thursday voted down a China-backed election plan for the city that set off almost three months of protests last year. Photograph: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

Communist Party embarrassed as ruling council votes against ‘fake democracy’

Beijing, China: the country’s  government is aiming for 7 per cent growth this year, which would be the slowest in 25 years

More than half of European companies are still optimistic about growth prospects

Warren Buffett: expensive lunch guest. Photograph:   Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Oracle of Omaha to talk investment strategy over steaks with online gaming boss, winner of eBay charity bid

 China’s state-owned railroad equipment makers CSR Corp and China CNR Corp have merged to become CRRC. It is the world’s second-biggest industrial company, trailing only General Electric. Photograph: Wang Zhaowang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

CRRC will be serious competition for General Electric, Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier

 China’s state-owned railroad equipment makers CSR Corp and China CNR Corp have merged to become CRRC. It is the world’s second-biggest industrial company, trailing only General Electric. Photograph: Wang Zhaowang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

CRRC will be serious competition for General Electric, Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier

Former Chinese security chief Zhou Yongkang  at the Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin on Thursday. He was sentenced to life in prison. Photograph: AFP Photo / CCTV

Zhou convicted of taking €18.5m in bribes and giving state secrets to fortune teller

China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang has been sentenced to life in prison, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters/Files

Yongkang is the most senior member of the Communist Party yet to be punished

An internal court video shows British investigator Peter Humphrey inside Shanghai No 1 Intermediate Court during his trial in 2014.   Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Consultant Peter Humphrey’s case connected to GlaxoSmithKline corruption scandal

Fighting with rebels on Burma’s border with China places strain on relations

A high school student reacts after sitting the 2015 “gaokao” national college entrance examination. Monitors inside exam halls are not allowed to wear high heels or perfume for fear of distracting the students. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Almost 10 million students sit high-stakes college entrance exams known as ‘gaokao’

A couple wearing face masks walk on a street in Seoul on Tuesday. Hong Kong has issued a warning against non-essential travel to South Korea after seven people died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) and 95 were infected by the virus. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Outbreak in South Korea puts pressure on president Park Geun-hye to postpone US visit

Wuhan:  defiant individualistic streak. Photograph: Reuters

The city’s efforts to diversify and reinvent itself are an example of the ‘new normal’

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