During the second opium war: Chinese officials pull down the British flag on a ship.  Photograph:  Culture Club/Getty Images

China’s struggle to reassert itself may be the defining geo-political narrative this century

North Korean soldiers salute during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang.  Photograph: Wong Maye-E/AP

Amid rhetoric and threats of nuclear action, Beijing must tighten screws on Pyongyang

North Korean soldiers wave from the back of a truck at oncoming traffic on Thursday. Photograph: AP

US defence official tells CNN aircraft being brought full readiness

GM brought in martial arts movie star Jackie Chan for the global launch of the Buick Velite 5 plug-in hybrid at the show. Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP Photo

Hybrids dominate at major event, but gas-guzzling SUVs and luxury cars still popular

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with China’s state Ccouncillor Yang Jiechi before their meeting in Beijing on Wednesday. Photograph: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Reuters

Co-operation on security and climate change on the agenda at one-day China-EU talks in Beijing

TV show brings tales of political corruption to life ahead of Communist Party congress

With China’s economy slowing and air pollution at the top of the political agenda, new-energy vehicles will be a key feature of this year’s Auto China show in Shanghai. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Ford leads charge with new models as sales of new-energy vehicles rise sharply

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has urged all sides to find a peaceful way to resolve tensions over North Korea. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign minister Wang Yi urges all sides to find a peaceful way out of ‘tense situation’

China’s GDP increase was the biggest in 18 months. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Better than expected growth prompted by retail sales revival and robust factory output

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s trial could last six months. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP photo

Impeached ex-president, also accused of leaking secrets, could face lengthy prison spell

US vice-president Mike Pence (l) visits the truce village of Panmunjom on the Korean peninsula. Photograph: Yonhap/EPA

Mike Pence warns Pyongyang not to test Donald Trump’s resolve during Korea visit

Launch by North after military parade stokes tensions, but US response measured so far

US army tanks conduct a military exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea, in South Korea on Friday, April 14th. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon

Foreign minister Wang Yi says there can be ‘no winner’ as tensions simmer in region

A Taiwanese man holds his dog during a gathering to demand establishment of a government department to protect dogs and cats from abuse. File photograph: Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

Penalties for harming the animals, a first in Asia, can include prison and a hefty fine

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

US leader’s geopolitical bromance may influence policies on trade and North Korea

Hong Kong’s incoming chief executive-elect Carrie Lam shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping in Beijing on  Tuesday. Photograph: Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP

Lam to take office as chief executive on July 1st, 20 years after Hong Kong handover

Women in central Pyongyang wear traditional clothes as North Korea prepares to mark Saturday’s 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding father. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Influential ‘Global Times’ warns North Korea against nuclear test as Xi calls White House

A video provided by passenger Audra  Bridges showed the man, who is Chinese,  being  removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago.  Photograph: Audra Bridges via AP

‘United Airlines of the United States has raised the anger of Chinese people, of Asian people’

The US navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (centre) and other warships have been diverted from Singapore to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Photograph:  Matt Brown/ US navy/EPA

Speculation growing that Pyongyang is planning its sixth nuclear test

Chinese authorities enforce an elaborate secrecy system to obscure the scale of state executions, said Amnesty. File photograph: Getty Images

Executions worldwide slide 37% in 2016 as China kills more than rest of world combined

Last year, China launched a campaign to mark national anti-espionage day and warn against handsome foreigners springing “honey traps” and seducing naive Chinese civil servants.

Beijing aims to build ‘iron Great Wall’ to combat evil and guard against espionage

President Donald Trump meeting President Xi Jinping of China in Palm Beach: Mr Xi said they “got deeply acquainted, established a kind of trust and built an initial working relationship and friendship”. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Relationship between US and China leaders warmer than early exchanges suggested

Growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, continues to moderate as the government implements measures to move the economy towards a more consumption-driven model. Photograph: iStock

Rebalancing China and global policy uncertainty hampering growth

China’s President Xi Jinping is to meet US president Donald Trump over two days at the luxury Mar-a-Lago resort. File photographs: AP Photo

Trade and North Korea set to dominate first meeting at US president’s Mar-a-Lago resort

China’s President Xi Jinping in Helsinki on  Wednesday. “Xi is willing to take the risk over Trump’s unpredictability,” said analyst Steve Tsang. Photograph: Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen/via Reuters

Xi Jinping’s visit to Florida will be a study in deal-making and a huge contrast in styles

Commuters on a mix of personal and bike-share bicycles  in Beijing.  Photograph: Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times

Beijing Letter: the polluted country gets back on its bikes with smart technology

Activists Raphael Wong Ho-ming  and Tanya Chan Suk-Chong   enter a police station ahead of their arrest in Hong Kong on March 27th, 2017. Photograph: Jayne Russell/AFP/Getty Images

Timing of prosecutions will likely raise tensions 2½ years after ‘Umbrella Revolution’

Hong Kong’s new leader Carrie Lam has a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Carrie Lam promises to unite Hong Kong even as political tensions rise in the city

Carrie Lam signs autographs during  campaigning in Hong Kong this week. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Carrie Lam seen by China as low-risk candidate on fractious island territory

Jin Liqun: The president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says he is “very proud that AIIB now has members from almost every continent”. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

State one of 13 new members to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

 An undated file photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea, shows an ‘underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile’ conducted at an undisclosed location in North Korea. According to media reports quoting a spokesman of the South Korean defense ministry, North Korea has test-fired several missiles in a suspected failed test on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA

Region remains tense over Pyongyang’s increasingly active weapons programme

South Korea’s players take part in a training session for World Cup qualifier against China on Thursday. South Korea’s embassy in Beijing has issued a safety warning to  fans planning to attend the match amid heightening tensions between the two countries. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Supporters urged to ‘cheer in orderly fashion’ as tensions rise over anti-missile system

 Philippine resident Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar on Sunday. Photograph: Rene Lumaway EPA

Philippine president swears at European MPs for criticisms to reinstate death penalty

US secretary of state  Rex Tillerson, left, shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Sunday. Photograph: AP

Washington and Beijing agree to work together on North Korean crisis

A military delegate attends a session of the National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

Arms build-up focused on improving naval capability in South China Sea

Consul General of Ireland Peter Ryan and  Teresa Ryan, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Irish Festival, with parade participants.

Thousands gather along waterfront to watch parade as 2017 celebrations kick off

A newspaper reporting about impeached President Park Geun-hye in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/AP

South Korea aims for stability after President Park Geun-hye’s removal

South Korean president Park Geun-hye is to be permanently removed from office. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Park Geun-hye is the country’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted

A portraits of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping  pictured on February 22nd inside an old building at an area undergoing demolition in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Beijing Letter: Little fanfare to mark 20th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s death

A worker removes letters from a Trump logo in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photograph: Wayne Parry/AP

Ethics concerns over trademarks covering businesses including escorts firms

 Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations Koro Bessho, US ambassador  Nikki Haley and South Korea’s ambassador  Oh Joon  speak about the threat to world security posed by North Korea at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

Washington’s ambassador to United Nations says Kim Jong-un ‘not a rational person’

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi attends a press conference at China’s annual parliament, the National People’s Congress. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Playing peacemaker, China urges de-escalation in North Korea-US nuclear stand-off

A handout photo showing parts of an advanced US missile defence system arriving at Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening. Photograph: EPA

China fears Terminal High Altitude Area Defence will upset regional security balance

A visitor walks by the TV screen showing a report about North Korea’s missile firing in Seoul, South Korea. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/AP

Incident may be response to ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and US

Muted tone: opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Annual parliament also pledges to slow defence spending and focus on innovation

A reporter holds a newspaper featuring a story on North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, in front of North Korea’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Photograph: Fazry Ismail/EPA

Envoy asked to leave after saying foreign forces colluded in Kim Jong-nam killing

Kim Jong-nam, exiled half brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was allegedly poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport in February. File photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/ AP

The estranged half- brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered on February 13th

 Doan Thi Huong (left) and Siti Aisyah after being arrested in connection with the death of Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: EPA/Royal Malaysia Police Handout

Diplomatic ties worsen after murder of brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

The  meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing will offer clues as to how China’s president Xi Jinping plans to deal with his US counterpart, Donald Trump. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty  Getty Images

Meeting will reveal clues as to how Beijing proposes to deal with Donald Trump’s USA

South Korea decided last year to deploy the THAAD system to protect against North Korea’s missile programme. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Call comes after company approved land deal to allow use of anti-missile system

Members of Atomic Energy Licensing Board don Hazmat suits on Sunday outside Kuala Lumpur International Airport  before sweeping the terminal for toxic chemicals used in the death of Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

Author and ex-CIA analyst puzzled at timing of low-key North Korean assassination

File photograph of North Koreans  and a pile of coal close to the border with China, viewed from the Chinese city of Dandong. China has banned coal imports from its neighbour. Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

Tension grows between cold war allies after China bans coal imports from Pyongyang

Kim Jong-nam was seen rubbing   his eyes and stumbling as he entered an airport clinic. File photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

VX listed on UN weapons of mass destruction was smeared on Kim’s face at airport

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang and his wife Selina arrive the High Court in Hong Kong. Photograph: Reuters

‘Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height,’ says judge

Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was murdered in Kuala Lumpur airport. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Malaysian police suspect eight North Koreans of killing Kim Jong-un’s half-brother

Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar (left) demonstrates how a suspected assasin is believed to have poisioned  Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: EPA

Women suspected of poisoning brother of N Korean leader were trained killers, police say

Kim Jong-nam (left), the late, estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Pyongyang’s isolation grows over killing of North Korean leader’s estranged brother

 Royal Malaysian Police deputy inspector-general Noor Rashid Ibrahim speaks (L) during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Photograph: EPA

Estranged half-brother of North Korean leader murdered in Kuala Lumpur last week

An advertisement  in a showroom of Trump Toilet products, manufactured by Shenzhen Trump Industrial, in Shanghai in November 2016. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Future of ‘Trump toilets’ and ‘Trump condoms’ uncertain after case suddenly resolved

On Thursday, North Korea celebrated the 75th birthday of Kim Jong-il, known as the Day of the Shining Star. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Details of the killing emerge as two women and one man are detained

Kim Jong-nam, son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, and his half-brother, current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Top spy says North Korea had been trying to assassinate Kim Jong-nam for five years

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte: widely questioned about whether his abuse of the pain relief drug fentanyl following a motorcycle accident  constitutes an addiction. Photograph: Ezra Acayan/Reuters

President who has led bloody anti-drugs campaign a regular user of powerful painkiller

Kim Jong-Nam, the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il,  in Macau in 2010. The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated in Malaysia, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il attacked by agents at airport, reports say

  North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with    Korean People’s Army troops after the launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location. Photograph:  KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty

Beijing repeats call for calm but regional powers want more pressure on Pyongyang

Chinese soldier Wang Qi (77), who has lived in India for more than five decades, arrives at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport to return to his hometown. Photograph: VCG via Getty Images

Man reunited with family after accidentally wandering into India following the 1962 war

John Russell (4th from left) with his wife Lizzie Russell (nee Goulding) (far right)

A visit to brewery’s archives in Dublin brings Clifford Coonan’s great-grandfather to life

US defence secretary James Mattis: says  all diplomatic efforts should be made. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

‘Unsafe’ encounter of military aircraft took place over contested Scarborough Shoal

US president Donald Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the phone overnight. Photograph: EPA

White House confirms phone call between two leaders was ‘extremely cordial’

US President Donald Trump has sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping saying he looked forward to a ‘constructive relationship’. File photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

Still no plans for phonecall between two leaders as US keen to improve relations

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi: forging closer links with   Australia. Photograph: Mark Graham/AFP/Getty

Wang Yi warns US administration to ‘brush up’ on history of South China Sea dispute

 Huang Jiefu has addressed a meeting on organ harvesting in the Vatican. Photograph: Reuters/File Photo

Meeting in the Vatican hears prisoners’ organs still being harvested in some cases

South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo talking to US Defence Secretary James Mattis over the phone on Tuesday. Photograph: EPA

US defence secretary James Mattis stresses their close relationship in phonecall

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended his controversial anti-drugs campaign and pledged to clean up the police force. Photograph: Ezra Acayan/Reuters

President Duterte ‘embarrassed’ by police murder of South Korean businessman

The EU is aware of recent information regarding the serious mistreatment of detained human rights lawyers. Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Human rights lawyers have been held since nationwide crackdown in July 2015

Artist Lee Ku-young looks at his painting,   “Dirty Sleep”, which was defaced by supporters of impeached South Korean president Park Geun-hye, at the National Assembly in Seoul on Tuesday. Photograph:  Son Hyung-ju/News1 via Reuters

Park Geun-hye awaits constitutional court decision on her impeachment

Donald Trump rooster statue in Taiyuan, Shaanxi province: The advent of the new US president has been a huge conversation topic, especially as there are fears about what direction the Chinese economy is headed in.  Photograph: Jon Woo/Reuters

Beijing letter: While most still leave the city for Chinese New Year, traditions are shifting

 Chinese warships taking part in a drill in the South China Sea earlier this year.    China has angered its neighbours by its aggressive claims to the maritime region, through which €4.75 trillion in trade is shipped every year. Photograph: Getty Images

Chinese government claims the disputed islands are its ‘irrefutable’ sovereign territory

 Genzon Golf Club  in Shenzhen: Long known as “green opium” in China the Communist Party has had a love-hate relationship with golf over the years. Photograph:  Lintao Zhang/Getty

Preserving precious water and arable land behind campaign against ‘decadent’ sport

Newspapers in Shanghai on Saturday. The People’s Daily said  punitive tariffs and labelling China a “currency manipulator” would  lead only to retaliation. Photograph: Reuters

Trade tensions between US and China inevitable in next four years, warns state media

China’s pesident Xi Jinping: “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from.” Photograph: Denis Balibouse/EPA

Beijing could emerge as globalisation defender and entrench its power in Asia

China’s president, Xi Jinping, is expected to use more stimulus to keep the economy simmering to ensure political stability. Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Growth exceeds predictions as state stimulus and robust property market buoy data

Leung Kwok-hung, known as “Long Hair”, brings a cut-out of a monkey bearing the likeness of Hong Kong’s chief executive CY Leung  into the chamber before Mr Leung’s final policy address to the legislative council on Wednesday. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

Panel of just 1,200 will elect new chief executive in March as CY Leung steps down

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photograph: US Navy/Handout via Reuters

US Secretary of state nominee said China would ‘not be allowed’ to access territories

Chinese police have destroyed an army of fake terracotta warriors in northern China. Photograph: Getty Images

Fake army discovered at copycat resort close to mausoleum housing real sculptures

Donald Trump: spent much of s election campaign calling China a cheat, promising to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in office and to impose high tariffs on Chinese goods. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

World’s second-largest economy struggles in face of weak global demand

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in a still image from video taken by a US surveillance aircraft, in May 2015. Photograph: US Navy/Handout via Reuters

Trump nominee proposes blocking China from artificial islands in contested region

People visit a Beijing war museum. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Officials make ‘correction’ to war dates to boost ‘patriotic education’ in schools

Chinese J-15 fighter jets being launched from the deck of the “Liaoning” aircraft carrier during military drills in the South China Sea on January 2nd. China claims nearly all of the  disputed waters. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s one-China remarks contribute to fraying nerves in South China Sea

Hong Kong politician Joshua Wong: says an assault on him and fellow rights activist Nathan Law at Hong Kong’s airport was a co-ordinated attack by pro-Beijing elements. Photograph: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty

Joshua Wong and colleagues attacked while travelling for pro-independence talks

A pedestrian walks on a street wearing a smog mask in Beijing, China, in the first week of 2017: since the start of the new year, the air in its 16 districts has seen some of the worst smog on record.  Photograph: Reuters

Chinese capital’s acting mayor vows to step up anti-pollution measures amid concern

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen during a “transit stop” in Houston, Texas, where she met senior Republicans en route to Central America. Photograph: James Nielsen/Reuters

China livid over Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's meeting with senior US Republicans

Politics will  play a major role in China’s economic future this  year when president Xi Jinping will name the new Standing Committee of the Politburo.

With political changes ahead, Xi Jinping will want to keep the economy steady

People dance to exercise in a park in smog-enveloped in Beijing on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

Pollution readings in Beijing off the chart as alert around capital held at ‘orange’ status

A number of women’s rights activists became international figures after their arrest early last year for their social advocacy. Far left,  Li Maizi.  Photograph: Free Chinese Feminists page, Facebook

Despite progress, feminism is still seen as a threat to traditional family values

China announced the end of its  controversial one-child policy from January 1st, 2016, with the official Xinhua news agency saying that all couples would be allowed two children. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Despite removal of one-child policy, parents reluctant to have more children

At matchmaking markets in China  parents post profiles of their daughters in the hope of finding a suitable  suitor. Photograph: Getty Images

The second in a four-part depth series reveals how women are pressurised to marry early

Female pilot Yu Xu (30), one of the first Chinese female fighter jet pilots, who died in an accident during  flight training in November. Some women  are excelling and breaking out of traditional gender norms.(Photograph:  VCG)

The first in a four part series reviews how political power is out of reach for China’s women

Oscar’s team-mate at Shanghai SIPG is compatriot Hulk, who had already broken the Chinese transfer record with his €49 million fee. Photograph:  VCG via Getty Images

Grand plan launched to make China one of the world’s top soccer nations by 2050

Ireland is the 18th jurisdiction granted access to China’s capital markets under what are seen as the more flexible of the country’s two main licences for foreign institutional investors.

RQFII programme allows foreign institutions to invest in Chinese capital markets

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