President Michael D Higgins and China’s president Xi Jinping inspect honour guards during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters 1:44

President Michael D Higgins has invited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to make a return visit to Ireland during meetings at the Great Hall of the (...)

President Michael D Higgins: will be attending events in China aimed at promoting Ireland run by the Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Tourism Ireland, as well as the Science Foundation of Ireland, the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and representatives from the universities.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

There is a strong business flavour to this week’s visit by President Michael D Higgins to China as he will be attending events aimed at promoting Irel(...)

A police officer sprays pepper spray at demonstrators during a protest outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Billy HC Kwok/Bloomberg

The Occupy Central democracy protests in Hong Kong have certainly been disruptive, but perhaps not as badly so as people thought. In fact, the protest(...)

Chinese president Xi Jinping: crackdown on corruption. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

One of the highest-profile government policies in China of late has been President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption, targeting low-ranking “flies”(...)

President Michael D. Higgins is on a week-long visit to China. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

President Michael D Higgins shared a stage with musician Sharon Shannon and her band, the poet Paula Meehan, erhu player Sun Huang and cellist Zhao Xu(...)

President Michael D Higgins and his wife  Sabina Higgins are shown around the Forbidden City in  Beijing. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/Fennell Photography

President Michael D Higgins began his high-profile state visit to China with a tour of the Forbidden City at the heart of the capital Beijing, on a mi(...)

A life-size cut-out of China’s president Xi Jinping among tents and shelters of pro-democracy students at the Occupy Hong Kong camp in the Admiralty district this week. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

While the People’s Republic of China tends to dominate the headlines due to its sheer scale, the greater China story also includes the former crown co(...)

Protesters hold a picture of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 2009, after a Chinese court had handed down an 11-year sentence on subversion charges after he had called for sweeping political reforms. The Nobel Peace Prize winner remains in prison. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

When President Michael D Higgins shakes the hand of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing next week, the two leaders will have much in commo(...)

Women wearing traditional Uighur clothes in the city of Kashgar in the Chinese Xinjiang province. The mostly Muslim Uighurs share very close linguistic and cultural links to Central Asia and resent the Han Chinese. Photograph: Reinhard Krause/Reuters

A view of tall trees and low walls encircling this oasis city is the first sign that the high-speed train has reached Hami in the Gobi desert, in the (...)

Power plant in Xingtai, southern Hebei province, south of Beijing. Xingtai produces some 20 million metric tonnes of coal annually and is one of the world’s most polluted cities.  Photograph:  Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Based on the most reliable air-pollution index in China, the country’s most polluted city is Xingtai, one of the oldest cities in northern China, w(...)