The plan was the brainchild of a lecturer at Reading University, Christy Davies, who warned that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997, there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

Even at the time it must have seemed like a truly bizarre idea. In the midst of the Northern Ireland Troubles, it was suggested that the entire popula(...)

Office of Personnel Management in Washington: data on millions of US government workers has been hacked. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

Rarely has a computer hack of personal information, allegedly by agents of a foreign government, caused such a stir in Washington DC. A breach at the (...)

An Iranian security guard stands as US secretary of state John Kerry meets the Iranian delegation including foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a hotel in Vienna where the  nuclear talks meetings are being held. Photograph:  Carlos Barria/Reuters

Tehran and world powers were still shy of a breakthrough at nuclear talks yesterday as foreign ministers flew in to lend heft to negotiations that foc(...)

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

China is close to completing a 3,000m-long airstrip on one of its artificial islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, new (...)

There was once a time when English language experts feared that text speak was signalling the demise of the English language. By text speak, we mean p(...)

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

Nearly one-third of the most commonly accessed section of the Great Wall of China, the longest wall in the world, has disappeared and drastic measures(...)

Has the Chinese equity bubble burst? The question is worth asking, given the extent of recent falls. Last week, China’s tech-heavy ChiNext index fell (...)

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

China’s urbanisation programme is the foundation on which the country’s economic boom has been built, and the reason why analysts are not too worried (...)

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

Perhaps the fact that the children of the nouveau riche, the tuhao generation mentioned in a recent Asia Briefing column, are being sent to special sc(...)

Amazon.com will launch its Amazon Lending loan programme to small sellers later this year in eight more countries including China. Photograph: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg

Amazon. com will launch its business loan program for small sellers later this year in eight more countries including China, where credit is becoming (...)