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 (...)

File photograph of Hebei where five people  have died in a shooting. Photograph:  Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Five people have died in a shooting in a village in China’s northern Hebei province, state media reported. Two police officers and the suspected gunma(...)

Beijing, China: data shows seven out of 10 cities with the dirtiest air are in Hebei province around the capital. Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

It was a bad week for China in its efforts to control air pollution, after the mayor of Beijing described how smog had rendered the city “unliveable”(...)

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(...)

A man wears a mask in heavily polluted Beijing, in China; where 670,000 deaths occurred in 2012 from smog-related causes. Photograph: Reuters/Jason Lee

Pollution was back in the headlines ahead of this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit, as the Chinese government scrambled to clea(...)

Mounted gardaí on duty yesterday on day two of the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska , Co Laois. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Another record was broken at the National Ploughing Championships today when it attracted its largest ever crowd of 124,500 people and got the seal of(...)

A woman (C) wearing a mask stands besides her bicycle as vehicles stop at a traffic junction on a busy street amid thick haze in Beijing: companies that specialise in making vehicle emissions cleaner are rushing to take advantage of Beijing’s war on pollution. Photograph:  Barry Huang/Reuters

It has been more than a week since the last heavy pollution, with occasional rainstorms keeping the smog at bay, and it is easy to forget the pollutio(...)

Kuihua Hall, beside the Lotus Pond, in  Baoding Ancient Lotus Garden

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Local authorities said that Baoding, a city in Hebei province 150 kilometres south-west of Beijing, wou(...)

Chinese tourists wearing  face masks at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, during severe pollution today. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Air pollution in Beijing has literally gone off the charts, going beyond “hazardous” into uncharted territory, and even the authorities are now(...)

A group of young women on a rail training programme in Beijing queue outside the Qingfeng Steamed Bun Shop, visited by Chinese president Xi Jinping in recent weeks. Photograph: Clifford Coonan

Cooks at the Qingfeng Steamed Bun Shop in west Beijing can’t make the pork and scallion baozi (buns) fast enough since Xi Jinping visited for some tra(...)