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(...)

Zhou Yongkang: he is   one notch higher in Communist Party power structure than recently convicted Bo Xilai

China’s corruption crackdown is set to claim its most senior scalp to date, with the news that Zhou Yongkang, the former security czar who sat on the (...)

Amnesty activists protest in Hong Kong against the death penalty. China keeps the number of people it executes secret but it is thought to impose the final sanction in thousands of cases every year. Photograph: Laurent Fievet/AFP/Getty Images

In 1995 the intermediate court in the city of Shijiazhuang sentenced Nie Shubin to death for the rape and murder a year earlier of Kang Juhua in a sub(...)