Grandfather Zhen Qingchun, who has  seven grandsons, aged 11 to 20: “Our situation is very common. The parents go away to work, the older generation takes care of them. You have to make money, and you usually can’t take your children with you.”  Photograph: Clifford Coonan

A dozen elderly people, some wearing the blue tunics and black slippers of Mao Zedong’s more doctrinaire era, are waiting in the rain beneath a bus sh(...)

A paramilitary police officer outside   the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Amnesty  has urged China  to scrap a new law  which it says is aimed at further smothering civil society. Photograph: Fred Dufour/Getty Images

The Chinese government has passed a strict new law which steps up control of overseas charities and non-governmental organisations, giving police swee(...)

State-owned Chongqing Iron and Steel Co was the worst performing of China’s big steel mills last year. Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

The cherished Iron Rice Bowl, the job for life with benefits under the communist system, is under threat in China as monolithic state firms make wrenc(...)

Changzhou Foreign Languages School in Jiangsu province: a total of 493 students at the school have developed blood abnormalities and diseases such as dermatitis, eczema and bronchitis. Some have even been diagnosed with leukaemia and lymphoma.

Chinese authorities have launched an investigation into what is becoming known as a “toxic school”, after nearly 500 students in Jiangsu suffered seri(...)

China’s finance minister Lou Jiwei called Donald Trump an ‘irrational type’ in an interview criticising the Republican presidential frontrunner’s calls for a trade war with China. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

China’s finance minister Lou Jiwei labelled Donald Trump “an irrational type” after the Republican presidential front-runner called for tougher trade (...)

Scale-models of terracotta warriors are pictured on sale at the exhibition Power in Death - The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China at the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg. Photograph: Reuters

Clifford Coonan in Beijing In China, there is an old saying, “To get rich overnight, raid tombs” and trade in stolen cultural relics is booming. (...)

     Kevin Spacey, who plays fictional president Francis Underwood in “House of Cards”:  “They tell me House of Cards is a huge success in China, that the government like it a lot and that for the man in the street Underwood is seen as a man who fights corruption,” he told reporters at the launch of a new series in Paris.  Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

With the Communist Party’s anti-corruption campaign in full swing, House of Cards has become a huge hit in China. Kevin Spacey, who plays the Machiave(...)

China’s president Xi Jinping has initiated a moral crusade that has seen TV items involving LGBT content taken off the air. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

A labour arbitration board in southern China will hear what is being described as the country’s first transgender job discrimination case after a man (...)

Crew members of Japanese submarine Oyashio (left) work on the deck while Japanese destroyers  dock at a port of the former US naval base in Subic bay, north of Manila, in the   Philippines.  China has an ongoing row with Tokyo over the ownership of islands in the region. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

China has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” after foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) bloc of advanced economies issued a statement strong(...)

An internet cafe in Beijing. Data shows that nearly 29 per cent of China’s 650 million internet users used a Virtual Private Network to get online during the last three months of 2015. Photograph: Sim Chi Yin/The New York Times

He is the architect and perennial defender of the system of internet controls known as the Great Firewall of China, on which searches for controversi(...)