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(...)

Golf was outlawed in China in 2015, as part of  a crack down on corrupton. Photograph: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

China’s ruling Communist Party has softened its hard line on golf, but government officials may not be out of the rough yet if they don’t want to fall(...)

The files link nine of the country’s most prominent families, including a relative of president Xi Jinping,  to secret offshore companies, mostly based in the British Virgin Islands. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese government remained silent on Friday on revelations from the Panama Papers that the families of three of the seven people on the Standing (...)

Neil Heywood and Gu Kailai. The wife of a former high-profile Chinese politician, Gu murdered Mr Heywood to try to prevent a scandal concerning millions of dollars in real estate being held in an offshore account.

For months, Gu Kailai worried about a secret that threatened to upend her comfortable life and stop her husband’s climb to the top rungs of China’s p(...)

A Baifu pet cemetery worker  decorates a new pet tomb ahead of the Qingming festival on the outskirts of Beijing. Millions honoured their ancestors on Sunday as part of tomb sweeping day. Photograph:   Jason Lee/Reuters

The first day of China’s traditional Qingming holiday, or tomb sweeping day, saw millions of Chinese visit burial sites to honour their ancestors by p(...)

Delegates attend the opening of the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Delivering the Communist Party’s annual work report to China’s annual National People’s Congress, premier Li Keqiang said the world’s second largest e(...)

Lizzie Burns, an illiterate Irish woman who married Engels shortly before her death

Four words in a newspaper review of a 400-page biography. That was all it took to send Gavin McCrea on the trail of Lizzie Burns, a cotton worker fro(...)

Maoist cult leader Aravindan Balakrishnan: threatened women  with what he called a supernatural mind-control machine which he named “Jackie”. Photograph:  Hannah McKay/PA Wire

A Maoist cult leader, convicted of raping and beating his brainwashed British female followers and keeping his own daughter a fearful prisoner for mor(...)

Placards showing missing bookseller Lee Bo (left) and his associate Gui Minhai (right)  outside the China liaison office in Hong Kong. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

The wife of missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo, who vanished last month and was believed to have been taken across the border by Chinese security off(...)

The statue reportedly cost nearly three billion yuan (€427,000). Photograph: Reuters

A giant golden statue of the late Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong, erected in the remote Chinese countryside, has been torn down, removed almost a(...)