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(...)

Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, in Beijing. Photograph: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/AFP/Getty Images

President Xi Jinping has said China will never allow chaos and war on the Korean peninsula and reiterated his call for North Korea to rein in its nuc(...)

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(...)

Chinese dissident Harry Wu speaking to reporters  during a human rights news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. File photo from 2000: AFP/Getty Images

Chinese human rights campaigner Harry Wu, who spent 19 years as a political prisoner and later campaigned against the “laogai” system of labour camps,(...)

Huge crowds attend the press days of the Beijing auto show, particularly at the premium exhibits like Audi (above). The attendances will only increase as the public starts to attend.

The Beijing Auto Show is the only place in the city where you can confidently walk in front of an SUV and not fear that you will be mown down by a man(...)

Last year, Chongqing’s gross domestic product rose by 10.7 per cent, much faster than the 25-year low of 6.9 per cent recorded nationally across China. Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

On the banks of the Yangtze river in Chongqing, between cranes and stockpiles of coal where barges filled with iron ore and gravel slip past, lies an (...)

Greenpeace activists protesting at a power plant in Beijing.  Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund and Save the Children are among the few foreign non-profits permitted to operate in China. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

China’s parliament will this week give a final reading to a controversial Bill ramping up control of hundreds of overseas charities and non-governmen(...)

Twins peak: under the one-child policy of population control, now relaxed, there was widespread use of fertility treatment to encourage multiple births as the policy applied to one birth. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Banshang, a village of 50 families in Hubei in central China, has produced 16 sets of twins in the past 50 years, prompting speculation the water from(...)

 North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un during the inspection of an underwater test-fire of a strategic submarine ballistic missile. Afterwards, he urged scientists to step up the North’s nuclear programme so it could launch attacks on the US and South Korea, whenever it wanted. Photograph:  AFP/KCNA/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile test had been an “eye-opening success” that had been guided by the country’s leader Kim Jong-un, th(...)