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(...)

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,(...)

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(...)

     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(...)

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 (...)

The families of some of China’s  communist party leaders including President Xi Jinping (above) have used offshore tax havens to conceal their fortunes, the Panama Papers have revelaed. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese government has described as “groundless” accusations in the Panama Papers that the families of senior Communist Party leaders, inclu(...)

China has condemned the Panama Papers as a western conspiracy and its censors have restricted access to coverage of the leaked documents, which show o(...)