Chinese president Xi Jinping  and premier Li Keqiang  press buttons to vote during the closing ceremony of China’s National People’s Congress  at the Great Hall of the People  in Beijing. Photograph:  Feng Li/Getty Images

During the only news conference the Communist Party leadership gives on a regular basis, premier Li Keqiang used a graphic description for China’s eff(...)

Attendants prepare tea for delegates ahead of the closing session of the Chinese People’s political consultative conference at the Great Hall of the People  in Beijing yesterday. Photograph: Feng Li/Getty Images

President Xi Jinping urged China’s annual parliament to step up the process of reform, including reform of China’s national defence forces, as(...)

China’s  minister for foreign affairs Wang Yi arriving for a press conference at the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing. The NPC is to consider introducing the country’s first press law.   Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

China’s annual parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), is considering introducing the country’s first press law. The law would regulate all (...)

‘Chinese leaders are not known for tolerating dissent, but Xi Jinping is less tolerant than his predecessors.’  Photograph: EPA/WU HONG

I remember Cao Shunli’s speech during her trial. She was a brave activist who fought for land rights, documented cases of human rights abuse and parti(...)

Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang   poses with female delegates to mark  International Women’s Day. Photograph: China Daily/Reuters

China marked International Women’s Day by detaining a number of feminist activists, amid fears they were planning a nationwide campaign against sexual(...)

Chinese military delegates arrive at the Great Hall of the People before the opening session of the National People’s Congress on  in Beijing, China.  Photograph:  Feng Li/Getty Images

China’s annual rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, got under way on Thursday, with the country’s premier, Li Keqiang, pledging t(...)

A man walks past a billboard featuring a photo of China’s president Xi Jinping beside lantern decorations for the Lunar New Year in Baoding, China’s northern Hebei province, on Tuesday. Mr Xi has unveiled his latest political slogan, the “Four Comprehensives”, a call for a more prosperous country and deeper reform. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

With a week to go until the National People’s Congress, China’s annual rubberstamp parliament, President Xi Jinping unveiled his latest political slog(...)

French prime minister Manuel Valls after delivering a speech before the vote of no confidence. The outcome shows that President François Hollande’s administration no longer commands a reliable majority. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The French government has survived a vote of no confidence, but has been weakened by the necessity of using an obscure constitutional instrument to p(...)

Clashes between the Shan State Army (seen above) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army in recent weeks are a setback to  government efforts to forge a nationwide ceasefire in Myanmar. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images.

Forty-seven Myanmar soldiers have been killed this week in fighting with ethnic minority insurgents near the border with China, the military said i(...)

One of the rising stars of Chinese banking, Mao Xiaofeng, the youngest-ever president of a listed bank in the country, resigned as head of China Minsheng Bank ‘for personal reasons’.  File photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

China’s wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign has made itself felt in every area of public life, so it was perhaps only a matter of time before it tur(...)