Anthony Kuhn

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today marks the start of the Year of the Dog. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Vietnam and many other countries and by ethnic Asian communities all around the world. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this story from the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

China's official People's Daily newspaper reported in December that Chinese scientists had lowered acoustic sensors into the Mariana Trench, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is everywhere these days, from self-driving cars and voice-activated software like Siri and Alexa. It's being used in fields from criminal justice to finance. So this year in All Tech Considered, we're going to spend some time exploring AI.

China's President Xi Jinping finished 2017 vowing to boost China's role on the world stage.

The streets and alleys of Jiugong Township on Beijing's southern fringes are strewn with rubble from demolished buildings and piles of abandoned clothes and household items.

Authorities have given residents of this migrant laborer enclave just days to clear out before they shut off all electricity and water this week.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sitting on a small stool in the lobby of Chinese electronics firm LeEco's Beijing headquarters, contractor Fu Hangxia remembers the company's glory days just a couple of years ago.

"They wanted to create a miracle," Fu says. "They did everything to the highest standards, and burned through a lot of money."

Fu's business boomed, as he produced the product launches and built stores for LeEco in China's southwest Sichuan and Chongqing regions.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

China is claiming a larger role for itself in world affairs. China's president, Xi Jinping, talked last month of making his country a powerful nation that could lead the world.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Trump wrapped up a visit to China today, and now we're going to take a look at what each country did or didn't get out of that visit. Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping and his country.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As the sun went down Wednesday on the vermilion walls and yellow tile roofs of Beijing's Forbidden City, the first families of the U.S. and China took in a Peking opera performance in the palace where China's emperors lived for nearly six centuries.

It was the start of what China's ambassador to the U.S. calls a "state visit plus" — a highly choreographed blend of stagecraft and statecraft, designed to highlight the evolving chemistry between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A hundred and one people became billionaires in China last year, but that news has been eclipsed by stories of high-flying tycoons falling from grace. Planet Money has been reporting on money and China, including this story from NPR's Anthony Kuhn on the tycoons' fate.

Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader in years, began a second five-year term Wednesday as leader of the ruling Communist Party. He appeared in public in a new leadership lineup — which notably lacked a clear successor, calling into question the stability of China's leadership transitions.

The unveiling of the country's seven most powerful men was the political climax of the year in China. It followed the 19th Communist Party Congress, which handed Xi his second term and enshrined his theories in the party charter.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Chinese President Xi Jinping proclaimed the arrival of "a new era" in which a reinvigorated Communist Party will lead his nation to modernity, wealth and power as he opened the 19th national congress of China's ruling Communist Party on Wednesday.

The meeting is expected to give him a second five-year term.

Xi's speech, delivered in the cavernous Great Hall of the People overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square, lasted for 3 1/2 hours and traced the broad outlines of his vision and the party's policies.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Preparations for a major shakeup of China's Communist Party leadership are all but complete, ahead of a national congress that begins in Beijing on Wednesday. President Xi Jinping, the party boss, is expected to cement his already considerable power and embark on a second five-year term.

Last Saturday, in an auditorium bedecked with red flags and hammer-and-sickle emblems, the party's outgoing central committee members raised their hands in unison to approve the congress's final preparations.

When students returned to Beijing Normal University for classes last month, there was a notable absence in the classical Chinese class taught by Shi Jiepeng: Shi himself.

University authorities fired the assistant professor in late July, citing a number of offenses, including "expressing views outside the mainstream of society."

The charges still puzzle the lanky teacher, as he sits speaking to me in a café just outside the university's main gate.

North Korea test-launched another missile Friday that arced over northern Japan and into the Pacific, showing its progress toward being able to strike the U.S. and signaling its defiance of U.N. sanctions imposed after its sixth, and most recent, nuclear test earlier this month.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The most important date of China's packed 2017 political calendar has now been set: Oct. 18. That's the date state media announced Thursday for the 19th national congress of China's ruling Communist Party, a key gathering that takes place every five years.

The meeting is expected to induct a new lineup of leaders who will rule the world's most populous nation for the next five years — and beyond.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In China, a country where all media are nominally owned by the state, the government invests vast amounts of money and labor into controlling information.

Having any investigative journalists at all is no mean feat.

But in Hunan, the journalism can be as spicy as the chili pepper-laden cuisine for which the province is known.

"Hunan produces the best investigative journalists in the country," says Luo Changping, who until 2014 was one of them. One reason for this, he says, is that "no matter how poor people are in Hunan, they're very concerned about politics."

A software developer in southern China surnamed Xie was at home on a recent day, when he responded to a knock on the door.

He opened it to find three plainclothes policemen. Xie asks that we just use his last name, because he fears being arrested.

At the time, he was selling VPN apps on Apple's China app store. VPNs — virtual private networks — help people access Internet content that's blocked in China.

Pages