China’s Michelle Obama: a new kind of power chick

China's Michelle Obama: a new kind of power chick

China’s new first lady, Peng Liyuan, is leading a fashion renaissance in China, defiantly wearing Chinese designer outfits on the world stage. “National Mother” copycat handbags and scarves are now for sale on China’s online shopping site Taobao; a glut of eager customers has crashed one Chinese label’s website and the Chinese internet is buzzing …read more

The great leap northward

The great leap northward

John Graham Harper crouches in his gym in southern China, bending his muscled legs and concentrating. Then he leaps up, using the power in his thighs and calves to shoot him up in a tremendous bounce. He lands neatly on a waist-high structure, an impressive feat. “It’s all in the explosive force,” he says with …read more

China’s online revolution

China's online revolution

The mayor from impoverished Gansu province, in China’s remote north, should have kept his hands in his pockets. In late November Yuan Zhanting, mayor of Lanzhou, became the latest senior official accused of corruption by ever-vigilant Chinese microbloggers. Photos of Yuan wearing a succession of luxury watches were posted on China’s Twitter equivalent, the popular …read more