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Emily Feng

BEIJING — In 1961, Muhammad's then-teenage parents loaded as many belongings as they could onto yaks and horses, then set off walking toward the snow-tipped Pamir mountains. Their destination: Afghanistan.

They were among hundreds of Uyghurs who have fled northwest China's Xinjiang region to Afghanistan since the 1950s. The Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim Turkic ethnic minority, made the arduous trek along ancient pilgrimage and trade routes to the neighboring country to escape religious and political persecution under the Chinese government.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Buddhism is becoming very popular in China. It turned one Tibetan Buddhist monastery into a thriving pilgrimage site - that is, until this year when it possibly got too popular. NPR's Emily Fang reports.

Updated October 1, 2021 at 7:31 AM ET

BEIJING — Here is a riddle: China has more than enough power plants to meet electricity demand. So why are local governments having to ration power across the country?

The search for an answer begins with the pandemic.

BEIJING — American firms are the most confident they have been about their business prospects in China since before a damaging U.S.-China trade war began, according to a survey just released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, a strong sign that business between the two countries has improved despite a global coronavirus pandemic and

TAICANG, China — The one-bedroom apartment was to be Penelope Wu's retirement home, an escape from the bustle of Shanghai — or, at least, that's how Evergrande, the Chinese property developer, painted it. To jump in line ahead of hundreds of other prospective homebuyers, Wu paid the sticker price of about $200,000 in full last year, before construction had even broken ground.

One of China's most prominent #MeToo cases has concluded with a Beijing court ruling that it could not determine whether sexual harassment occurred, a blow for gender equality advocates and for China's faltering #MeToo movement.

BEIJING — America's two-decade presence in Afghanistan was always a mixed bag for neighboring China.

"On the one hand, [China] didn't love the fact that there [were] American military bases literally on their border in Afghanistan," says Raffaello Pantucci, a fellow with the Royal United Services Institute, a security think tank in the United Kingdom. "On the other hand, you know, they thought, well, at least someone is dealing with the issues there. And we don't have to."

Updated August 18, 2021 at 11:47 AM ET

BEIJING – The client dinner in July began like any other: with copious amounts of alcohol and no other women present.

"Look how good I am to you," the female employee later recalled her male manager telling their clients when she arrived at the meal. "I brought you a beautiful girl," she remembered him saying.

She says the last thing she remembered that night was crying while her manager lay on top of her.

BEIJING — A court in China has sentenced Canadian businessman Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage, days before Canada is expected to announce whether it will extradite a Chinese executive to the United States for trial.

The Intermediate People's Court of Dandong City, near China's border with North Korea, said Spavor illegally provided state secrets to overseas contacts.

The fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus has been found in China.

Over the past week, more than 500 cases of COVID-19 have been identified across the country after the first delta cases were found in the port city of Nanjing. On Tuesday, authorities said they had discovered 90 new cases, concentrated in Jiangsu, Henan and Hubei provinces.

The city of Wuhan said it would mass test all 10 million of its residents after discovering eight cases of the virus this week.

BEIJING — Sun Dawu, one of China's best-known rural entrepreneurs, was handed an 18-year prison sentence on Wednesday amid broader efforts by authorities in China to rein in powerful businessmen and limit the influence of private enterprise.

Updated July 28, 2021 at 4:04 PM ET

BEIJING — As a spokesperson, he delivered excoriating one-liners and helped pioneer a brash, more sharply confident communication style from the Chinese foreign ministry's pulpit.

XINXIANG, China — First the sky darkened. Then came the rain — for three straight days.

Inside her restaurant, Wang Ana barricaded the doors in an effort to stop water from seeping in. When that didn't work, she grabbed her young son and a broom handle, using it to steady the two of them as they waded through the chin-high floodwaters back home.

"We could only hold on to each other," says Wang, a resident of Zhengzhou, the capital city of central Henan province and home to approximately 12 million people.

ZUNYI, China — Some people splurge for beach vacations or a week in nature. Office worker Huang Ge recently decided to spend his week off touring Zunyi, a remote, mountainous town in southern China that's important to his country's modern political history.

"China's Communist Party influenced my sense of social responsibility," says Huang, who lives in the southern province of Guangdong. "My understanding of the party continues to modernize, and coming to these sites replenishes my faith in the party."

BEIJING — China has accused the United States of mounting cyberattacks against Chinese government, scientific, aviation and other technical institutions for the past 11 years.

The finger-pointing comes the day after the U.S. mounted similar accusations against China, an exchange of blame which threatens to make cybersecurity another rift in an already-fractious U.S.-China relationship.

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BEIJING — China's ruling Communist Party is throwing itself a party, kicking off a month of celebrations today to memorialize its founding 100 years ago.

Across China, newspapers and buildings alike have been blanketed in red party propaganda. Three Chinese astronauts in space beamed back congratulations to the party. And online censors and police have been working overtime for the past month to ensure no disturbances mar the heavily scripted ceremonies held in Beijing today.

BEIJING — It took just one year for China's national security law to completely remake Hong Kong's decades-old institutions.

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BEIJING – Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy newspaper is shutting down.

The paper, Apple Daily, had managed to survive the arrest of its founder and of its editor in chief, and of several top executives. But last week, the government froze its bank accounts, crippling the paper's operations.

Apple Daily will run its last edition on Saturday — signaling the end to Hong Kong's once freewheeling and muckraking reporting environment as well.

BEIJING — Hong Kong police have arrested five editorial executives, including the editor in chief, of media outlet Apple Daily, freezing more corporate accounts and imperiling the future of the region's most feisty, investigative paper.

DATONG, China — The walls and ceiling of the Nanshan mine shimmer black, carved straight into a 200 million-year-old coal seam running 1,300 feet underground. Black veins of Jurassic-era coal deposits still thread Shanxi province in China's north, enriching public coffers and keeping generations of miners steadily employed.

BEIJING — Over the last three years, the U.S. and the European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on Chinese officials and companies. Now China has created a new legal tool to hit back.

Organizations with a foot in both the United States and China may face a tough choice going forward: By complying with American sanctions on China, they face the possibility of tough sanctions in China as a penalty for doing so.

BEIJING - China will now allow married couples to have up to three children as the country attempts to halt a declining birthrate.

BEIJING – Ten veteran Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and politicians have been sentenced to up to three years' prison time for organizing a demonstration in October 2019.

The sentences are the latest in a series of roundups among Hong Kong's beleaguered political opposition for their part in the broader anti-government demonstrations against Beijing's rule that rocked the region throughout 2019.

BAODING, HEBEI, CHINA — Billionaire Sun Dawu built an agriculture empire just outside Beijing. To accommodate approximately 9,000 employees and their families, he created a self-contained company town replete with free hospitals, schools and a sports stadium, all named after himself.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The results of China's census are in. Can we just pause for a moment to think about the amazing task of counting around 1.4 billion people? This census is the first in a decade, and it shows the population grew more slowly than it has in around 40 years.

ZHUHAI, China — Feng Daoyou loved her family, even if she never heeded their advice much.

"Marry someone, anyone," her older brother, Feng Daokun, remembers telling her for years. "We kept at it, called her a spinster. She got mad at that."

Feng preferred independence. Then, a few years ago, as her extended family's main breadwinner, she began building a new dream — a new house for her clan of loved ones in China.

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