CHINA: The Air Hasn’t Quite Cleared

While China's dramatic last-minute measures to cut pollution during the Beijing Olympics grabbed headlines, a little publicised Norwegian project in Guizhou province shows just how difficult it will be to make lasting changes.

The Olympic flame at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium.  Credit: Antoaneta Bezlova/IPS

CHINA: Millennium Olympics?

As the curtain falls on the Beijing Olympics, the race is on to define the legacy of one of the most controversial games in history. For the host country, these are the "millennium games", which herald the dawn of the ‘Asian century’ where China reigns supreme.

Native Warriors protest the 2010 Vancouver olympics.  Credit: no2010.com

SPORTS: Angst Follows Olympic Torch from Beijing to Vancouver

The 29th summer Olympics cast renewed light on China's treatment of ethnic minorities in Tibet, and as the games wind down, a similar, if less pronounced set of controversies will follow the torch to Canada when Vancouver hosts the 2010 winter games.

Chinese athletics fan at the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium.  Credit: Antoaneta Bezlova/IPS

CHINA: Agony Turns Ecstasy as Gold Medals Pile Up

As China piles up gold medals, even the host nation has been watching in bewilderment. Despite popular expectations that China’s athletes would shine on home turf, the medal bonanza has surprised usually skeptical Chinese people.

Qianmen street by night. Credit: Antoaneta Bezlova/IPS

CULTURE-CHINA: Love a Peking Duck

Is the Peking duck winning the contest? The jury is out on which Chinese specialty is going to be crowned as the Beijing Olympics’ most favorite local product.

Uighurs claim the development of the railways was aimed at increasing the exploitation of Xinjiang province by China. Credit: World Uighur Network News

POLITICS-CHINA: Tough Policy in Xinjiang Backfires

China’s success in eliminating clusters of Muslim insurgencies in the western province of Xinjiang may have pushed an alleged separatist movement across the border into Pakistan and Afghanistan, exposing it to greater influences by jihadist groups in those countries.

Joan Hinton in Tokyo Credit: Catherine Makino/IPS

Q&A: 'China Is Capitalist, Not Communist'

As one of the nuclear physicists behind the Manhattan Project, Joan Hinton commands awe. But she chucked it all to go to China in 1948 and take part in the Communist Revolution. Now 86, she works on a dairy farm near Beijing, her sense of humour unaffected by a stroke suffered 10 years ago.

Beijing's Ritan Park, designated for protests with official permission, saw no banners or slogan shouting.  Credit: Antoaneta Bezlova/IPS

MEDIA: Olympics Draw Harvest of Online Protests

Say goodbye to the usual slogan-shouting and banner-carrying protest actions, because one does not even have to be anywhere near China to push a mix of causes - from Tibet and Burma to Darfur. Online creativity is the name of the game.

Fuwas gambol at the Olympic Piazza set up in Hong Kong.  Credit: Jacqui Lau/IPS

CHINA: Olympics Leave Hong Kongers Cold

While the whole world tuned in on the spectacular Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, there was little excitement in this former British colony that was returned to China in 1997.

Art performance at Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Credit: Chinese Gov't Official Site

CHINA: All the World's Stage

All the world is a stage and for a few mesmerising hours on Friday night that stage was China’s. Doubts over China as Olympic host faded away, at least temporarily, as the organisers delivered a fitting tribute to the mystery and sophistication of Chinese civilisation.

SPORTS-CUBA: Going for Gold – Once Again

Cuba’s prestige among the global sports élite for the past three decades testifies to the effectiveness of a mass, free physical education system which the government has supported through the ups and downs of the national economy.

Achim Steiner briefs correspondents at UN Headquarters. Credit: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

CHINA: Greening of the Games

Though human rights and environmental issues - such as censorship and pollution in Beijing - have been the two major focuses of criticism levelled against the Chinese government during the lead up to the Olympic games, Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is expected to address some of Beijing’s environmental successes during the opening ceremonies.

Burmese jade jewellery on display at a shop in Ruli, a Chinese border town. Credit: AKSYU

BURMA/CHINA: Avoid ‘Blood Jade’ Olympic Souvenirs – Activists

They make attractive mementos for the thousands of visitors to Beijing for the Summer Olympics. But souvenirs and jewellery made out of prized jade from Burma are ridden with a history of abuse and blood, say activists from the military-ruled country.

Spectators throng the 'Bird's Nest' stadium for Tuesday's rehearsals.  Credit: Chinese Gov't Official Website

CHINA: Olympic Glory Seen As More Than Sports

One hundred years ago Chinese athletes had neither money nor government support to compete in the Olympics. An invitation by the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, to Qing dynasty rulers to send a national team of athletes went unanswered.

DISARMAMENT: China Key Arms Supplier to Human Rights Abusers

As China tries to boost its international image, playing host to a summer Olympic games, the government in Beijing is being singled out as a key arms supplier to some of the world's worst human rights abusers, according to a new study released here.

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