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China

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 brand new flight will send fresh cherries from Seattle to Shanghai, China, several times a week starting June 18.

President Trump may not talk much about electric vehicles, but there's another American — with better name recognition in China — who does.

The voice of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, popular in China for his role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, graces the showroom of Auto Shanghai, the city's biennial automotive expo, accompanied by images beamed on a circular wall showing Beijing covered in smog and children wearing pollution masks.

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.

At a research lab on top of a forested hill overlooking Hong Kong, scientists are growing viruses. They first drill tiny holes into an egg before inoculating it with avian influenza to observe how the virus behaves.

USA flag, China flag
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)

Bill Radke talks to Gary Locke, former Washington State Governor and Ambassador to China about the relationship between the U.S. and China and what China means to the Pacific Northwest. 

The U.S. is producing less air pollution, but smog levels are still rising in the western U.S. because of pollutants released in Asian countries that then drift over the Pacific Ocean. Researchers say their findings show the importance of a global approach to preserving air quality.

"Scientists found Asian air pollution contributed as much as 65 percent of an increase in Western ozone in recent years," NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai. "China and India, where many consumer products are manufactured, are the worst offenders."

In a surprising move, China's commerce ministry has announced that the country would be suspending its coal imports from North Korea. China released a statement Saturday saying that the freeze in imports will begin Sunday and will be in place through the end of the year.

Gary Locke is former U.S. ambassador to China and former Governor of Washington State
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

Gary Locke worries the Trump administration is lurching toward a twofold disaster in its China policy.

But he's also hopeful that disaster can be avoided.

I'm in the middle of tapping out an email to my dad, deleting and retyping sentences.

On Friday night I'll cook an abridged Chinese New Year Eve dinner, I write.

Maybe I'll cook noodles (symbolizing happiness, longevity) or dumplings (symbolizing wealth). I don't tell him what I'll do exactly. This is the first time in my adult life, apart from drinking parties organized under the guise of making dumplings for Lunar New Year, that I've paid attention to this holiday.

Like millions of Americans, I watched the new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, as he tried to convince reporters and viewers last weekend that President Trump's inauguration was the most watched ever — "both in person and around the globe, period!"

Spicer made his case even though photos of the National Mall show that attendance was much smaller than at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, which – incidentally – I covered.

Citing local regulations, Apple has removed The New York Times news app from its app store in China. The incident is the latest in the long history of media restrictions in the country, but also in the ongoing pattern of tech companies getting involved in the efforts.

On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump told Fox News that he wouldn't feel "bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

The One China policy has guided U.S.-China discourse since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing and downgraded its embassy in Taiwan.

This banner flew over Seattle on Oct. 28. It reads, WA Chinese for Trump.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Editor’s note, 11/3/16: This story has been updated with additional reporting. KUOW failed to include the voices of Chinese-Americans in the original article. We apologize for this oversight.

You might not expect Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to be popular in China or among Chinese-Americans in the U.S. given his many comments about China draining away American money and jobs. And yet on Friday, an airplane flew over Seattle with the banner, “Washington Chinese Americans for Trump.” 

Apartment buildings in the University District, Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times columnist Jon Talton about a tax Vancouver, B.C. imposed on foreign real estate buyers and its impact on Seattle's housing market. 

Chun Zheng has lived through a house fire, a flood and an earthquake. None of that, she says, compares to sending her infant daughter and son abroad to live with her extended family.

"It's the worst hardship I've ever had to bear," says the 42-year-old hotel housekeeper, speaking in Mandarin.

After a month of student-led democracy protests in central Hong Kong in 2014, there was a moment when the students and Hong Kong's government seemed to be on the verge of actually agreeing on something.

"At one important juncture, the student leaders asked me to talk to senior [Hong Kong] government officials to explore the possibilities of conducting a debate," says Hong Kong University Political Science professor Joseph Chan.

With Chan's coaxing, the Hong Kong government, which was pro-China, agreed.

File photo of a panda.
Flickr Photo/Will Sowards (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/5kiSHg

Large zoos in Washington are standing by while a private foundation tries to bring panda bears to the state.

Officials at the Washington Panda Foundation say they'll be attending a Chinese Panda Summit this month. The only other invitees? Zoos who host pandas.

The Chinese government charges $1 million a year for U.S. zoos to host panda bears and requires a minimum 10-year commitment to hosting.


In the past two days, Typhoon Megi has pounded Taiwan and the coast of southeast China and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate amid rising floodwaters.

At least four people died in Taiwan, as the storm blasted across the island en route to China, NPR's Anthony Kuhn tells our Newscast unit. In mainland China, at least one person was killed when several buildings collapsed in Quanzhou, in Fujian province.

Fu Yuanhui, a Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics, made headlines this week for telling the world she was on her period.

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in 2012.
Flickr Photo/Linda Cotton (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1PltfoZ

Bill Radke talks to Lee Fang, an investigative reporter for The Intercept about the four part investigation he co-wrote that details foreign investment in U.S. politics, including the relationship between former Washington state governor and former U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke and the Chinese family that runs APIC

The Hong Kong film industry is best known for martial arts and crime thrillers, and for launching the careers of international stars like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat. But the most celebrated Hong Kong movie of the past year is not of the same mold. It's a low-budget, overtly political independent film presenting a dark vision of Hong Kong's future.

Just as the U.S. is battling diet-related diseases, obesity and climate change, so, too, is China.

And among the proposed strategies to combat these problems is this: Eat less meat.

China flag
Flickr Photo/Graig Nagy (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke speaks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about the fine line we have to tread in Chinese relations when it comes to the tension between trade and human rights issues. 

Say you are one of the roughly 15,000 American steel workers who have been laid off — or received notice of coming layoffs — in the past year.

You and your boss would cheer any reduction in China's massive steelmaking capacity. Chinese steel has been flooding global markets and hurting profits for U.S. companies.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation corn and soybean farmer. He and his dad run a small farm about 30 miles from Topeka, Kan.

For years, the Chinese government has been widely suspected of hiring thousands of paid commenters using fabricated accounts to argue in favor of the government on social media sites.

This presumed army of trolls is dubbed the "50 Cent Party," because of the rumored rate of pay per post – 50 cents in Chinese Yuan, or about $0.08.

Chinese women Rui Cai and Cleo Wu gave birth to twins last month, following a successful in vitro fertilization. It wasn't simple.

Cai took two eggs from Wu, added sperm from a U.S. sperm bank, had them put in her womb at a clinic in Portland, Ore., then returned to China to give birth.

The lesbian couple is one of the first in China known to have used this form of assisted reproduction.

The birth is seen as a sort of milestone in China, which has become a more tolerant place for gay couples over the past nearly four decades.

High above the Pacific Ocean in a plane headed for Hong Kong, most of the passengers are fast asleep.

But not Jim Puckett. His eyes are fixed on the glowing screen of his laptop. Little orange markers dot a satellite image. He squints at the pixelated terrain trying to make out telltale signs.

He’s searching for America’s electronic waste.

“People have the right to know where their stuff goes,” he says.

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