The Prime Minister is leading the largest ever trade delegation to China. But what value do these junkets really deliver?

Sean O'Grady: China will overtake America, the only question is when

Few things would be more powerfully symbolic of the shift in the balance of global economic power than to have oil traded in the Chinese renminbi rather than the American dollar.

Vermeer's Hat, By Timothy Brook

The way that Timothy Brook teases out trade routes, struggles for power and the delicate dance of international relations from an image of a hat or a china bowl is truly mesmerising. In this accessible but authoritative study, he relies on five paintings by Vermeer (and Girl with a Pearl Earring isn't one of them) for his history of the Dutch reach for global power, and shows, better than anyone I've read so far, the truly subversive power of detail – especially when it's brought to the fore instead of filling in the background.

China probes internet bootcamp after teen dies

Chinese police are investigating a bootcamp for Internet addicts after a teenage boy died, apparently following a severe beating, just hours after checking in, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.

17 dead after building collapses in China

An unfinished factory building collapsed amid a violent thunderstorm today in northern China, killing 17 people, state media and a government official said.

Death toll in China riots rises to 192

State media reports the death toll for July 5 ethnic riots in western China has risen to 192.

Stephen King: China takes small steps towards breaking the sway of the US dollar

For nations sitting on piles of dollar assets, the fall in the dollar's value is hardly good news

Brothers, By Yu Hua

Blood-soaked scenes from China's crisis

Hamish McRae: Renminbi on the way to being the world's most important currency

Economic Life: The road to a world of multiple reserve currencies will be a bumpy one, and people will get hurt

China Witness, By Xinran

Today China speaks to the world, louder and in more mixed voices than ever before. But what of the "silent generation" of elders whose burden of loss and regret makes them all-but inaudible ghosts at the boom-time feast?

Geithner reassures Chinese their dollar assets are safe

US Treasury Secretary politely asks rulers to devalue nation's currency

China reacts angrily to US military report

China has criticised a newly released US report on Beijing's growing military power as a "gross distortion" and interference in its affairs.

John Rentoul: I love the sound of breaking china

Now, this is most enjoyable. David Cameron's stealthy acceptance of Labour's plan to impose a new 45 per cent rate of tax on incomes over £150,000 a year from April 2011 has thrown the Conservatives into a blue funk.

Games Review: My Chinese Coach

DS, Ubisoft, £19.99

Jeremy Warner: Exchange rates reignite fears of protectionism

Outlook: Exchange rate worries swept back on to the international agenda this week with a leading financier opining that the pound was "finished", various eurozone nations expressing concern over sterling's dramatic devaluation, the new US Treasury Secretary accusing the Chinese of "manipulating" their currency to prevent it appreciating against the dollar, and the Japanese hinting at renewed currency intervention to stop the yen rising any further.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis