A time machine on rails

Simon Calder catches a tram in Lisbon, for a journey of six miles

Music: Even Rach 3 gets drowned in a tropical monsoon

The musical life of Hong Kong was making all the noises its new masters wanted to hear last weekend, and with all tastes catered for. After the explosive multi-disciplinary extravaganza of Tan Dun's Symphony 1997 and Vanessa-Mae's Happy Valley Reunification Overture (yes, I'm afraid the voluptuous violinist is now a composer too), the Hong Kong Sinfonietta were sustaining the last gasps of festivity in a programme of specially commissioned scores with names like Hong Kong is a Mother's Child and Dream of a Hundred Years. And meanwhile, a few miles west along the South China coast, the game of cultural politics was being played with equal vigour on the neighbouring territory of Macau, as it hosted for the first time the Vianna da Motta International Piano Competition.

Countdown begins to handover of China's next outpost

The three 17-year-old boys had just finished playing squash. An unremarkable way of spending a rainy afternoon, you might think. Except for one unusual circumstance. They had just stepped out of the arrivals hall at the border between the Portuguese colony of Macau and the People's Republic of China. The boys live in Macau. They had popped across into the neighbouring Communist country for their game. It is cheaper and easier for the boys to book their weekly squash game in China than in Macau.

China ends Triad war in Macau

Stephen Vines on the daylight killings Portugal could not stop

Triads and China do Hong Kong deal

The Chinese government has done a deal with triad criminal gangs to ensure the smooth handover of Hong Kong, a former senior Chinese official has revealed.

Hong Kong handover: Mandarin class squares up for territorial fight

The battle for Hong Kong is under way. It is yet to emerge in the full light of day but the intense in-fighting within the Chinese bureaucracy for control of its newly acquired piece of territory occasionally spills into the public arena.

China focuses on next great prize - Taiwan

The hottest selling item at Peking's state-owned Friendship Store these days is a triumphalist 1997 fridge magnet, showing two happy pandas painting the red Chinese flag on top of a Union flag. Another magnet shows a gloomy British bulldog, suitcases in hand, boarding a British flight out while a panda waves him off.

Sex and the North Korean bureaucrat

Richard Lloyd Parry went to Sonbong to hear about investment, but found officials had other things in mind

city slicker Macau

From 9 to 31 March, the southeast Asian Portuguese enclave of Macau hosts its 7th Annual Arts Festival. Not to be confused with The International Music Festival, in October, which is when all the famous acts play. The Arts Festival is considered a mainly local event, which means plinkety-plunk Cantonese opera, chamber recitals, am-dram theatre and school orchestras. But such is the dearth of culture hereabouts, this is still a hot ticket

There's the sensible route to Macau...

...and then there's the route that Simon Calder took

HK's top Chinese official on Peking trip

STEPHEN VINES

Hijackers net pounds 1.1m in raid on HK jetfoil

DIANE STORMONT

Future of Hong Kong rests in the hands of an enigma

Lu Ping, the director of Peking's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office,who is visiting Hong Kong this week, is effectively the man responsible for bringing the colonies back into the Chinese fold. He is something of an enigma.

Inchcape links with Gestetner

A £40m Asia Pacific joint venture is being launched by Inchcape and Gestetner, spawning the region's biggest independent office equipment distributor, with sales of £220m.

Investment fall

China approved foreign investment projects with contracted investment of $68.5bn in 1994, down from nearly $100bn in the same period of 1993, the Economic Daily reported.
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