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Tiananmen Square

With a friendly face, China tightens security

China's authoritarianism has many faces, but rarely does it appear in the friendly, grandmotherly guise it has taken over the past week, as thousands of older women have shown up on the streets of the capital, their vigilant eyes eager to ferret out the smallest signs of trouble.

Market forces outwit the censors on Tiananmen anniversary

Chinese authorities yesterday marked the 23rd anniversary of the military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square by blocking online search terms that reference the 1989 incident. But despite their best efforts, the Communist censors found themselves outwitted by the market forces that drive the Shanghai stock exchange.

Hong Kong visit of Tiananmen activists blocked

The Hong Kong government has decided to ban two former student leaders exiled for their roles in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, activists said yesterday, accusing local authorities of kowtowing to Beijing.

Iran: A journey from Tehran to Esfahan reveals a country of beauty and

"In the name of God," said the form we had to fill in to get a press card. Was it "in the name of God" that we had to shroud ourselves in loose clothes and headscarves, the minute our plane landed on Iranian soil? Was it "in the name of God" that nearly all the women we saw, as we crawled through the rush-hour traffic from Tehran airport, were wearing black? And it's in the name of God, presumably, that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has, for the past five years, been living under the threat of being stoned to death.

Favourite for Peace award is causing conflict in China

China's communist Party has been casting anxious glances towards Oslo to see if Liu Xiaobo wins this year's Nobel Peace Prize. If the jailed dissident wins the award, Beijing will be faced with another major blow to its reputation – and a victory for many human rights activists campaigning for it to change.

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All the fun of the National People's Congress

The annual gathering in Beijing's Great Hall of the People is the nearest thing you get to democracy in Communist China. Just don't expect to hear any dissent, reports Clifford Coonan