LUANG PRABANG, LAOS - APRIL 09: The China-Laos Railway passes by a China Railway cargo shipment on April 09, 2024 in Luang Prabang, Laos. The China-Laos railway, a key project of China's Belt and Road Initiative, is a high-speed railway connecting Kunming, the capital of China's Yunnan province, to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. This railway is the biggest public infrastructure project ever undertaken by Laos, with a total length of 1,035 kilometers and a cost of US$5.9 billion, which is equivalent to around one-third of Laos' gross domestic product in 2019. The railway is dedicated to both passenger and freight traffic services, creating a new link between Laos and China, the former's neighbor and closest partner. The Laos section of the railway is part of a vision to build a Pan-Asia railway that will ultimately connect China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, improving the efficiency of goods movement for export-driven economies along the route, opening up travel and extending China's influence deep into Southeast Asia. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Debt-Trap Diplomacy

How justified are recent claims that China has been buying significant quantities of debt to undermine the sovereignty of African nations?
A statue of Zheng He in Jurong Gardens, Singapore

Zheng He, the Great Eunuch Admiral

Captured, castrated, and forced to serve the Hongwu Emperor, Zeng He subsequently led a massive Ming fleet of treasure ships across an ever-expanding empire.
Sun Yat Sen

Remembering Sun Yat Sen Abroad

Museums around the world honor the history of the revolutionary, but as Singapore’s Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall shows, those memories aren’t easy to read.
The portrait of Confucius from Confucius, Philosopher of the Chinese

Confucius in the European Enlightenment

Many Enlightenment thinkers admired Confucius, leading to a debate over whether classical Chinese philosophy was compatible with Christianity.
Flag of the Chinese Empire under the Qing dynasty (1889-1912)

Dragon Swallows the Sun: Predicting Eclipses in China

China had a long history of astronomy before the arrival of Europeans, but the politics of absolute rule led to the eventual embrace of Western methods.
The cover of the Chinese edition of Three Body Problem

Chinese Science Fiction Before The Three Body Problem

Viewing the genre as a means to spread modern knowledge, Chinese novelists have been writing science-fiction stories since at least 1902.
Chinese people perform Dragon Dance during a worship ceremony of Qingming Festival, also known as the "Tomb Sweeping Day" on April 2, 2005 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China.

Reviving Chinese Festivals

The government of China has been working to revitalize traditional celebrations that were suppressed after the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.
Performers go through their routine during a media call for the New Shanghai Circus Australian tour at the Lyric Theatre, Star City June 16, 2004 in Sydney, Australia.

Exporting Chinese Acrobats

Chinese acrobats have been impressing circus-goers at shows like Cirque du Soleil since the 1980s. How did these gymnastic marvels make their way to the West?
Mao Tse-tung facing Nikita Khrushchev during the Russian leader's 1957 visit to Peking

A Messy Divorce: The Sino-Soviet Split

The ideological disagreements between two nations shattered the idea of monolithic communism and re-arranged the chessboard of the Cold War.
Lee Kwong family photo, ca. 1907. Standing (l.-r.): Aurelia, Percy, Carmen, and Luisa. Seated (l.-r. ): Concepcion, Lai Ngan, Teresa, Frank, Lee Kwong, and Marian.

From Bond Maid to Pioneering Chinese Businesswoman

Raised as a servant girl, Lai Ngan grew up to become a cigar maker, own a boarding house, and run grocery stores in the American Southwest.