First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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The Dzungar army surrenders to Manchu officers of the Qing Dynasty in 1759 in the Ili Valley, now part of China's Xinjiang region, in this painting made several years later by Chinese and Jesuit missionary artists. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Members of Exile Tibetan Women Association protest to demand the immediate release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, during a gathering to mark the 20th anniversary of his disappearance, in New Delhi, India, on Sunday. Tsering Topgyal/AP hide caption

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The twisting Shanghai Tower (right) is the world's second-tallest building and opens soon. Shen Zhonghai/Gensler hide caption

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Not exactly what that's for: Two tourists climb on a statue in Huayin, China, near Huashan, or Mount Hua, a famed tourist destination, in May 2013. ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images hide caption

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Joel Xu, 25, drives in Shanghai for People's Uber, a ride-sharing service. He makes about $4,000 a month – a good wage in Shanghai – and loves meeting new people he'd otherwise never encounter. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

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Vietnamese forces travel toward the country's northern border during a brief, bloody war with China in 1979. Alan Dawson/Bettmann/CORBIS hide caption

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The website bestenglishname.com uses the answers to questions about subjects such as music, sports and personal style to generate suitable English names. Via bestenglishname.com hide caption

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Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Oct. 24, in Beijing. Getty Images hide caption

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An engraving of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865. Lincoln died the next day. De Agostini Picture Library/De Agostini/Getty Images hide caption

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As China continues its massive economic growth, especially in cities, the government continues to severely limit people's rights. Is that system sustainable? Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A man pushing a stroller passes parallel traders in Hong Kong distributing goods to be brought into Shenzhen, China, on Monday. China said it will limit the number of visits that residents of Shenzhen can make to Hong Kong. The move is an attempt to ease the flow of mainland visitors in the former British colony. Bobby Yip/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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A March 16 satellite image from the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative shows one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe hide caption

itoggle caption CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

Best-selling author Liu Cixin's science fiction books are breaking new ground in China's literary world. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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