A sales assistant arranges handbags inside a Chanel boutique at a shopping mall in central Guangzhou, China, in February 2014. Alex Lee/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Lee/Reuters/Landov

Liu Jianchao (second right), China's assistant foreign minister, shakes hands with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama (second left) during a meeting in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday. Liu Tan/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Liu Tan/Xinhua/Landov

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and Asian leaders approved an agreement on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing in Oct., 2014. European countries are beginning to sign up too. Takaki Yajima/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Takaki Yajima/AP

A woman wears a face mask on a hazy January day in downtown Shanghai. China has ordered a popular anti-pollution film removed from major online outlets. In Xi'an, two people who had protested against smog were reportedly detained. ALY SONG/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption ALY SONG/Reuters /Landov

Journalist Chai Jing used $160,000 of her own money to produce a documentary on China's air pollution problem. Screenshot/Under the Dome hide caption

itoggle caption Screenshot/Under the Dome

Comedian Jesse Appell performs at a club in Beijing. Appell won a scholarship in 2012 to study comedy in China and has been performing on the country's small but growing stand-up comedy circuit. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Rolls of toilet paper and packages of tissue paper printed with images of pro-Beijing Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying are shown Democratic Party Vice Chairman Lo Kin-hei in Hong Kong on Saturday. Kin Cheung/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Kin Cheung/AP

The number of children who need glasses has risen quickly across East Asia and Southeast Asia. But some parents and doctors in China are skeptical of lenses. They think glasses weaken children's vision. Imaginechina/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Imaginechina/Corbis

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner during their talks in Beijing on Wednesday. In a tweet she sent out today, Kirchner appeared to mock Chinese speech. Pang Xinglei/Xinhua /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Pang Xinglei/Xinhua /Landov

Some DVD vendors in Shanghai still sell on the street, but a government crackdown forced most out of business or into storefronts. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

Some fake Apple stores like this one in Kunming, in China's southwestern Yunnan province, were so authentic-looking that even some of their employees didn't know they were fake. Stephen Shaver/UPI/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Stephen Shaver/UPI/Landov

On Jan. 1, people gathered at a makeshift memorial marking the site of a New Year's Eve stampede on the Bund in Shanghai, China. Three dozen people died, and dozens more were injured. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Senior citizens eat dinner in the unheated dining room of their government-funded retirement home in rapidly aging Juegang Township, Rudong County, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Just a few years ago, the town had only one such facility; now it has five. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Most of Bishan's young adults have moved to big cities to find jobs, leaving elders and children behind in the quiet village. Courtesy of Sun Yunfan hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sun Yunfan

Buddhists pour fish into the river in Shanghai. Environmentalists say the ritual, while well-intentioned, can introduce invasive species. Many of the fish are quickly swooped up in nets by fishermen who position themselves nearby. Julia Langfitt for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julia Langfitt for NPR