December 10, 2012 The sudden death of North Korea's leader, the ascension of his little-known son, and a rocket-launch failure marked a rocky year for the reclusive nation. In rare interviews, several North Koreans tell NPR that expectations of a better life have not been met.
December 5, 2012 If the new Communist Party leadership in China has its way, the country will be saying zaijian to droning speeches and over-the-top red carpet receptions. These are the first concrete signs of change since China's new party leader, Xi Jinping, took power last month.
November 28, 2012 She is a wildly popular singer, AIDS activist and major general in the Chinese army. Now, Peng Liyuan is slated to add another title: first lady of China. Peng's husband, Xi Jinping, is expected to become the country's president next year. Military garb has replaced her fabulous costumes as China's image-makers ensure she doesn't overshadow Xi.
November 12, 2012 The man who is about to become China's new leader, Xi Jinping, is well-traveled. In his current role as vice president, he's been to 41 countries, more than any other Chinese leader-to-be. In all his globetrotting, he's kept a soft spot for Muscatine, a small town in Iowa.
November 11, 2012 A famous documentary maker has inspired more than a hundred young people to take part in an oral history project to collect peasants' stories of the Great Famine in the late 1950s and early 1960s. An estimated 36 million people died during the famine, which the Chinese government blamed on natural disasters.
November 10, 2012 For 10 years, journalist Yang Jinsheng secretly collected official evidence about the terrible famine in China a half-century ago. In his chilling book Tombstone — which is banned in his homeland — Yang estimates that 36 million people died of starvation and other causes during the famine, even as grain exports continued.
November 8, 2012 China began its once-a-decade leadership transition as the 18th Communist Party Congress opened Thursday. The message focused on cleaning up government corruption, which President Hu Jintao said could be "fatal" to the party and the state.