January 23, 2013 A Chinese man in Beijing has set up a cafe identical to the New York hangout on the hit TV show. For owner Du Xin, Friends is "like a religion" — and he's not the only one. He's opened a second Central Perk in Shanghai, capitalizing on the Chinese fondness for the six friends and their laid-back, freewheeling lives.
January 9, 2013 Tales of Machiavellian office politics are all the rage in China, where "bureaucracy lit" is flying off bookstore shelves. The books are read as both entertainment and as how-to guides for aspiring civil servants. Pioneers of the genre offer a path to success in China's corridors of power.
January 7, 2013 China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its "re-education through labor" camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. Many questions remain about what will happen to those currently detained and what might become of these labor camps.
December 31, 2012 Reporter Chris Buckley is forced to leave China when his journalist visa is not extended. The case is seen as a sign of an increasingly hard-line stance toward the foreign media.
December 28, 2012 In North Korea, profound social change is happening beyond the view of the outside world. The pressure of national ideology has forced women to become the primary breadwinners in many households — dramatically redrawing gender roles in the process.
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.