From inside China, it often appears as if modern Chinese power is more aimed at erasing a painful past than at writing a dominant future. But there is one topic where the peace-loving Chinese seem worryingly militaristic: Taiwan.
After taking office this year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's first major foreign trip was to China, where she met Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing in April. China has become Brazil's largest trade partner and largest investor.
Minouru Iwasaki/AFP/Getty Images
Three Chinese companies are building a massive superhighway in Kenya linking Nairobi with the city of Thika. The road, as wide as 16 lanes, is the biggest of its kind in East Africa.
The Varyag aircraft carrier, shown April 26, is being renovated at a shipyard in the northern Chinese city of Dalian. After years of refurbishing work, the carrier — bought from Ukraine — has been described as "on the verge of setting out" by Xinhua state news agency.
Workers unload cargo from the first vessel to enter the Chinese-funded port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, in November 2010. China's Export-Import Bank provided 85 percent of the financing for construction of the port.
Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese employee works in a textile firm in the Macrolotto area in Prato, the biggest textile district in Europe, in 2005. The town has become home to the largest concentration of Chinese residents in Europe — many of whom are not legal.
Marco Bulgarelli /Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Employees of China's state-run Cosco company work at the port in Greece on Sept. 13, 2010. The company is accused by Greek unionists and by employees of importing Chinese labor practices.
Chinese explorer Zheng He sailed on diplomatic and business missions in the early 1400s, reaching as far as northeast Africa. This sculpture of Zheng He is on display in the Asian Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.