Beijing Bebop

The backing band is playing Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," but it's clear this isn't the saxophonist's first time around the block. He takes the song's familiar form and makes it something all his own, like a cab driver who knows the destination but chooses to take the scenic route.

I'm in the audience of Beijing's CD Jazz Cafe with no voice recorder, notepad or even a pen. Being a reporter, that's like leaving home with no clothes on.

With Low Fixed Gas Prices in China, Soaring Oil Costs Mean Long Lines at the Pump

A long line of lumbering two-ton trucks were backed up for at least a mile along one of Hangzhou’s major highways by 11 a.m. the other day. As we crept by stopped trucks and gruff-looking drivers passing time on the roadside, our taxi driver said the holdup was at the fuel station. We soon learned that the state-owned Sinopec station would only be selling diesel until 4 p.m.

Mantra of Success

The national television game show Outlook English, in which Chinese youth compete to demonstrate their English language skills, has taken on an American Idol-like popularity. The show was originally conceived to raise the level of spoken English in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics. More than 20,000 teenage contestants entered this year's competition. By May 31 the field had narrowed to three finalists who went head-to-head for the championship at a China Central Television studio in Beijing.

In Rural China Enterprising Villagers Are Elected to Leadership

“Everything for the peasant!,” proclaims village head Ding Jingang, as trailed by his entourage, he strides down the main road of Tihucun, a rural community located in Shaanxi province in central China.

One Big Christian Family

Late one afternoon, our giant charter bus rolled into a quiet town two hours northeast of Xian to explore life outside the urban centers in China. What we found was, in my opinion, a level of hospitality unmatched thus far in our travels. After finishing a delicious dinner prepared by a group of local women, we took a slow stroll to the town’s only Christian church, escorted by the cunzhang, "village head."