Scenes From 21st-Century China (34 pics)




The Peoples Republic of China, the most populous country, and the second-largest economy, in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve. In this, the latest entry in a semi-regular series on China, an anti-terrorism drill, terrible smog in Beijing, the decline of steel production, the view from a rooftop bubble tram, a mummified monk, a 14th-century walled village slated for demolition, and much more. This collection offers only a small view of people and places across the country over the past few months.

A building and a large screen seen through thick smog in Beijing on December 8, 2015, as China's

A building and a large screen seen through thick smog in Beijing on December 8, 2015, as China's capital issued its first ever “red alert” for pollution.

Herders ride horses on snow-covered field in Zhaosu County, Yili, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,

Herders ride horses on snow-covered field in Zhaosu County, Yili, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, on January 10, 2016.

A woman poses with a trompe-l'oeil painting at Sanxia Square in Chongqing, China, on January 29,

A woman poses with a trompe-l'oeil painting at Sanxia Square in Chongqing, China, on January 29, 2016. Trompe-l'oeil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the illusion that depicted objects exist in three dimensions.

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps train at a military training base in Bayin

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps train at a military training base in Bayingol, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, on January 20, 2016.

Private housing blocks in Hong Kong, China, photographed on December 15, 2015.

Private housing blocks in Hong Kong, China, photographed on December 15, 2015.

A Chinese woman wears a mask and filter as she walks to work during heavy pollution on December 9, 2

A Chinese woman wears a mask and filter as she walks to work during heavy pollution on December 9, 2015, in Beijing.

A puppy sits in a plastic strainer, waiting to be sold by its owner, in front of a subway station in

A puppy sits in a plastic strainer, waiting to be sold by its owner, in front of a subway station in downtown Shanghai on October 28, 2015. The owner sold four puppies each selling for 100 yuan ($15.73).

The Oriental Pearl Tower skyscraper is seen during rain at the financial district of Pudong in Shang

The Oriental Pearl Tower skyscraper is seen during rain at the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, China, on January 28, 2016.

Passengers crowd at the waiting hall inside a railway station after trains were delayed due to heavy

Passengers crowd at the waiting hall inside a railway station after trains were delayed due to heavy snow, during the travel rush ahead of the upcoming Spring Festival, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on February 1, 2016.

Police and civilians take part in an anti-terrorism drill at a college in Hangzhou, Zhejiang provinc

Police and civilians take part in an anti-terrorism drill at a college in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on December 10, 2015.

A screen showing Pudong financial area in a clear day is seen amid heavy smog in Zhengzhou, Henan pr

A screen showing Pudong financial area in a clear day is seen amid heavy smog in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on December 9, 2015.

Three-year-old Hanhan receives nebulizer therapy on the third day after China's capital Beijing

Three-year-old Hanhan receives nebulizer therapy on the third day after China's capital Beijing issued its second ever “red alert” for air pollution, at the New Century International Children’s Hospital, in Beijing, on December 21, 2015.

This picture taken on December 8, 2015 shows homes of Buddhist nuns and monks from the Larung Gar Bu

This picture taken on December 8, 2015 shows homes of Buddhist nuns and monks from the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertar county (known as Seda in Chinese) in the remote Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Sichuan province. The monastery founded in 1980 has become one of the largest and most influential centres for the study of Buddhism with up to 40,000 monks and nuns in residence for parts of the year.

A wax figure of Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant with its head covered to protect it from dust

A wax figure of Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant with its head covered to protect it from dust, at Zhaolin Park in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on January 6, 2016.

Stuffed bodies of plastic dolls are piled up at a toy factory on September 17, 2015, in Xietang, Zhe

Stuffed bodies of plastic dolls are piled up at a toy factory on September 17, 2015, in Xietang, Zhejiang province. Many of the toy factories in the area have seen a sharp decrease in orders from Europe and Latin America in 2015, with many people citing a decline in Russia's currency and inflation in South America as the main reasons for the decrease.

A security officer tries to stop a man from swimming away after being caught swimming in West Lake,

A security officer tries to stop a man from swimming away after being caught swimming in West Lake, which is a violation of the resort's regulations, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on December 1, 2015.

Children play with paper boards at a kindergarten in Zouping, Shandong Province, on January 19, 2016

Children play with paper boards at a kindergarten in Zouping, Shandong Province, on January 19, 2016.

This photo was taken inside the bubble tram atop the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, on October 14

This photo was taken inside the bubble tram atop the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, on October 14, 2015 .

A face carved into a wall, photographed on January 26, 2016.

A face carved into a wall, photographed on January 26, 2016.

A shirtless Chinese tourist walks in the tongue of Glacier 1 at the base of the 7,556 meter (24,790

A shirtless Chinese tourist walks in the tongue of Glacier 1 at the base of the 7,556 meter (24,790 feet) Mount Gongga, known in Tibetan as Minya Konka, on November 10, 2015, in Hailuogou, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. Hailuogou is one of China's 8,500 monsoonal glaciers and the longest of 71 glaciers on the eastern slope of Mount Gongga. Monsoonal glaciers are found at lower altitudes and are at much higher risk to the effects of rising temperatures and climate change. Chinese scientists studying the impact on the Tibetan plateau warn the ablation rate of monsoonal glaciers is alarming. Data shows the Hailuogou basin glaciers have lost nearly 3 kilometers of mass since the 1960s and the rate is accelerating.

A Hong Kong Ocean Park worker poses with a pygmy marmoset, the world's smallest monkey, in Hong

A Hong Kong Ocean Park worker poses with a pygmy marmoset, the world's smallest monkey, in Hong Kong, China, on February 2, 2016. The Chinese New Year of the Monkey falls on February 8, 2016.

A highway overpass lighted in blue is seen during a hazy night in Jinan, Shandong province, on Decem

A highway overpass lighted in blue is seen during a hazy night in Jinan, Shandong province, on December 28, 2015.

Monks take pictures with their mobile phones of the mummified body of a monk at Puzhao temple in Qua

Monks take pictures with their mobile phones of the mummified body of a monk at Puzhao temple in Quanzhou, Fujian province, on January 10, 2016. According to local media, the monk named Fuhou died three years ago at the age of 94. His remains were placed in a vat and turned into a mummy as a sign of respect.

A smokestack is seen through a broken window of a building in the abandoned Qingquan Steel plant whi

A smokestack is seen through a broken window of a building in the abandoned Qingquan Steel plant which closed in 2014 and became one of several so-called “zombie factories,” on January 26, 2016, in Tangshan, China. China's government plans to slash steel production by up to 150 million tons, which could see the loss of as many as 400,000 jobs according to state estimates. Officials point to excessive industrial capacity, a slump in demand, and plunging prices as they attempt to restructure China's slowing economy. Hebei Province, long regarded as China's steel belt, once accounted for nearly a quarter of the country's steel output. In recent years, state-owned steel mills have been shut down and dozens of small privately-owned plants in the area have gone bankrupt.

Students majoring in dance stretch as they participate in a training session at an arts school in He

Students majoring in dance stretch as they participate in a training session at an arts school in Hefei, Anhui province, on December 16, 2015.

A girl rides on a child's scooter under decorations for a temple fair ahead of Chinese Lunar New

A girl rides on a child's scooter under decorations for a temple fair ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year at Ditan Park in Beijing, on February 2, 2016.

Smoke billows from stacks, as a Chinese woman wears a mask while walking in a neighborhood next to a

Smoke billows from stacks, as a Chinese woman wears a mask while walking in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on November 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. A history of heavy dependence on burning coal for energy has made China the source of nearly a third of the world's total carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions, the toxic pollutants widely cited by scientists and environmentalists as the primary cause of global warming. China's government has publicly set 2030 as a deadline to reach the country's emissions peak, and data suggests the country's coal consumption is already in decline.

A man takes part in a cold-enduring competition in temperature of negative 6 degrees Celsius (21.2 d

A man takes part in a cold-enduring competition in temperature of negative 6 degrees Celsius (21.2 degrees Fahrenheit), at an indoor ski resort in Changsha, Hunan province, on January 19, 2016.

A view of Nga Tsin Wai village, which is to be demolished as part of a city re-urbanization plan in

A view of Nga Tsin Wai village, which is to be demolished as part of a city re-urbanization plan in Wong Tai Sin District on January 26, 2016, in Hong Kong. The village can be traced back to the 14th century, authorities say, and is the city's only remaining walled village in an urban area. Based on reports, the 650-year-old urban walled village will be destroyed to make way for developments.

A wizard performs a traditional exorcism ceremony to chase the ghosts of a new house away, on Februa

A wizard performs a traditional exorcism ceremony to chase the ghosts of a new house away, on February 1, 2016, in Changsha, China .

Folk artist Zhao Yongqi checks a monkey mask after painting, at his studio, in Beijing on January 29

Folk artist Zhao Yongqi checks a monkey mask after painting, at his studio, in Beijing on January 29, 2016. With the arrival of this year's new Chinese zodiac animal, Zhao has been painting more of his favorite subject matter—monkey masks. Originally from a poor mountain village in nearby Hebei province, Zhao migrated to Beijing for work in the 1980s where he began training under an uncle who specializes in Peking Opera makeup. It was then that he discovered his passion for painting monkey masks.

A Chinese student who is the child of migrants waits to enter class at an unofficial school on Decem

A Chinese student who is the child of migrants waits to enter class at an unofficial school on December 18, 2015, in Beijing, China. Schools for children of migrants are often unofficial or unrecognized by the state, and were established as a response to the education void created by the decades-long hukou, or household registration , system. A person's hukou entitles them to social services in their birthplace, meaning millions of Chinese who have migrated from rural areas to cities have been denied rights to urban public services. Reforms to the hukou system come after heavy criticism that it has aggravated a deep social divide in China. The changes could pave the way for up to 70 million children of migrant workers left behind in villages to join their parents in cities.

People take photos and videos during a flag-raising ceremony amid heavy smog at Tiananmen Square, af

People take photos and videos during a flag-raising ceremony amid heavy smog at Tiananmen Square, after the city issued its first ever “red alert” for air pollution, in Beijing, on December 9, 2015.

Paramilitary policemen take part in a training in Chaohu, Anhui province, on December 28, 2015.

Paramilitary policemen take part in a training in Chaohu, Anhui province, on December 28, 2015.




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