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Carrie Gracie

Carrie Gracie BBC China editor

Welcome to my page, where I’ll be giving my perspective on 21st Century China

The knife attack that changed Kunming

China is in the midst of a massive security crackdown after a series of terror attacks it blames on Muslims from the Uighur ethnic minority in north-west Xinjiang province.

In recent weeks, hundreds of suspects have been arrested and mass sentencing rallies have been broadcast on state TV.

One of the most notorious cases is that of three men and one woman who await sentencing for the savage Kunming station attack in which 29 people were hacked to death and more than 100 others wounded.

One of the victims is Shi Kexiang, who was slashed across the neck by a stranger armed with a sword and dressed in black. She's been in a coma ever since.

For four months, Shi Xuefa has bent over a hospital bed begging Kexiang to hear him. The doctors are kind and the government is paying the medical bills but Xuefa has no idea whether his sister will ever wake up.

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All aboard: China's railway dream

At Asia's biggest rail cargo base in Chengdu in south-west China, the cranes are hard at work, swinging containers from trucks onto a freight train. The containers are filled with computers, clothes, even cars.

Until last year, all of it would have first gone more than 1,000 miles east to Shanghai and then to Europe by sea.

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GlaxoSmithKline's China scandal: A cautionary tale?

File photo: A Chinese flag is hoisted in front of a GlaxoSmithKline building in Shanghai, China, 24 July 2013
GSK has apologised to the Chinese authorities over the bribery scandal

To observers of China's contemporary business culture it will come as no great surprise that the latest twist in GlaxoSmithKline's China crisis is a sex tape.

The secret filming of business, political and love rivals in intimate situations is now commonplace in China and motivations range from whistle-blowing to blackmail or revenge.

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What could China learn from UK?

Chinese premier Li Keqiang and David Cameron during the latter's visit to China in December
Li Keqiang's first UK trip as Chinese premier is about much more than business deals and handshakes

We're about to witness a blizzard of big numbers around the business deals between China and the UK.

But guess what? I've spent the past ten days asking business insiders (Chinese, British, European) and they all say the deals worth having would happen with or without a prime ministerial handshake.

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Why Tiananmen still matters

On the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen, here are 25 thoughts on why 1989 still matters:

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How China's young idealists are turning to the soil

Tiananmen Square in June 1989

In June 1989, on the orders of China's ruling Communist Party, the army crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds of people. Twenty-five years on, a different type of protest against the values of modern China has emerged.

My hunt for China's young idealists, the inheritors of the Tiananmen spirit, started with a three hour drive through snarled traffic. Ironically the route took me first across the north end of Tiananmen Square, under the gaze of Chairman Mao's portrait on the gate of heavenly peace.

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Liu Han case: Questions for China's leaders

Liu Han, former chairman of Hanlong Mining, smokes a cigarette during a conference in Mianyang, Sichuan province, in this file picture taken 21 March 2008
Tycoon Liu Han is believed to have links to China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang's family

The Chinese public is a long-suffering witness to the often corrupt relationship between political power and business at the local level. But this case demonstrates that the problem is not just local and not just about power and money but about savage criminality as well.

Murder, illegal detention and blackmail were all part of Liu Han's business culture, but that didn't stop him serving as a delegate on a senior provincial political advisory body.

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Carrie added analysis to:

US justice department charges Chinese with hacking

China always insists it is a victim of hacking, not a perpetrator. And when US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden appeared in Hong Kong a year ago with evidence of US hacking into Chinese networks, Beijing felt vindicated.

The US acknowledges that it conducts espionage but says unlike China it does not spy on foreign companies and pass what it finds to its own companies.

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Chinese tourists: 'Make UK visas easier!'

Chinese tourists have their pictures taken outside Buckingham Palace on 29 July, 2012 in London, England
China's growing wealth means it is now the world's biggest source of tourists

"The famous British rain!" enthused our guide Jason Liu, smiling heavenward as though inviting his group of 18 Chinese tourists to be grateful for the benediction. "And the big advantage is no camera glare for your photos." The group obediently took out their cameras.

Only 20 years ago Chinese simply didn't go abroad unless it was for work or study but now thanks to rising incomes and a relaxation of government restrictions, they are the biggest force in world tourism. Both in numbers and spending.

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About Carrie

Carrie has been reporting China for the BBC for 25 years. She was based in Beijing as a correspondent for most of the 1990s.

She covered the 2008 Olympics and has made many radio and TV documentaries including the award winning White Horse Village series.

Carrie has presented many of the BBC's flagship news and current affairs programmes and has a degree in Chinese.

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