A pedestrian walks past an electronic display showing the closing figures of Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.

I can’t join in the China panic (especially not while I’m on a cruise)

25 August 2015 19:06

MS Queen Victoria, 38°N 19°E I’ll do my best, but I’ve got to be honest: being surrounded by shining Ionian waters and convivial Spectator cruisers isn’t helping me channel the… Continue reading


Even China can’t buck the market

25 August 2015 15:07

Some years ago, I sat with an old China hand in a Beijing teahouse sipping oolong. An American director at a local education firm, his face was grey, creased by… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

China’s ‘Black Monday’ is just the start

24 August 2015 14:34

One-party states are rarely any good at admitting to any form of blunder. It is certainly the case with China’s prickly political leaders, who love to flood domestic media with… Continue reading


Podcast: Big trouble in Big China

13 August 2015 10:49

Forget Greece; China’s economic slowdown is the biggest story of the year, says Elliot Wilson in this week’s issue of The Spectator. China’s long boom may finally be ending and the… Continue reading

Watch and learn (Photo: Peter Parks/Getty)

British teachers could learn a thing or two from the Chinese

3 August 2015 16:55

‘Rude, bone idle… and cosseted by the welfare state! Chinese teachers’ damning verdict on British children after spending a month in UK classrooms. Yes – just about right, I reckon. Except,… Continue reading

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In the footsteps of Marco Polo: the journey that changed William Dalrymple’s life

24 June 2015 17:23

This is the introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of William Dalrymple’s first book, In Xanadu: A Quest At the end of the windy, rainy April of 1986, towards the end of my… Continue reading


Dulwich Picture Gallery fakes its own Fragonard

15 May 2015 8:00

This article was first published on Apollo magazine’s blog The latest addition to Dulwich Picture Gallery’s permanent collection display was a bargain at $88. For weeks the cheap Chinese copy… Continue reading

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on April 3, 2015 (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty)

The Iran deal heralds a new era for US policy across the Middle East

8 April 2015 11:12

What is it about a nuclear deal with Iran that induces hysteria in certain quarters of the West?  In recent weeks, editors at both the New York Times and the Washington Post have seen… Continue reading

(Photo: Leon Neal/Getty)

Cameron’s reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attacks has been depressingly predictable

14 January 2015 15:47

Last Sunday, David Cameron marched through Paris in solidarity, so it seemed, with those who stand up for free speech. Anyone who thought he meant it must now be crying… Continue reading

The Hardys with their dog Wessex in 1914. Image: Corbis

Spectator books of the year: Jonathan Mirsky on dogs

17 November 2014 11:52

The Great Grisby: Two Thousand Years of Exceptional Dogs by Mikita Brottman (William Collins, £16.99). I have read thousands of books in my 81 years and this is the only one… Continue reading


Citizenfour: the paranoia of Snowden & co will bore you to death

13 November 2014 13:50

In simple entertainment terms Citizenfour isn’t as interesting as watching paint dry. It is more like watching someone else watching paint dry. People with opinions on Edward Snowden tend to… Continue reading

A woman in London poses next to a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of a foetus dated 1511, at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace  in 2012 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Sex-specific abortion is gruesome – but not explicitly illegal in Britain

3 November 2014 11:51

Imagine that you became pregnant. Imagine that you were entirely dependent upon your husband. Imagine that you became the victim of domestic violence during that pregnancy, and your husband began… Continue reading

Image: Getty

China’s public health crisis

25 August 2014 11:08

During a recent visit to China I knew I was being watched. My family were also frequently photographed and videoed. But I don’t believe there was anything sinister about the… Continue reading

The Chinese state is terrified by the spread of Christianity. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Why is China tearing down church crosses? Because it’s terrified of religion

6 August 2014 17:12

Since the beginning of this year, China has been engaged in a cruel and bizarre campaign against Christians in the south-eastern province of Zhejiang. Its main target is Wenzhou, a… Continue reading

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty)

US German relations nearing a post-war low

12 July 2014 14:45

In an era of Russian revanchism, the cracks in the US German relations are particularly concerning. Angela Merkel’s decision to announce the expulsion of the CIA’s Berlin station chief over… Continue reading

3D-printed houses in China

Why Eric Gill would have enjoyed the 3D-printed dildo as much in principle as in practice

8 July 2014 11:05

‘At the Sign of the Cross in St James’s Street, When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so, You may chance… Continue reading


Xiaolu Guo interview: ‘Westerners have to read more non-western materials’

3 June 2014 18:56

Born in a remote fishing village in south eastern China during the Cultural Revolution, Xiaolu Guo is now known as an artistic ‘one-woman industry’. Producing both films and novels, her… Continue reading

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) raises a glass of whisky with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond before attending a state dinner at Edinburgh castle on January 9, 2011

Alex Salmond receives a lesson from the school of foreign policy hard knocks

29 April 2014 12:05

Look: Alex Salmond’s indulgent appraisal of Vladimir Putin’s record was foolish and naive and all too revealing but let’s not lose the heid. Scotland, even an independent Scotland, is not… Continue reading

Ai Weiwei's 'Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn' (1995). Photo: AP Photo/Keystone/Steffen Schmidt

Anything you can smash, I can smash better

20 February 2014 7:00

Art is under attack. Another week, another expensive poke in the eye. Last Sunday, Miami artist Maximo Caminero destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei in protest at the… Continue reading


Will China kill all of Africa’s elephants?

13 February 2014 14:30

In 2010, Aidan Hartley, our ‘Wild Life’ columnist and Unreported World presenter, asked in his feature below: ‘Will China kill all Africa’s elephants?’ And, as I type, politicians from over 50… Continue reading

Pigs in their pen in Chengdu, China. Image: Getty

The mutant meat industry

7 February 2014 14:11

When it emerged that there was horsemeat in cheap burgers, some people thought it might spark a revolution in the British meat industry. Now that the public are more aware… Continue reading

There may be trouble ahead (Photo: Getty)

China’s banking problems are snowballing — fast

24 January 2014 12:02

The world’s largest bank by assets, Beijing-based ICBC, has announced it won’t take full responsibility for a trust investment worth 3-billion yuan (£300 million) that may go bust. In other… Continue reading

David Cameron is following in the footsteps of the Labour and Major governments.

David Cameron’s craven surrender to China follows a pattern

3 December 2013 14:27

‘This week I make a visit to China. I come with a clear ambition: to build a lasting friendship that can become a blueprint for future cooperation between our countries.… Continue reading

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and David Cameron talk during a signing ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People. Picture: Getty

PM dodges ‘small island’ moment in China

3 December 2013 12:02

David Cameron’s visit to China is rather different to some of his recent trips. Firstly, as Douglas Murray outlined yesterday, he’s not making as big a noise about human rights… Continue reading

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and China's Premier Li Keqiang shake hands after delivering statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 2, 2013. (ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

David Cameron has his price: the Dalai Lama or ‘the global race’?

2 December 2013 17:09

David Cameron has taken a trade delegation to see the People’s Republic of China. The hope is obviously to stir up trade for Britain. Nothing wrong with that. Except that when… Continue reading