China is a subtopic of Travel. See Travel's other subtopics and posts.
The U.S. media and government often paints China as an egregious suppressor of human rights that is home to sweatshop factories, copyright violators, and gross polluters; a country that is dangerous to American interests. China, then, was a big surprise when I visited it in 2002. The country is beautiful, cities are modern, people are peace-loving and welcoming—and one is fairly free to criticize the government as long as you aren’t talking about overthrowing the commies. Censorship and pollution remain pressing issues along with a gigantic—and growing—gulf between the rich and the poor, but there is no doubt about this: China is an ascendant country whose importance on the world stage is not to be denied.