Andrei Lankov sees limits to Beijing's willingness to pressure its ally Pyongyang, despite Chinese opposition to nuclear proliferation.
The government steps up its attempts to stop contraband timber, but the bottleggers make their own moves.
His sister, a mother of four, had burned herself to death to protest China's 'violent rule' in Tibetan areas.
Shan Lihua is handed a 27-month prison term after she exposed 'excessive eating' by local officials.
Manufacturers say the increase in the minimum wage is too high and the unions say it's too low.
The relatives of detained lawyers say they have been smeared by official media and want to take their campaign to a higher level.
The Occupy Central movement veterans say it may not have achieved its goal, but it did inspire a new generation to enter politics.
Taken into custody by Chinese police in June, he has not been heard from since.