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Standing up for laughs

Mia Li was stark naked the first time she tried her hand at stand-up comedy. The bar remained silent after she told her first joke. Soap has a tendency to do that. "Other people sing in the shower. I would tell jokes to myself and I would be laughing, 'ha ha! You're so funny Mia!'" The 29-year-old doubles over in mock laughter - an exaggerated impersonation of her comic bathing routine. "For the longest time, I had this joke about me being a reporter. I said: 'I have to go to press conferences wearing a badge on my chest that says 'Press'. And then some people would press! Now I have two choices: Either I can press back - in that case I am a correspondent. Or, I can tell my boss about it - in that case I am a reporter.'"

Property price growth slows

Sunday Talk

Sunday Digest

Around China

Authorities in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, ordered 10 high-end clubs in West Lake park to close on Friday, with other fancy establishments on public park grounds to shut in the coming days. The move aims to close all high-end clubs in West Lake and other historical cultural grounds to ensure scenic spots are used primarily by locals and tourists, a statement from the Hangzhou city government said. After being closed, the buildings should be used to provide services for the general public rather than a privileged few and parks should not allow such clubs to operate on their grounds, it said. Elite clubs outside parks should lower their prices so ordinary people can afford their services, it added.

IN BRIEF (Page 2)

Sunday Special

Talking across cultures

A classroom is bursting with activity in an otherwise deserted university building on the edge of Beijing's Third Ring Road on a Saturday afternoon.

The naughty and nice sides of funny business

Sunday People

Daughter of two 'moms'

"I was born in China and adopted by the United States," says the chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation and a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

World Scene

A fruitful bridge between two countries

Sunday Expat

Prince of provinces

The average expatriate in China never thinks there is enough time to see the country properly. Many foreigners have two or three weeks of holiday, and if they want to go home once a year, that leaves no time to explore distant, rural locales far from the big cities where they work.

Out and about

Changchun website a platform for expats

Sunday Image

High adventure

There was no hanging back when this daredevil performed his latest feat

Sunday Sports

Art Special

Art of friendship

Cui Ruzhuo, a renowned Chinese painter who has visited many parts of the world, says one of his important missions is enhancing international cultural exchanges.

Entrepreneur Special

Global tech, local touch

For fully 14 years, Zhang Jianwei has helped improve China's transport system by bringing Bombardier's experience and service to the market.

Helping Asia rest insured

Running to success

Cruising for a new business model

Sunday Food

Eating Chaozhou in Shenzhen

It was an unexpected pleasure and a delicious surprise. A trip to the young southern city of Shenzhen became a gourmet excursion recently with the discovery of some top-end Chaozhou dishes at a Chinese restaurant, and a rustic locals-only food street.

30 Years of classic French, in Beijing

Sunday Kaleidoscope

Building a show

One of the first things that architecture students learn is that buildings are contextual: They should always be designed for a specific site, culture, place and purpose. That is why there are so few architectural museums around the world. It is hardly easy - or appropriate - to stuff a building into a bigger one for public contemplation.

Meet Disney characters in Shanghai

Three shows put Chinese photography in the frame

Sunday Travel

Stylish oasis for sun-drenched leisure

Two hours east of Los Angeles, the resort area of greater Palm Springs has attracted Hollywood stars and well-heeled retirees for decades, lured by its proximity to both the entertainment capital and the gambling haven of Las Vegas.

Travel Special: Planet Travel offers trips to Bhutan, the 'last Shangri-la'

Sunday Sports

Crosby gunning for golden repeat

The gold medal, the one that electrified a country and forever cemented Sidney Crosby as part of Canadian hockey royalty, is "tucked away" somewhere out of sight and, Crosby insists, out of mind.

Gretzky's legacy comes full circle

Champagne eyeing top FIFA post

Score board

Roger's on a roll

Sharapova primed to showcase Sochi to the world

Wozniacki dumped by 'unknown'

Durant sinks Warriors with career-best outing

Sunday Food

The other side of Xinjiang

A recent surfeit from visits to the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Turkey and Ningxia Hui autonomous region had left me a little reluctant to try any more lamb, but a new Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing beckoned, and by all accounts, it promised to be different. "You can eat beef," the spouse quipped. "Who would eat beef at a Xinjiang restaurant?" I shot back.

New York City Italian in HK multimedia-container


Sunday Kaleidoscope

Tickling the funny bone

Comedy is hard but not for this funnyman. Ever since Chen Peisi became a household comedy star after performing in a sketch comedy for CCTV's Spring Festival Gala in 1983, he has been known for making audiences laugh.

Edited collection explores Asian art

Lennon remembered in tribute night

Entrepreneur Special

Shoppers in a strange land

When Sheila Zhang, who has lived in the United States for 20 years, returned to Beijing in 2011 she found shopping online to be problematic.

Entrepreneur Special

Paying it back

From a country boy to the leader of a multi-faceted company, Han Xuechen believes that a sense of commitment to society is crucial to success.