Scenes From 21st-Century China

The People's Republic of China, the most populous country, and the second-largest economy, in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve. In this, the latest entry in a semi-regular series on China, a homemade 3-ton tank, a man inflating tires with his nose, a massive teapot-shaped building, nearsightedness-prevention devices, a replica Sphinx, and much more. This collection offers only a small view of people and places across the country over the past few months. [35 photos total]

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A resident walks along a railway track surrounded by trees on both sides, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on June 15, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Health officers in full protective gear wait to cross a road near a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong on January 28, 2014. Hong Kong culled 20,000 chickens and suspended imports of fresh poultry from mainland China for 21 days after the discovery of the H7N9 bird flu virus in a batch of live chicken from the southern province of Guangdong. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu) #
An ancient tower balances on the top of a dirt hill, with its base eroded, along a grassland in Qixian county, Shanxi province, on July 19, 2014. Local authorities said they were looking into way to protect and remedy the tower after pictures, taken by a relic preservation enthusiast, were posted on the Internet, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
This photo taken on July 12, 2014 shows a taxi driving past a large residential complex in Hong Kong. Housing prices in the southern Chinese city have roughly doubled since 2009, with prices being pushed up by buyers from mainland China. (Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man looks at a contaminated river in Cangnan county of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province July 24, 2014. Local authorities said the water in the river turned red after several buckets of red dye were spilled near the riverbank and the local environmental protection administration did not find harmful substances in the water, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Pupils read books as they sit on refitted desks aiming to prevent student nearsightedness, at a primary school in Wuhan, Hubei province, on March 10, 2014. The desk, with a steel bar that can be moved back and forth to keep a distance between student's eyes and the books, is deployed to several schools in Wuhan as a trial run, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Firefighter Huangpu Jiangwu carries a burning gas cylinder from the site of a fire incident in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 3, 2014. Huangpu's identity was revealed by local media after his pictures were taken and gained popularity with members of Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site also known as "Twitter of China." (Reuters/Stringer) #
A man looks at a full-scale replica of the Sphinx, part of an unfinished theme park that will also accommodate the production of movies, television shows and animation, on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on May 10, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A model presents a creation by Hong Kong and Beijing based British designer Nina Griffee, which includes a designer Vogmask with air filters providing protection from PM 2.5 particles, at the Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring and Summer 2015, in Hong Kong on July 8, 2014. (Reuters/Bobby Yip) #
Overweight Chinese students stretch after swimming during training at a camp held for overweight children on July 15, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obesity is a growing problem amongst the burgeoning middle-class in China, and recent studies show that the country is now the second fattest in the world behind the United States. Many parents send their children to special summer camps in an effort to get them into shape and prepare them for the hectic challenges of life in one of the world's largest economies. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) #
This picture taken on March 5, 2014 shows a soldier jumping through a ring of fire during a tactical training mission in Heihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang province. (AFP/Getty Images) #
A miniature sculpture made by Chinese artist Li Qici, which imitates Chinese painter Xu Beihong's painting of eight running horses, is displayed on his finger, to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year in Yuyao, Zhejiang province, on January 5, 2014. Li, 68, spent several months to craft the miniature sculpture on a 6-millimeter-long by 3-millimeter-wide ivory plate to the likeness of Xu's painting. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A mother holds her daughter as they wade across a flooded street during heavy rain in Hefei, Anhui province, on July 27, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Women ride an electric scooter past buildings designed as Gothic architecture, which are part of the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts campus, in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on May 24, 2014. The buildings became popular online in China after netizens and media said they look like Hogwarts from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" fantasy novels. The campus, which costs about 400 million yuan ($64 million) to build, is still under construction and will open for its first enrolment this fall, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Children in gowns and mortarboards pose for pictures during their kindergarten graduation ceremony, in Wenxian county, Henan province, on July 2, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
An employee talks with a beggar kneeling in front of a restaurant to beg for money with a camel in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, on November 25, 2013. Several beggars with their camels showed up at a business area in the city, kneeling down store after store to beg for money, according to local media. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Chinese women holding toy guns dance to a revolutionary song as part of their daily exercise at a square outside a shopping mall in Beijing, on June 27, 2014. About 30 local residents formed this "Nanguan" art group that enjoys performing and dancing to revolutionary songs as part of their nightly fitness activity. (Reuters/Jason Lee) #
The Jiangbei Cathedral burns on July 28, 2014 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. A fire destroyed one of China's oldest cathedrals in the east China city of Ningbo, with no casualties reported. The cathedral was built in the Jiangbei District of Ningbo,Zhejiang Province by a French bishop in 1872. The church, a landmark of Ningbo, is a key cultural relic under state-level protection for its great historical and architectural value. (ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images) #
A man takes down pin-up photos of women covering the windows of a building housing a bathhouse in Changsha, Hunan province, on January 10, 2014. The photos, over 50 in total, were taken down after exposure on the Internet and the intervention of the city administration department. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A therapist holds a towel. preparing to put out the fire as a man undergoes a "fire treatment", a traditional Chinese remedy, at a health club in Quanzhou, Fujian province, on June 9, 2014. The treatment involves placing Chinese medicine onto the human body, then covering the medicine with towels soaked with alcohol which are set aflame. The fire is believed to create a warmer condition for the body to better absorb the medicine. (Reuters/Stringer) #
People duck and hide themselves under umbrellas as a giant figure of Optimus Prime from the movie "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction" stands in the heavy rain for its world premiere in Hong Kong Thursday, June 19, 2014. The film grossed $317 million in China alone - setting the record for highest-grossing movie in China to date. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) #
The sun rises on June 12, 2014 over the ancient Hongcun Village in China. Hongcun Village, located in the eastern province of Anhui, is an ancient village with 900-year history, which was added to the list of World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in late 2000. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) #
Long March 3C, a rocket carrying the 6th Beidou navigational satellite, lifts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, on November 1, 2010. Photo re-released July 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Visitors look at fish in the aquarium inside the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai on April 29, 2014. The park which claims to be the world's largest ocean theme park was built at an estimated cost of USD3.3 billion and opened in March of this year. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #
Nie Yongbing inflates tires using his nose as people stand on them in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on January 14, 2014. Nie inflated four tires bearing the weight of eight adults in 21 minutes during a performance at his home. A traditional Chinese doctor had suggested Nie practice blowing balloons with his nose to improve his health. Nie started inflating tires after he found balloon blowing not challenging three years ago. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Thousands of soldiers of Jiangsu Armed Police Force attend an oath ceremony for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games protection on July 29, 2014 in Nanjing, China. (ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images) #
A cook from a nearby hotel looks at his mobile phone at a demolition site, which is making way for the building of new property in Lishui, Zhejiang province, on June 10, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
This photo taken on July 6, 2014 shows the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning docked at the seaport city of Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning province. The 300-meter (1,000-foot) Liaoning -- a Soviet-era vessel Beijing bought from Ukraine -- was commissioned in September 2012, and officers have acknowledged that it is not yet ready for combat, with naval fighter pilots taking years to train. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Young people drag fake cabbages as part of a performance titled "Walk the cabbage", designed to question restricted daily activities and encourage thoughts on freedom in Beijing, on June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #
An aerial view of a building shaped like a clay teapot in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, on March 4, 2014. Located in a suburban area, the teapot shaped building will be a cultural exhibition hall when completed. (Reuters/Carlos Barria) #
An animal activist kneels down as she offers to buy a dog from a vendor to stop it from being eaten ahead of the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on June 20, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A perigee moon also known as a supermoon rises behind figurines on a Chinese pavilion in Beijing, China, on July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #
A man rows a boat on a river in front of new properties in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, on July 24, 2014. China's economy probably will grow at its slowest pace in 24 years this year, expanding by 7.4 percent, as government stimulus measures fail to fully offset the drag from a sluggish housing market, a Reuters poll showed. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Jian Lin, a 31-year-old farmer who used to serve in the Chinese navy, waves in his home-made replica of a tank during a trial run, at a village in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on April 9, 2014. The tank, which measures 4.5m long (15 feet), 1.6m wide (5 feet) and 2.1m high (7 feet), weighs nearly 3 tons and cost Jian about 40,000 yuan ($6,450) to make. (Reuters/Stringer) #
This photo taken on June 16, 2014 shows the "Top of Peak" formation at the Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) park in Anhui Province. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of China's major tourist destinations and has been a source of inspiration to Chinese painters, writers and poets for thousands of years. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

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