China’s banks extended 1.22 trillion yuan (US$181 billion) in net new yuan loans in September, beating forecasts and representing a jump of 29% from the 948.7 billion yuan in August, according to data from the People’s Bank of China.

Shenzhen and Dongguan, neighboring cities in China’s Guangdong province, represent two sides of Beijing’s economic dream. In two-part series we look at their divergent fortunes as the country shifts gear from labor-intensive industries to higher-value innovation. Shenzhen is thriving but Dongguan is struggling to keep itself afloat.

Iraqi and US-led armed forces closing in on Mosul said on Tuesday they had secured some 20 villages on the outskirts of the strategic city in the first 24 hours of an operation to retake what is Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

In an exclusive interview, Hong Kong movie legend Kara Wai tells us she’s played her final role as a mean, kick-ass martial arts mother. So ends an era. As her latest film, Mrs K, premiered in South Korea, she spoke about a career that began at the height the Shaw Brothers’ 1970s hit factory.

Chinese television launched an eight-part TV series late on Monday with a rare warts-and-all approach to revealing the story behind the dirty deals and extravagant lifestyles uncovered by graft busters from the ruling Communist Party.

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.