COVER

Get Ahead, Learn Mandarin (Cover Story)

China's economic rise means the world has a new second language—and it isn't English

A Humbling Education (Essay)

For TIME's Beijing correspondent, learning Chinese is an ongoing pursuit

Homework (Cover Story | Get Ahead, Learn Mandarin)

How to get started learning Mandarin

ASIA

Pakistan's Other War

Islamabad is already battling al-Qaeda. Now it's facing an insurgency in Baluchistan

Still Losing a Harbor

Hong Kong has a rare opportunity to fix its unwelcoming waterfront. Think it will take it?

Growing Pains (Viewpoint)

Taiwan's political mess is no more than a reflection of its young democracy

GLOBAL ADVISER

Good Clean Fun (Curtain Raiser)

Get your hands dirty at South Korea's Boryeong Mud Festival

Brain Fodder (Diversions)

A countercultural bookstore for Tokyo's beatnik bibliophiles

Happy Camper (Check In)

Like its famed footwear, Spanish fashion label Camper's Barcelona hotel shows that style doesn't have to be expensive

Sound Advice (Tech Watch)

With Internet radio proliferating, you can now get great music just about everywhere

DIY Dining (Amuse Bouche)

It's not just TV dinners anymore—these upscale food courts are taking gourmet meals to the streets

GLOBAL BUSINESS

The Dark Core of a Diamond

A broken engagement sends one man on a revealing trek through the gem trade in this exclusive book excerpt

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

On the Road Again

Ma Jian envisioned Tibet as Nirvana. The book he wrote after his journey offers a darker vision

BRIEFING

Strength in Numbers (Notebook)

With huge proportions of the world's people and natural resources, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization wants to raise its international profile. But Iran's presence may complicate matters

The Japan That Says No (Notebook)

A new bestseller expresses Japan's popular dissatisfaction with globalization

Letters (Notebook)

Lifting the Veil on Autism