Huang Hsi-lin (R), the chairman of an activist organization that asserts Chinese sovereignty over a group of uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, stands on the deck of a boat before setting sail for the islets in Hong Kong on January 3, 2012.
A fishing boat piloted by an activist organization that asserts Chinese sovereignty over a group of uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, sets sail for the islets in Hong Kong on January 3, 2012. A dozen of activists from Taiwan and Hong Kong left for the disputed islands in the East China Sea on January 3 shortly after four Japanese politicians landed on the isles earlier in the day. The move came as Japan and China commemorate the 40th anniversary of normalisation of diplomatic ties this year and attempt to improve their sour relationship.
A Chinese woman leaves a convenience store in Beijing on January 3, 2012.
Chinese children play beside a Christmas display at a shopping mall in Beijing on January 3, 2012.
Employees work at a garment factory in Wuhu, Anhui province January 2, 2012. China's big manufacturers narrowly avoided a contraction in December a survey showed on Sunday, but downward risks persist and suggest the world's second's second-largest economy will need fresh policy support to counter a slowdown in growth. Picture taken January 2, 2012.
Li Na of China hits a return against Annabel Medina Garrigues of Spain during their women's singles session 5 match on day four of the Hopman Cup Tennis Tournament in Perth on January 3, 2012.
A worker dismantles a steel frame after setting up a dragon-shaped lantern for a lantern festival to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in Suining, Sichuan province January 2, 2012. The Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, begins on January 23 and marks the start of the year of dragon. Picture taken January 2, 2012.
Taiwan's President and Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou signs a horse-shaped jade figurine for a supporter during an election campaign street rally in Taoyuan county, nothern Taiwan December 30, 2011. Taiwan's upcoming presidential and legislative election will be held on January 14, 2012. Ma Ying-jeou's surname means "horse" in Chinese.
Tsai Ing-wen (L), presidential candidate for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), gestures to supporters from a car as she campaigns in central Nantou county on December 3, 2012 ahead of the island's presidential election on January 14. Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou enjoys a narrow lead over his opponents in his bid for re-election, poll results showed on January 3, the last day surveys can be released ahead of the January 14 vote.
Penguins waddle on artificial snow at Taoranting Park in Beijing on Dec 31, 2011. Six penguins, including several emperor penguins and gentoo penguins, are being shown during an ice and snow carnival from Dec 31 to middle February in Taoranting Park. The penguins came from Dalian Polar Aquariums Park in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province. The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica.
ANYANG, CHINA - JANUARY 04: A labor installs red lanterns at a Culture and Arts Centre on Jaunary 4, 2012 in Anyang, Henan Province of China. The upcoming Chinese New Year falls on January 23, 2012.
GUANGZHOU, CHINA - JANUARY 04: Police women ride Segways as they patrol at Guangzhou South Railway Station on Jaunary 4, 2012 in Guangzhou, China. The upcoming Chinese New Year falls on January 23, 2012.
This photo taken on January 4, 2012 shows trucks transporting containers at the Qingdao port, in eastern China's Shandong province. China's Premier Wen Jiabao has warned of a difficult start to the year, the government said amid rising concerns over a potential sharp slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
NANJING, CHINA - JANUARY 03: People queue to enter Nanjing Railway Station to go home ahead of the Spring Festival on January 3, 2012 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China.
A demonstrator shouts out a protest statement outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing on January 4, 2012. Four Japanese citizens, including local politicians, landed on disputed islands in the East China Sea on January 3, drawing an official protest from Beijing. The group sailed to the uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, on a fishing boat and stayed there for more than two hours, according to the Japan Coast Guard. Beijing said it had 'raised its solemn representations and protest' with Tokyo over the move, which came as Japan and China commemorate the 40th anniversary of normalisation of diplomatic ties this year.
Hostesses wait for customers at a restaurant in a train station ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing on January 4, 2012. The week-long holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, begins on January 23 and is the world's biggest annual migration of people as more than 200 million board trains and buses to celebrate with their families.
Workers turn off the taps before transporting clean water into the Legislative Council at the new government headquarters in Hong Kong on January 4, 2012. Massive disinfection work was carried out at Hong Kong's new government headquarters after the bacteria of the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease was found and one minister was hospitalised. Hong Kong officials said the discovery of the bacteria which cause Legionnaires' disease at the new government complex was 'under control', while it was probing the source of the deadly bug.
Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, which this year falls on Jan. 23, is traditionally the time when millions of Chinese rush home for family reunions and celebrations. These photos show people getting to grip with luggage and logistics during peak travel time in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on Jan. 3. [Xinhua photo]