This Chinese city’s coronavirus comeback shows challenges of opening up
After weeks in lockdown, many parts of Europe and the United States are planning to ease social restrictions as the number of new coronavirus cases slows.  But a new outbreak in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin serves as a cautionary tale about how quickly the virus can start spreading again, public health experts say. "The cases will likely go back up and we will have to tighten our lockdown strategy again," Kwok Kin-on, an infectious diseases specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Inkstone. Harbin – which is about 300 miles from the Russian border – has reported 84 new cases since early April after weeks of reporting no new cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by t
China’s world-famous ice festival is a feast for the eyes
Every year, the northern city of Harbin puts on a festival that features structures — sometimes delicate, oftentimes gigantic and always beautiful — built entirely out of snow and ice.  This year's festival is no different. It features frozen worlds, ice dragons and even the occasional penguin parade.  Take a visual tour of the 36th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2020. 
China’s frozen world of ice and snow
Harbin Ice and Snow World, one of the world’s largest ice and snow theme parks, opened to the public in northeastern China on December 23, 2019. The frozen attraction in Heilongjiang province is linked to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival which opens on January 5, 2020.
The icemen behind the world’s largest ice and snow festival
Each winter, about 100 workers toil on the frozen Songhua River in Harbin to harvest ice for the city’s famed Ice and Snow Festival, the largest of its kind in the world. The blocks will be moved to the capital of China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang where they will be shaped into giant crystal palaces and sculptures at the event opening in early January. 
Tracking down my secret grandmother in a Chinese city with a Russian past
Harbin, in China’s far northeast, owes its modern beginnings entirely to a railway. For the first three decades of the 20th century, it was effectively a Russian city. It is a place that has sparked my curiosity ever since I came across a 1927 ship’s passenger list that revealed the name of my grandfather Frank Newman’s “second wife”: Nina Kovaleva, 25, born in Sevastopol, Russia. He would leave his Shanghai-based family with her in the early 1930s. The list also named a daughter, Kyra, aged five, born in Harbin. It was a stunning revela­tion. It implied that my grandfather, an inspector for the Harbin postal sub­district from about 1912, had led a double life for at least a decade. I conta