Yeah definitely. The Economist is probably at the top of my list right now. I like what I've seen in the limited issues I've skimmed over. It's a bit pricey but not surprising considering it's a weekly publication.
I don't know if I'd subscribe to the NYT but I'll have a look at their website. They've gotten a bit of flack recently for losing their market share but I understand what you mean. The NYT is probably the most recognisable paper in the world.
China SMH lol. TIME seems al-right though, they have some awesome human interest stories.
Btw, I was thinking about learning some Mandarin over my break over here. How difficult would you say it is to pick it up and what's the best way to learn it IYO?