ZGBriefs

ZGBriefs—a weekly compilation of China-related news condensed from online sources. Highlighting articles and commentary from major news sites, blogs, and other news media sites, ZGBriefs links to the most important stories of the week to enhance understanding of what is happening in China today. Coverage includes domestic and international politics, economics, culture, social trends, and other areas. 

ChinaSource is not responsible for the news content; inclusion in ZGBriefs does not equal endorsement.


Aug 25

ZGBriefs | August 25, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Cradle of Tofu (August 18, 2016, The World of Chinese)
With the possible exceptions of rice and dumplings, few foods seem as intrinsically tied to Chinese culture as tofu. But despite its widespread popularity throughout China and vegetarians everywhere, the origins of this food remain shrouded in mysteries of Chinese kings obsessed with finding an elixir for immortality.

Aug 18

ZGBriefs | August 18, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Why China’s Cities Must Maintain Ties With the Countryside (August 16, 2016, Sixth Tone)
Urbanization normally refers to the movement of rural populations toward a city. But Shanghai and other Chinese cities serve as evidence that urbanization is often much more complicated. In essence, it’s about change of lifestyle. The divide between rural and urban is more obvious in China than it is in any Western country.

Aug 11

ZGBriefs | August 11, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Why Won’t China Stop Moaning About the Rio Olympics? (August 9, 2015, Sixth Tone)
There were only two ways of concealing this embarrassment. The first was to admit that China had overemphasized the importance of the Olympics — that what we had treasured was just average in everyone else’s eyes. Obviously, we couldn’t do this: we would look foolish. The other was to moan about everyone else, making them the fools instead. Hosting the Olympics is an honor: we treated them with respect, and so should you.

Aug 4

ZGBriefs | August 4, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

The unprecedented aging crisis that’s about to hit China (August 1, 2016, PBS Newshour)
China has the largest Baby Boom generation in the world. But now just years away from a mass retirement, that country is headed toward a severe workforce crisis and retirement cost cash crunch. Due to the country’s one-child policy from 1978 until 2015, the younger generation poised to take over is relatively small. What’s the solution?

Jul 28

ZGBriefs | July 28, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

In Search of a Place to Die (July 21, 2016, Sixth Tone)
According to Li, the Chinese fear death so much that they’d prefer to run away from it rather than have to think about it at all. In the case of palliative care, cultural taboos related to death also play a significant role. Take, for example, the quintessentially Chinese concept of filial piety: Children who want to be seen to “do the right thing” for their ailing parents will reject palliative care and insist on more aggressive treatment, trying to preserve life at all costs.

Jul 21

ZGBriefs | July 21, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Why China is probably never getting Pokemon Go (July 18, 2016, Tech in Asia)
Pokemon Go, although it’s not available in China, is already making people nervous. A popular Weibo conspiracy theory goes that the entire game is a US-Japanese plot to GPS map China and determine the locations of Chinese military bases to facilitate quick strikes if a war ever breaks out. That’s ludicrous, of course, but Chinese authorities probably are concerned about the game, although no one has yet said as much publicly.

Jul 14

ZGBriefs | July 14, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China's Christian Future (August 2016, First Things)
When I became a Christian, I learned to recognize myself as a sinner. In doing so, I developed a sensitivity to sin that helps me recognize evil and injustice when I see them. As I point out the tyranny of the Communist regime, I reflect on and judge myself. This interior work of repentance for my own sins has transformed my fight against totalitarianism. No longer am I merely pointing out faults in the world. I also recognize them in myself.

Jul 7

ZGBriefs | July 7, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China’s tyranny of characters (July 5, 2016, The Economist)
Linguistically, China wants to be like America—a country where language and script are unified. In reality it is like medieval Europe—a continent full of different languages, nominally united by a written lingua franca. Before the 20th century, regional Chinese literati could communicate on paper in classical Chinese, but barely in conversation, just as European scholars communicated in Latin.

Jun 30

ZGBriefs | June 30, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China’s Great Wall of Confrontation (June 28, 2016, Wall Street Journal)
Although the Great Wall has become China’s pre-eminent national symbol of pride and strength, the construction of its soaring watchtowers and crenelated parapets actually reflected a moment of dynastic weakness.

Jun 23

ZGBriefs | June 23, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

A better class of teacher (June 21, 2016, China Daily)
Twenty years ago, many English-speaking expats in China applied for teaching jobs because work was easy to come by. Routine inspection of qualifications was almost nonexistent and all most people needed were their mother tongue and an engaging character. The old criteria no longer apply. China is now demanding better-qualified, more-competent English teachers, and by the end of the month the nation's top regulator of expat employment is expected to further raise the bar by implementing a tough application policy.