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.


Sep 22

ZGBriefs | September 22, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Being Christian in China's Jerusalem (September 18, 2016, BBC)
Danny Vincent travels to Wenzhou to meet Pastor Zhang, an illegal pastor in one of the thousands of underground churches that serve the millions of Chinese Christians. However, he also meets a pastor from a government registered church who defends the crosses being taken down and how he says the real reasons that crosses are demolished is because they are illegally built and not because the Chinese government is so concerned about the meteoric rise in the faith.

Sep 15

ZGBriefs | September 15, 2016

by Joann Pittman

That was a stupid idea — until we thought of it: The cultural phenomenon of squatting toilets, split pants and giant hickeys ​ (September 11, 2016, The Culture Blend)
Maybe, the most prominent recent example of “it was stupid until we thought of it” has been brought to us by 23 time gold medalist Michael Phelps (and numerous other Olympians who jumped on the cupping train).  He taught us in Rio that gigantic hickeys aren’t always a bad thing.

Sep 8

ZGBriefs | September 8, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Shariah With Chinese Characteristics: A Scholar Looks at the Muslim Hui (September 6, 2016, The New York Times)
Mr. Erie’s recently published book, “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law,” is a look at how Shariah — Islamic law and ethics — is implemented among the Hui. In an interview he discussed his findings, which confound many preconceptions about Shariah, Chinese law and the rigidity of the Communist state.

Sep 1

ZGBriefs | September 1, 2016

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China: When the Cats Rule (August 26, 2016, New York Review of Books)
But it’s in Cat Country that Lao She stretches himself the furthest, producing one of the most remarkable, perplexing, and prophetic novels of modern China. On one level it is a work of science fiction—a visit to a country of cat-like people on Mars—that lampoons 1930s China. On a deeper level, the work predicts the terror and violence of the early Communist era and the chaos and brutality that led to Lao She’s death at the Lake of Great Peace. Cat Country is often called a dystopian novel, but when Lao She took his own life, it was an uncannily accurate portrait of the reality around him.

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.