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.


Jul 23

ZGBriefs | July 23, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Married Without Children in China: Dealing With the Pressure in a Baby-Centric Country (July 21, 2015, China Real Time)
In China, “Are you married?” and “Do you have children?” can be the equivalent of asking, “How are you?” An American who met my husband while working at an Internet company in China, I never cared what his family said about us when we lived in the U.S. – oceans and time zones away. But since we moved back to China in 2013, I have gradually collected all these “reminders” until they accumulated painfully in my mind.

Jul 16

ZGBriefs | July 16, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life With (July 11, 2015, The New York Times)
In what amounts to one of the most ambitious attempts made at social engineering, the Chinese government is in the final stages of a 15-year-old campaign to settle the millions of pastoralists who once roamed China’s vast borderlands. By year’s end, Beijing claims it will have moved the remaining 1.2 million herders into towns that provide access to schools, electricity and modern health care.

Jul 9

ZGBriefs | July 9, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece (July 7, 2015, The Telegraph)
While all Western eyes remain firmly focused on Greece, a potentially much more significant financial crisis is developing on the other side of world. In some quarters, it’s already being called China’s 1929 – the year of the most infamous stock market crash in history and the start of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression.

Jul 2

ZGBriefs | July 2, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Has China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Experiment Failed? (June 17, 2015, China File)
The ideal scenario for Beijing is that it could establish full, total control of Hong Kong while maintaining the façade of its autonomy. But the Occupy movement and the ever more militant and local nationalist resistance is making this façade difficult to uphold.

Jun 25

ZGBriefs | June 25, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

The village and the girl (June 24, 2015, BBC)
She spent her childhood working in the fields, feeding the family’s pigs. The destruction of rural China became for Xiao Zhang a liberation - and an opportunity. This is the story of how her life changed as much as her country.

Jun 18

ZGBriefs | June 18, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Mao Era? (June 16, 2015, China File)
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on May 21, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?” The evening convened the scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and Andrew Walder—the publication of whose new book on Mao Zedong was the occasion for the event—with diplomat Susan Shirk and Orville Schell, ChinaFile’s publisher and the Arthur Ross Director for the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society.

Jun 11

ZGBriefs | June 11, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Mao As Church Father (June 1, 2015, First Things)
In a brief review of recent Asian Church history (From Every Tribe and Nation), Mark Noll makes the arresting comment that “Mao Zedong counts as one of the most significant figures in modern church history.” Noll hastens to add this was not Mao's intention; rather, it is “because of what happened inadvertently through his actions.”

Jun 4

ZGBriefs | June 4, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article​

Scenes From China's Yangtze River Disaster (June 2, 2015, The Atlantic)
A passenger ship named Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star) carrying 458 people, including 406 Chinese passengers, 5 travel agency workers and 47 crew members, sank on Monday night in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in China. According to officials 15 people have been rescued with hundreds still missing. The captain and the chief engineer both survived and claimed that the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. Rescuers fought bad weather on Tuesday as they searched for the missing, many of them elderly Chinese tourists, in one of China's worst shipping disasters in decades.

May 28

ZGBriefs | May 28, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory (May 19, 2015, Asia News)
Metropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.

May 21

ZGBriefs | May 21, 2015

by Joann Pittman

Featured Article

China’s Two-Track Approach to Christianity: Vatican vs. Wenzhou (May 15, 2015, China Brief)
Beijing and the Holy See are ostensibly as close to establishing diplomatic relations as they have been in over 60 years; yet, little has changed for mainland Chinese Christians. As Beijing turns the screws of ideological authority, those advocating for religious freedom must learn to coax the government out of its defensive stance. If successful, it could change the very nature of what it means to be Christian in China.