Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs.

Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN), and Chinese Culture and Communication at Wheaton College (IL) and Taylor University (IN).

Joann has a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN), and an MA in teaching from the University of St. Thomas (MN).

She is the author of Survival Chinese Lessons and The Bells Are Not Silent: Stories of Church Bells in China.

Her personal blog, Outside-In can be found at, where she writes on China, Minnesota, traveling, and issues related to "living well where you don't belong."

You can find her on Twitter and on Facebook at @authorjoannpittman.

She makes her home in New Brighton, Minnesota.


ZGBriefs | July 29, 2021

Canadian swimmer's success throws spotlight on China's one-child policy (July 28, 2021, CNN) The 21-year-old was drawing wide attention for another reason, as news spread that the Canadian girl who beat China's top woman swimmer, Zhang Yufei, by 0.05 seconds was actually born in China and adopted as a baby by a Canadian couple.

Blog Entries


For tragic reasons, the world has become familiar with the Chinese city of Zhengzhou this week. Torrential rain dropped a year’s worth of rain in four days, causing devastating floods that have killed dozens and left millions homeless.


ZGBriefs | July 22, 2021

Chinese city inundated with a year's worth of rain in just 4 days (July 21, 2021, Accuweather) As of Wednesday night, local time, at least 25 people deaths were being blamed on the flooding, which occurred after days of heavy rainfall swamped cities across the Henan province in east-central China.

Blog Entries

Take Language Learning Seriously

A Book Recommendation

For many engaged in cross-cultural service (or preparing for it), language learning is often one of the most daunting tasks. Especially for those of us whose only experience is Spanish or French class in the American educational system, we are wholly unprepared, and most likely don’t even know where to begin.


ZGBriefs | July 15, 2021

Why China Is Going After Its Tech Giants (July 10, 2021, China File) To understand why, it is best to try to think from the perspectives of China’s leaders. Their intended messages are aimed at different audiences: domestic Internet firms and the domestic public at large, as well as those outside of the country.

Blog Entries

The Party’s Party

A Reading Roundup

On July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) threw itself a big birthday bash to celebrate 100 years. In case you missed out on some of the coverage of the event, here is a roundup of some of the more interesting stories.


ZGBriefs | July 8, 2021

My Life as a Christian Under a Communist Regime (July 1, 2021, The Gospel Coalition) Since we don’t have full religious liberty, there’s always a heavy price to pay if one decides to follow Christ. We are not under severe persecution—compared to Christians in North Korea or Iran, we are just experiencing some troubles.


ZGBriefs | July 1, 2021

China's CCP celebrates centennial by looking back – and ahead (June 30, 2021, Christian Science Monitor) Celebrating its 100th anniversary, China’s ruling party again uses a selective picture of history to justify its rule. The party’s goal – global Chinese leadership and prosperity for all its citizens – may also be its biggest challenge, scholars say.

Blog Entries

Webinar Recording: Christian Theology in a Chinese Idiom

The recording of our recent lecture is now available along with additional resources.


ZGBriefs | June 24, 2021

Will I Return to China? (June 22, 2021, China File) We asked respondents how likely they were to travel to China once COVID restrictions were lifted. We provided five choices: “Definitely Will Visit,” “Probably Will Visit,” “Unsure,” “Probably Won’t Visit,” and “Definitely Won’t Visit” and asked them to choose one response and then to elaborate on their choice if they wished.