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.

Blog Entries

Human Flourishing in Chinese Thought: A Christian Response

Lecture Video Recording

Enjoy the recording of I’Ching Thomas’ lecture, “Human Flourishing in Chinese Thought: A Christian Response.” Drawing on themes from her book Jesus the Path to Human Flourishing, I’Ching explored the notion of human flourishing in Chinese thought, focusing especially on Confucius’ teaching on self-cultivation and benevolence as keys to achieving the ideal of the Noble Man.

Blog Entries

Loving Gen Z with the Truth of the Gospel

Joy Cheng closes by reminding us that, even as generations and technologies change, the need for salvation and love remain. The mission also remains the same. “The most loving thing we do as a parent,” she says, “is love our children with the truth of the gospel. We are the missionaries to this generation.”


ZGBriefs | May 2, 2024

Visa-free policies alone will not revive China’s inbound tourism (April 30, 2024, East Asia Forum) The decline in China's inbound tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns, leading to the expansion of its 15-day visa-free travel policy to incentivise tourist visits. But further efforts, such as improving travel convenience, addressing structural and ideological barriers and leveraging technological advancements, are required to rejuvenate the sector and meet the needs of international tourists.


ZGBriefs | April 25, 2024

Malatang (麻辣烫) is one of China’s most ubiquitous dishes, found on streets across the country. The ingredients can consist of almost anything the diner chooses, from various meats, vegetables, and noodle varieties. These are all boiled in broth and then served with soup and a choice of sauces.


ZGBriefs | April 18, 2024

Wildest Dream: What Taylor Swift Means To Her Chinese Fans (April 17, 2024, The World of Chinese) Swift has attracted and influenced her Chinese fans for diverse reasons. TWOC talked to five Chinese Swifties to understand what Taylor Swift means to them. They explained how Swift inspired in them the confidence to travel alone, explore the world beyond their small hometowns, and reevaluate the meaning of feminism.


ZGBriefs | April 11, 2024

As China’s economy falters, so does middle class confidence (April 10, 2024, NBC News) The slowdown means middle-class Chinese can no longer assume continuous economic gains, or that their children’s quality of life will be better than theirs.


ZGBriefs | April 4, 2024

How we got to 'Made in China' (April 2, 2024, NPR) In a new book, Made in China, historian Elizabeth O'Brien Ingleson explains how corporate America began reconceptualizing trade with China in the 1970s, the factors that led to this change and how "what had once been a fantasy of 400 million customers slowly started to become one of 800 million workers instead."


ZGBriefs | March 28, 2024

Book Review - The History of Christian Missions in Guangxi, China (March 23, 2024, Global China Center) Written in a lively but concise style, this book contains hundreds of quotations from eyewitness observers, both Chinese and foreign, that add immense descriptive value to the narrative. The author deploys these descriptions copiously and brilliantly both to illustrate his points and to provide academic depth to his study, making it extremely valuable as a resource for understanding foreign missions not only in this province but all over China.


ZGBriefs | March 21, 2024

Why Can’t China Attract Students From Developed Countries Anymore? (March 15, 2024, The Diplomat) At the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held this month, two proposals made by Professor Jia Qingguo of Peking University attracted considerable attention. One focused on making China more appealing to foreign students, while the other sought to encourage the public to effectively convey the Chinese story to the rest of the world. Much of the attention focused on the first of these proposals.


ZGBriefs | March 14, 2024

Two Sessions: China says it's open for business - do we buy it? (March 11, 2024, BBC) As China's annual parliamentary sitting came to a close after a hectic week of meetings, a glaring void loomed on Monday's final agenda. The National People's Congress is usually capped off by the premier's press conference. But this year, and for the rest of the term, the tradition was mysteriously nixed.