ZGBriefs by 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 joannpittman.com, where she writes on China, Minnesota, traveling, and issues related to "living well where you don't belong."

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

She makes her home in New Brighton, Minnesota.


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.


ZGBriefs | March 7, 2024

Two sessions: Can a rubberstamp parliament help China's economy? (March 3, 2024, BBC) The Chinese government is under massive pressure to come up with solutions for its troubled economy. So people will be watching the National People's Congress to see what's on offer when it starts on Tuesday.


ZGBriefs | February 29, 2024

Video: Reporting from China: How this trip was different (February 25, 2024, CBS News) This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Lesley Stahl reports from Beijing and Shanghai, cities few Western journalists have entered since 2020, when China began to expel some journalists and restrict access to others in the foreign media. Stahl went at the invitation of U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, who spoke about China's economy and its relationship with the U.S.