To come up with the list of the Top Ten Most Read articles on ChinaSource this year, we took the top five from the ChinaSource Quarterly and the top five from the ChinaSource Blog. Here they are:
Video from a Christmas Eve service at a Three-Self Church in Northesast China
Since it's the end of the year, we decided to jump on the "Top Posts" bandwagon that is careening through the blogosphere. However, since each ZGBriefs post includes dozens of stories, we are highlighting here the top ten most clicked links of the year in other words, your favorite stories.
A Chinese Christian shares his tips on how to have a blessed Christmas.
So here I am, eggnog latte in hand, seated in one of the ubiquitous branches of an internationally branded coffee chain. The city is not important. This could be Hong Kong or Beijing, New York or London. The festive holiday decor would be the same anywhere, along with the exhortations to "Create Wonder" and "Share Joy" stenciled on the front window.
What do Christmas, the one-child policy, and high end art collecting have in common? They are all subjects of the articles we selected as among the most interesting for this week.
Items that require your intercession
Becoming familiar with China’s regulations on religious affairs can provide an official reference point for informed discussion on this issue.
Now that the spacecraft Chang'e 3 has successfully touched down on the moon's surface, China can add a lunar landing to its list of stunning achievements in the past three decades. These achievements among them the most spectacular Olympic Games opening ceremony in history, the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and the migration of hundreds more millions from the countryside to the cities stand out as exclamation points in the fast-paced narrative of China's transformation. At once breathtaking and disorienting, the making of what TIME magazine decades ago called "The New, New China" has transformed not only a nation but also its place in the world at large.
A "Post-80's" pastor offers counsel to young people based on his own experiences.
Over the weekend there was another deadly attack in Xinjiang Province, in which 16 people were killed.
Top stories from this week's ZG Briefs
Homelessness is not a social problem normally associated with China; however, it appears to be growing, particularly among the population of migrants who have moved into China's cities.
Chinese Christians are thrilled that there is a prayer room in the new Shenzhen airport.
Religious Freedom in China: Policy, Administration, and Regulation; A Research Handbook by Kim-kwong Chan and Eric R. Carlson
Reviewed by Brent Fulton
This volume provides reliable information about religious policy and its implementation in China.
ChinaSource recently asked six leaders of house churches, in various parts of the country, about the current environment that affects their practice of religion in their location. Their responses, detailing the environment as well as their attitudes towards the local authorities and the issue of registration, are expressed in this article.
A ChinaSource interview conducted by Kay Danielson
In a recent interview, a pastor of a church, located in a rural district of a northern city in China, speaks about the congregation, its steady growth, its relationship with government officials, the challenges it faces and his responsibilities.
From Chen Guangcheng and the American culture wars to a village that is still living Mao's dream, our top stories this week are quite diverse.
Huang Jianbo looks at China's basic understanding of religion which affects the formulation and execution of its religious policies. To date, the state has believed that religion is a problem although it has never explicitly stated what kind of problem. The author identifies three possible ways in which the government might perceive religion to be a problem. He then offers three suggestions for altering the thinking and implementing of policies. He concludes by affirming religious policies in China have improved greatly over the past thirty years.
The author helps us to understand the workings of the religious affairs bureaucracy first by following the story of an aspiring pastor, then by viewing them historically. The Chinese Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement Association, China Christian Council, Religious Affairs Bureau and United Front Work Department are all discussed along with how they interact, lines of authority and the role of guanxi.
As this article looks at the three key government documents that address religion in China, it focuses on the use of the word "normal." It looks at the definition of normal, the restrictions the government regulations actually place and the thinking that undergirds the regulations. The principals underlying them are discussed as well as the distinction between belief and practice.
The guest editor's point of view
I spend a lot of time in taxis in Beijing and since I am a blondish, big-nosed foreigner who speaks Chinese, many drivers are eager to chat. They want to know what work I do and how much money I make. When I tell them that I am an educator and don't make much money, they wonder what in the world I am doing here.
It is exhilarating to move to a new country and communicate with people so different from ourselves. Whether through Chinese you have learned or English you have taught, the sense of accomplishment can be deep and genuine.
A Beijing house church pastor shares his reflections on the Asian Church Leaders Forum in Seoul, South Korea.
When I first went to China in the mid-1980's the rural/urban population ratio was 80/20. Today, after three decades of urbanization, that ratio is roughly 50/50.
Gangwashi Church, Beijing's oldest Protestant congregation, celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding
The two big stories that came out of China this week were China's announced "adjustments" to its infamous one-child policy and the upcoming departure of US Ambassador Gary Locke.
A house church in Beijing prays for Japan.
Most of the news out of China this week was political, as the Third Plenum wrapped up their meeting in Beijing and issued their long-awaited communiqu. Details are still emerging and analysts are still trying to figure it all out. In this week's ZGBriefs, we included a special section with links to nine different articles. They are all helpful preliminary takes on the meeting.
A Chinese Christian calls on the church to be engaged in evangelism and global missions.
The Atlantic magazine just published an article about a move within the Vatican to canonize Matteo Ricci, the first Jesuit missionary to China, titled "Can Matteo Ricci's beatification mend China's rift with the Catholic Church?"
A remarkable article appeared in the Global Times (the English-language mouthpiece of the authoritative People's Daily) on October 10 that openly acknowledged the division between China's official Three Self Church and the unofficial church and suggested that "it seems the authorities are trying to bridge the gap between 'official' and 'underground' believers that has seemed irreconcilable for a generation."
A Chinese Christian writes about ecclesiology in China
My top picks for this week fall into two broad categories: English teaching and violence. The articles about English teaching were of interest to me because once upon a time I was an English teacher in China. The articles on violence are interesting and sober reads and help us understand that underneath the veneer of stability, there are some serious social tensions.
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its "Third Plenum" meeting in Beijing, beginning November 9. All eyes are on General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Party leaders as they unveil a new set of economic reforms. Will they be bold enough to meet the challenges of the day? Will they also include political reforms?
A Chinese Christina writes about the history of the Chinese Church, examines the issues and challenges facing the church today, and looks ahead.
My top picks from this week's ZG Briefs .
A Beijing pastor reflects on the benefits of marriage retreats for Christian couples.
Four of my top picks this week have to do with the Chinese language and language learning.
When I first went to China, I was bombarded with many odd (to me anyway) questions: can you use chopsticks? How much money do you make? Why do American parents kick their children out of the house at age 18? On and on they went.
But I'll never forget the time a student asked me, "What's the difference between Catholic and Christian?"
Last summer's crash of an Asiana jetliner in San Francisco shocked and saddened many in China. More than a hundred of the passengers were Chinese high school students enroute to a summer camp in California. The unfortunate tragedy also shone a spotlight on a growing trend of Chinese youth studying in US high schools. By one estimate 25,000 Chinese high schoolers are currently in private schools in the United States.
An overview of Bible production in China
A recent article appearing in Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of the authoritative People's Daily, raises interesting questions about how China's leaders view the relationship between the official and unofficial church.
An interview with Dr. Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University regarding the Forum for Chinese Theology Symposium.
There were a lot of great articles in this week's ZGBriefs, so narrowing them down to four 'top picks' wasn't easy. But here's our attempt:
With over 800 million Han Chinese in China (and over 1.2 billion in China as a whole, including minorities), it's one thing for a church or mission group to "adopt" or "engage" the Han - and another to figure out what that means. This is the situation of many groups in the world that are huge in size. "Who to adopt" can be addressed by websites like the Joshua Project. But "where to go" requires a different approach.
A Chinese government newspaper covers the division between the Three-Self Churches and the house churches.
It was an honor to be part of the sixth China Theology Symposium held this August at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. Centered on the theme "Christian Faith and Ideological Trends in China," the four days of meetings gathered intellectuals from China's major ideological groups, and encouraged them to engage one another with an eye towards elucidating what Christianity may or may not have to contribute to China's future.
Today we are starting a new feature, linking this blog with another of our publications, the ZGBriefs Newsletter. Every Friday, we will highlight articles from the ZGBriefs newsletter that we consider the "must read" articles of the week.
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the 25th National Catholic China Conference at Loyola University in Chicago. The United States Catholic China Conference sponsored the conference and the theme was "The American Catholic Church and China in an Era of Globalization."
Confucius, the Bible, and Preaching (October 1, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)
This article is an interesting Christian response to Yu Dans popularization of Confucianism, arguing that what she preaches is really a watered down version of Confucianism watered down to make it more palatable. The author then wonders if the Church is in danger of doing the same thing watering down the Gospel in order to make it popular.
A Chinese Christian highlights the the popularity of Confucianism as a warning against the 'popularization' of the gospel.
Last week I had the privilege of attending a consultation on education in China, co-hosted by ChinaSource. Below are some random gleanings from a day of note-taking:
At the beginning of the new academic year, two news items related to education in China caught our attention, one negative, the other positive.
The Postmodern Generation and the Church in China (Fall Edition, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Thinking with Their Hearts: Postmodernism in ChinaAs Dr. Pan points out in this issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, "Disillusionment with faith, hope and love leads to confusion for this new generation of young people, but it also creates opportunity for spreading the gospel. Postmodern man fails in his search for life-stabilizing and soul-anchoring faith, as well as in his quest for goodness and for finding a future hope that modernity provided with modernism as the basis. Yet, man craves the satisfaction of these three crucial needs " The upside of postmodernism is that it leaves people asking the right questions. Online in blogs and weibo posts a new generation surveys China's social landscape with its food scandals, official corruption, unbridled consumerism and rampant abuse of women and children, and asks, "What's wrong with their hearts?"
When shopping in street markets in Asia, I'd often hear the reply, "Same same, but different." The one item was the same as the other but somehow different. Maybe they didn't have the one I wanted but this other item would be just as good. Same thing but different.
The autumn issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly (due out next week) deals with the effects of postmodernism on China and the church.
A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling. Tyndale Momentum; 1st edition, 2011, 370 pp, ISBN-10:1414362463, ISBN-13: 978-1414362465; $19.04 at amazon.com.
Chai Ling gives an eye-witness account of the 1989 student movement and massacre in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. She speaks of her early life, her involvement in the student movement and its influences upon her as well as her coming to faith in Christ. She continues to honestly address the questions she puts to God and her relationship with him.
From the editor's point of view...
Having worked with Chinese students from overseas who are studying in North America, the author poses the question of how North American Chinese churches should modify their strategies in order to reach these students. After detailing some of the characteristics of postmodern students, he draws from his experience to explain and give examples of strategies he has found useful.
The author looks at the postmodern shift in China as he has observed it and from a very practical point of view. He goes on to give examples of how this shift affects education, employment and daily living within the nation.
How can pastors and church leaders minister to the younger generation at this opportune time? The author discusses five principles that include incarnational love, a compassionate attitude, helping the younger generation grow in godliness, perseverance and depth of character, enabling them to live out the gospel in a practical manner and leading them towards a God-sized vision.
Historical events following Mao's death left an ideological vacuum in China. This has created a strong need for faith, even an urge, so as to avoid the risk of further social disruption and political instability. While postmodernism, with its relativity and lack of absolutes, is trying to fill this void, it also leaves people questioning and open to exploring faith.
The author provides a brief look at the history of postmodernism.
An explanation of the rapid infiltration and rise of postmodernism in China is followed by a look at postmodernism's multifaceted effects on the nation. Postmodern trends in modern society, its challenges to traditional values and the infiltration of New Age and postmodern spirituality are discussed.
The 2014 Intercessors for China Prayer Calendar is now available.
Special Feature: Adoption
China's Debate: Must The Party Follow The Constitution? (September 18, 2013, NPR)
One way to start, he says, is to live up to the promises made in China's 1982 constitution. In many countries, that's just assumed. In China, it's at the center of a bitter debate between reformers and conservative Communist Party members over the future of the country's political system. Increasingly, scholars like Zhang are using China's own constitution against the ruling party to try to make the government more accountable to the people.
At Sina Weibo's censorship hub, China's Little Brothers cleanse online chatter (September 11, 2013, Reuters)
Reuters got a glimpse of the Sina Weibo censorship office in Tianjin, half an hour from Beijing by high-speed train, one recent weekend morning. A dozen employees, all men, could be seen through locked glass doors from a publicly accessible corridor, sitting in cramped cubicles separated by yellow dividers, staring at large monitors. They more closely resembled Little Brothers than the Orwellian image of an omniscient and fearsome Big Brother. "Our job prevents Weibo from being shut down and that gives people a big platform to speak from. It's not an ideally free one, but it still lets people vent," said a second former censor.
A Novel Approach to Chinese History (September 1, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)
If you're a China buff, here are 10 books I recommend for learning about Chinese history through what I'm calling a novel approach. I've placed them chronologically in terms of Chinese history and instead of telling you much about the story, will share a bit about why you need to read it from a historical perspective. History, in this case, consists of both the well-known "big" events, and the lesser known daily events. Together, they are woven together to form the fabric of a society, culture, and people.
After a summer of confusion, China's new visa regulations went into effect on September 1st. New visa categories have been added and requirements for some existing categories have been changed.
An interview with a Chinese scholar about his proposal for a Law of Religion in China
If you're interested in China (or any place), I think we're in agreement as to the importance of understanding the historical context. The more you know what has happened, the more you understand what is happening today. Yet at times, the thought of reading history results in a gag reflux, I get it. I really do, some historians are terrible writers. And for those of you who roll your eyes at the mere mention of historical fiction, I'm with you.
Saying farewell to Pastor Samuel Lamb, a prominent Chinese house church pastor.
All About Visas: Podcast by the Economic Observer (August 27, 2013, Economic Observer)
The China Hangup podcast is a weekly discussion with social, business and political figures hosted by Eric Fish, Hudson Lockett and Nicole Sy for the Economic Observer newspaper. This weeks episode, All About Visas, covers Chinas new immigration law.
Non-Criminal Record Certificate Required for Beijing Employment License Applications (August 21, 2013, China Briefing)
With the aim to strictly enforce the rules and regulations related to the examination and approval of employment licenses, foreigners who wish to work in Beijing are required to submit a non-criminal record certificate issued by their place of residence for the application of an employment license and expert work permit starting from July 1, 2013.
Originally published in 2010 as a three part series, this article challenges leaders to develop greater capacity in three areas where resources are often lacking in ministy.
In an historic gathering at the end of June, some 100 church leaders from China joined with their counterparts from around Asia and beyond for the Asian Church Leaders Forum, held in Seoul, Korea. This conference was particularly meaningful in that most of these leaders had planned to attend the 2010 Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, but at the last minute were prevented from leaving China. Nearly three years later, their vision of being able to take their "seat at the table" with other leaders from around the globe became a reality.
Originally published in 2009 as a three-part series on leadership development for Christian leaders in China, the author looks at three of the core issues that impact believers who are called to be leaders.
Why Stewardship Matters for China (August 10, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)
As the church becomes increasingly urban, with Christians having access to more resources and moving into positions of influence, their understanding of biblical stewardship becomes a key factor in their witness and role in society. This is particularly relevant and urgent for Chinese-led ministries that have been receiving support from overseas during the past three decades and will need to transition to an indigenous funding base to sustain them in the future.
The President of the Three-Self Patriotic Committee comments on President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" slogan.
Chinas economic growth is unprecedented in recent history, and the effects have been jarring. Having been involved with China long enough to remember when ordinary citizens needed ration cards to purchase basic necessities, I can also recall my shock and surprise when I first saw advertisements for a new weight loss program plastered on the side of a bus in a prosperous southern Chinese city.
China to ditch its one-child policy as ageing crisis looms (August 4, 2013, The Telegraph)
The official news agency Xinhua reported that the Family Planning Commission is studying proposals to lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. The body's spokesman said aim is to "improve" family policy, confirming leaks to Chinese newspapers that a major shift is in the works. The new rules are expected to come into force early next year, and may be extended to cover all families by 2015.
Rev. Samuel Lamb (Lin Xiangao) passed away in Guangzhou on August 3, 2013. He was 88 years old.
In response to increased air pollution in China, a writer reminds Christians of the need to not just wear face masks, but to also guard against the attacks of Satan.
The "China Dream" which the country's newly installed leaders are promoting is largely a vision of economic growth and prosperity, couched in terms of national pride and increasing strength vis-a-vis the international community. This vision of a strong and prosperous country is not new; late-Qing reformers and May 4th activists alike sounded a similar call, and progress a century later is still measured against the backdrop of this longstanding national struggle.
This is a common question that folks who live and work in China are asked. I often reply that I feel very safe in China, except when I'm crossing a street or hurtling through town in a taxi being driven by a sleepy driver.
However, a perusal of recent stories out of China in recent months might give the impression of peril at every turn: stabbings in Beijing and Shenzhen by mentally deranged individuals; a man trying to blow himself up at the Beijing airport. Add to these the seemingly never-ending list of food safety scandals: contaminated milk powder; fake mutton, beef, and honey; glow-in-the-dark pork; and thousands of dead pigs floating in the river in Shanghai.
Watch Living with Dead Hearts Now (Its Free) (July 29, 2013, China Geeks)
Weve finally released our film, online and for free. Here you go.
Focus on the Family's "No Apologies" training course for teens is becoming a popular and valuable resource for Chinese church leaders and parents as they seek to help their kids navigate the difficult waters of adolescence.
From Cape Town to Seoul (July 24, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)
Christian leaders from China made history at the 2010 Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, not by their participation, but by their absence. Although some 200 leaders had made preparations and raised the necessary funds to attend, the vast majority were stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving China. Nearly three years later, about 100 of these leaders were able to join their counterparts from around the world in Seoul, Korea, for the Asian Church Leaders Forum. This meeting was historic in that it represented perhaps the first time that such a broad spectrum of Chinese church leaders from multiple regions of China and multiple streams within the unregistered church was able to meet with an equally broad spectrum of international evangelical leaders.
Anyone who has been involved in China over the past 30 years can complete the sentence "When I first came to China " with a vividperhaps even harrowingaccount of what China was like in the past. The readily observable changes in day-to-day living that have come about from rapid development and economic growth are phenomenal and at times unsettling. Those newly arrived in China are often surprised at what they find and realize that the reading they have done or the orientation classes they have taken in preparation for living and working in China have not kept up with the pace of development in China.
China's Christians embrace commitment to world evangelization.
Christian leaders from China made history at the 2010 Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, not by their participation, but by their absence. Although some 200 leaders had made preparations and raised the necessary funds to attend, the vast majority were stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving China.
Nearly three years later, about 100 of these leaders were able to join their counterparts from around the world in Seoul, Korea, for the Asian Church Leaders Forum.
Chinese house church leaders commit to engage as partners with the global church in world evangelization.
FEATURED ARTICLE Seoul Commitment (July 18, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)
In June of this year about a hundred church leaders from Mainland China joined their counterparts from around Asia and beyond for the Asian Church Leaders Forum, held in Seoul, Korea. In response to the conferences reaffirmation of the 2010 Cape Town Commitment the participants from China (many of whom had planned to attend the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town but were prevented from doing so) drafted their own commitment to engage as partners with the global church in world evangelization. Their statement is here reproduced in its entirety.
Evangelism is something that is increasingly emphasized in Chinese churches, both official and unofficial. Christians are being encouraged by their pastors and by one another to look for creative ways to share the gospel with those around them, whether at home, in the work place, or in society.
Foreigners and Chinese Working Together: A Local Perspective (Summer 2013, ChinaSource Quarterly)
As a Chinese Christian, Jenny has worked alongside foreigners in Christian organizations for over a decade. She opens her heart and shares insights from a Chinese perspective to help new workers (and those already in China) avoid points of misunderstanding and friction as they serve with local brothers and sisters.
The Chinese have a saying: "shang you zhengce, xia you duice." A fairly literal translation is "the top adopts measures and the bottom adopts counter-measures. A more colloquial way of putting it is "the leaders make the policies and the people find a way around them."
A recent article in mainland-based site, The Christian Times, highlights some of the unique challenges of doing mission work among the Tibetan people.
A reporter interviews leaders from various seminaries and Bible schools throughout Mainland China (and Hong Kong and Taiwan) for their perspectives on the issues related to seminary education in China.
Changing China, Continuing Challenges (Summer edition, ChinaSource Quarterly)
This new context for China ministry raises a host of questions for anyone committed to long-term ministry in China. Ministry goals and strategies that were formed in the 1990sand in some cases in the 1980smay no longer be appropriate for the conditions and needs of the Chinese church today. Models of cooperation and partnership that were developed to aid a church with little money and few qualified ministers no longer fit the current realities. Even questions as fundamental as, "How do Christians relate to society?" need to be reconsidered in post-Olympic China. For those already deeply engaged in China service, there is a great need for reevaluation.
Building a Chinese Church Culture (June 26, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)
Whether or not the church can be accepted in society depends upon the image of the church in society, and the establishment of the churchs image is likewise dependent on the culture of the church. Society cant see the faith of the church; they see only the outward expression of that faith through its culture. The kind of culture the church has will therefore determine what kind of image they have within society.
On June 4, ChinaSource conducted an online webinar entitled "Socially Speaking," in which we gave participants a behind the scenes look at how ChinaSource is utilizing the internet and social media to engage the Christian community around critical issues facing China. In this edition of the Lantern, we would like to share some of that content with you.
A Chinese blogger gives his thoughts on how the Chinese church can become healthier and more accepted in Chinese society.
In "China -- Here We Are", Andrea Klopper writes that "a good way to start building relationships is through asking questions." Here is a list of questions for getting to know people and understand their culture in greater depth.
For those who are beginning or have just begun a life of service in China, the list of skills to master and concepts to grasp can seem daunting. The summer 2013 edition of Chinasource Quarterly (due out this week) is designed to provide a roadmap for the process of entering into the Chinese ministry context.
This practical exposition includes discussions regarding ways of thinking about culture, first encounters between Americans and Chinese as well as verbal and non-verbal communication. Four stages of awareness as one progresses through understanding culture are explored along with an explanation of the importance of context.
A starting point for those anticipating service in China, this bibliography includes helpful works on China's history, parenting overseas, language learning, Christianity and works about contemporary China.
Protestantism in contemporary China is usually expressed using the opposing terms of "house church" and "Three-Self church," but McLeister believes this paradigm should not be accepted as a given. Rather, there is a wide range of congregation types in China which the author describes. He goes on to explain why boundaries between congregations may be blurred and gives examples of cooperative activities.
How can one prepare for service in China? The author provides practical insights with examples from her own experiences when she first lived in another culture. From exploring one's expectations to extending grace and embracing the challenge, Ms. Klopper offers valuable advice that can lessen the initial strain of cross-cultural living.
The author asserts that while the pace of development in China has been frenetic and its economic growth historic, there have been few substantive changes in the nation. He then addresses current trends in China, reflects on what they mean for Chinese society and the Chinese church and looks at implications for ministry by expatriate Christians living there.
Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "What Every Expat in China Ministry Needs to Know" (CS Quarterly, 2013 Summer).
As a Chinese Christian, Jenny has worked alongside foreigners in Christian organizations for over a decade. She opens her heart and shares insights from a Chinese perspective to help new workers (and those already in China) avoid points of misunderstanding and friction as they serve with local brothers and sisters.
Beijing to Require Certificate of No Criminal Conviction for Foreigners Employment Licenses (June 19, 2013, US and China Visa Law Blog)
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security has announced that employment license applicants will need to submit a certificate of no criminal conviction (also known as a police clearance letter) from their country of residence, effective July 1.
For those of you hard at work learning the Chinese language, an encouraging word:
A Chinese pastor offers encouragement to parents whose children are preparing to take the annual college entrance examination.
A Superpower And An Emerging Rival: A Look Ahead At China (June 13, 2013, NPR)
U.S.-China relations have deteriorated in recent years, amid growing concerns about cybersecurity and human rights. As part of TOTN's "Looking Ahead" series, The Economist's China editor Rob Gifford talks about the future relations between the world's two biggest economies.
Chinese Christians go online to call for prayer for the victims of a deadly fire at a food processing plant.
Listen: Tiananmen Square, A 'Watershed' For Chinese Conversions To Christianity (June 3, 2013, Here & Now Radio)
Monday is the 23rd anniversary of China's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. And Professor Fenggang Yang of Purdue University says the crackdown set off a trend of conversions to Christianity in China.
The following article from the mainland site Gospel Times tells of an anti-abortion public service announcement that was posted online as well as played on Bus-TV in Chengdu, urging people to avoid having abortions on International Children's Day (June 1), and of other anti-abortion activities in Changchun, Jilin.
An intereview with a woman pastor of a Three-Self Church in Beijing about the unique challenges of balancing here ministry with being a mother.
In 2008, the tainted milk scandal broke in China. Melamine was being added to locally produced milk products to increase the apparent protein content of the milk. More protein, better for your kids, right? Wrong. When added to food products, melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. Melamine-laced milk caused the death of six infants and made approximately 300,000 children ill, 54,000 required hospitalization. The very thing parents bought to nurture their children was a danger to their health.
A lot of nice-sounding words (May 24, 2013, The Economist)
CHEN GUANGCHENG is a blind Chinese activist who left his country a year ago, soon after taking refuge in the American embassy in Beijing. Mr Chen was in London recently to receive an award for his work defending the rights of rural Chinese women. The Economist's China Editor, Rob Gifford, caught up with him at the Houses of Parliament, to ask him about recent changes in China and about his own exile.
In my last entry, I stressed the importance of having a high-level, high-impact Christian presence among the leadership in higher education institutions around the world, both Christian and non-Christian. In this post, I want to describe a program that, I believe, is the perfect vehicle for providing the tools for this presence. The program to which I am referring is Azusa Pacific University's PhD program in Global Higher Education.
A Chinese Christian comments on the milk powder scandal, reminding fellow believers to focus on Christ and the Word and not rely on works or other "spiritual additives."
Encountering China (May 19, 2013, The China Story)
This essay was commissioned as a review of Kin-ming Lius edited volume, My First Trip to China: Scholars, Diplomats and Journalists Reflect on their First Encounters with China, Hong Kong: East Slope publishing, 2012. As it turns out, The China Story offers a more commodious destination for these reflections. My thanks to Linda Jaivin and Gloria Davies for their comments on draft versions of this essay.
One of the easiest places to see real live Mainland Chinese folk beliefs is in the front seat of a Chinese taxi.
This article, translated from the mainland site Gospel Times, is about a young dancer named Liao Zhi who lost both of her legs in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
For the past few months I have had the song "California Dreaming'" stuck in my head. I blame Chinese president Xi Jinping and his propagation of the notion of a "Chinese Dream."
This is a translation of a long Weibo post by a leader in a Three-Self Church college fellowship. In it he relates a conversation he had recently with a friend regarding the deaths of so many people in the Wenchuan earthquake.
China Rising (May 4, 2013, Al Jazeera)
Special Series: After centuries of western dominance, the worlds centre of economic and political weight is shifting eastward. In just 30 years, China has risen from long-standing poverty to being the second largest economy in the world faster than any other country in history. From angry farmers to weary migrant workers, powerful politicians and everyone in between, what China says and does, has become of undeniable importance to the entire world.
This has been the quest of many individuals and many groups throughout the history of mankind. The efforts usually fall into one of three categories, or a combination of the three.
This article, posted on the mainland site Christian Times is a summary of an internet post by a pastor from Xinjiang Autonomous Region on how to discern true and false gods.
As a Chinese teacher, I feel like I am at war. The enemy is a voice in the back of my students' minds repeating "you can't do this." If they quit, the battle is lost.
Chinese Christians take to social media to react to the Ya'an Earthquake.
On April 15, 2 home-made bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring dozens. One of those killed was 23-year old Lu Lingzi, a graduate student at Boston University. She and her friend were waiting near the finish line when the bombs exploded.
A conversation with a worship leader in a Beijing house church regarding the issue of music in the church.
In recent years we have rejoiced to hear that the church in China is responding to the Great Commission and sending workers into the harvest fields, both at home in China and beyond China's borders. Most often we hear of the Back to Jerusalem (BTJ) movement with its inspiring call for the Chinese to bring the gospel full circle back to its origins. Yet there is much more involved than a simple trajectory through the Middle East to Jerusalem.
This is cross-posted at our Chinese Church Voices site.
As news that a Chinese student had been killed in the Boston Marathon bombing broke in China, netizens took to Weibo to react and comment, and Christians joined the conversation. Some of the comments reference other tragic events in the news this week, such as the earthquake in Pakistan, the poisoning of a university student in Shanghai, and the spread of the H7N9 flu virus.
One noted that both the student who died in Shanghai and the one who died in Boston had either attended seeker Bible studies or attended church. They all either call for prayer for the victims families, or urge people to put their trust in Christ.
Chinese Christians react on social media to the death of a Chinese student in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Chinese Church Voices: 10 Observed Trends on Chinese Christian Media (April 17, 2013, ChinaSource)
In June of 2012, ChinaSource launched a blog called Chinese Church Voices where we have been posting translations of content taken from Mainland Christian online sources websites, blogs, and micro-blogs. Our goal is to help give outsiders a chance to "listen in on the conversations" that Chinese Christians are having online. I recently went back through the articles that we have posted to see if there were any observable trends.
In June of 2012, ChinaSource launched a blog called Chinese Church Voices where we have been posting translations of content taken from Mainland Christian online sources websites, blogs, and micro-blogs. Our goal is to help give outsiders a chance to "listen in on the conversations" that Chinese Christians are having online.
I recently went back through the articles that we have posted to see if there were any observable trends. Here's what I noticed (with links):
A famous Christian actress in China shares her thoughts on marriage.
Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "China's Indigenous Mission Movement" (CS Quarterly, 2013 Spring).
Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer. IVP Books, 2006, 212 pages. ISBN-10: 0830833781; ISBN-13: 978-0830833788; paperback, $12.68 or Kindle edition $9.99 at Amazon.com.
Reviewed by Mary Ann Cate
The role of the church in China as it increasingly becomes a missionary-sending church is explored based on past experiences and lessons learned. The article considers the importance of developing a missionary strategy, providing adequate cross-cultural training that goes beyond the classroom and developing a comprehensive field coordination infrastructure. It also takes a brief look at the church in today's China.
The author describes, from his observations and experiences, several often overlooked areas in China's early involvement in international missions. These include visa issues, language learning and missionary supervision and care. Prototypes for ministry are also suggested. The writer hopes that the self-reflection and sharing with fellow workers will result in intercessory prayer from members of Christ's Body and in their enlightenment.
The traditional definitions of missionary are not adequate for missionaries being sent from China; a new definition is needed due to the unique circumstances involved with those sent from this nation. Following this discussion, the author provides an overview of the current situation surrounding missionaries being sent from China.
This is a translation of an article in the Christian Times about the response of Chinese Christians to the death of Pastor Rick Warren's son.
Insight: The backroom battle delaying reform of China's one-child policy (April 8, 2013, Reuters)
Two retired senior Chinese officials are engaged in a battle with one another to sway Beijing's new leadership over the future of the one-child policy, exposing divisions that have impeded progress in a crucial area of reform.  Former State Councilors Song Jian and Peng Peiyun, who once ranked above cabinet ministers and remain influential, have been lobbying China's top leaders, mainly behind closed doors: Song wants them to keep the policy while Peng urges them to phase it out, people familiar with the matter said. Their unresolved clash could suggest the leadership remains torn over one of China's most divisive social issues, said a recently retired family planning official. How quickly it is settled may shed light on whether new President Xi Jinping will ease family-planning controls on a nation of 1.3 billion people.
For more than a century, there have been many indigenous mission movements from China, from Chinese, as well as from Central-coastal China that have experimented with mission endeavors. This article looks briefly at the most important of these undertakings by individuals and by groups.
Some things cannot be learned from booksthey must result from the gospel that has been deeply formed in the heart of the individual. The author tells us of a life-changing experience from his past and then identifies the differences between God's servants who trust in "functional saviors" and those who are deeply at rest in what Christ has done for them.
A famous Chinese TV announcer laments the lack of faith in Chinese society.
"Cataclysmic" is how I describe the impact I foresee of the recent decision of Beijing's educational establishment to allow HSK test takers to type instead of write.
"HSK" stands for hanyu shuiping kaoshi (). Beginning in 1992, the HSK tests Chinese proficiency just as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests English proficiency. Revised in 2009, it's now called the "New HSK."
Current Ideological Trends in China How Should The Church Respond? (March 27, 2013, Lausanne Global Conversation)
In discussion of the social and political status of Christianity in China, the relationship of the churches and the government naturally takes centre stage. Nonetheless, how the faith and its growing influence are viewed in China is caught up in a confusing cauldron of competing political and moral ideologies that vie for Chinas future. As Chinas driving market economy and growing liberalization have rendered the old shibboleths of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought uncouth, Neo-liberalism, Neo-leftism, and Neo-Confucianism have sought to fill the ideological vacuum. Each has its own view on whether the rise of Christianity in China is bane or blessing.
Sina Weibo is China's most popular micro-blogging site. In fact "weibo" means "micro-blog." It's a Chinese version of Twitter that claims to have 300+ million subscribers.Christian subscribers took to Weibo on Sunday to comment on Easter.
This article, from the Mainland site Christian Times, gives an overview of how Holy Week is celebrated in China.
PRI has produced an Easter video for use in the ESL classroom.
Pastor Jin on the Church and Social Responsibility (March 22, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)
The revival of the Korean Church is widely known and its influence cannot be ignored. After WWII, in the course of only a few decades, a small, poor nation became todays second largest missionary sending country. In recent decades Christianity in China has also experienced rapid growth and as one of Koreas neighboring countries, there is much to emulate and many lessons to be learned from the passion and experience of the Korean Church.
Well, the cat's out of the bag and Xi is indeed akin to Li Shi Min, as he talks about the "China Dream" and leading China into its "new renaissance", in other words, its new golden age.
This is a translation of a sermon preached in a Three-Self Church in Beijing.
A pastor of a large house church in Beijing talks about the lessons the Chinese church can learn from the church in South Korea.
In a lengthy article calling upon his colleagues to adjust their practices in China, Welshman Timothy Richard described the way in which he imagined the foreign community was viewed by Chinese people.
For Many in China, the One Child Policy is Already Irrelevant (March 19, 2013, China File)
Before getting pregnant with her second child, Lu Qingmin went to the family-planning office to apply for a birth permit. Officials in her husbands Hunan village where she was living turned her down, but she had the baby anyway. She may eventually be fined $1,600about what she makes in two months in her purchasing job at a Guangdong paint factory. Everyone told me to hide so the family-planning people wouldnt find me, but I went around everywhere, she told me. In the past, that place had very strict family planning, but now the policy has loosened. The cadres worry that there are too many only children here. I asked her if government policy had factored into her decision to have a second child. It was never a consideration, she said.
Misconceptions abound regarding what the Constitution of the People's Republic of China has to say about religion. The government trumpets the fact that the freedom of religious belief is enshrined in the Constitution. And we often hear about the constitution forbidding the teaching of religion to those under 18.
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what the constitution has to say about religion and religious freedom.
A Chinese Christian writes in response to the kidnapping and killing of an infant in China.
This article, from the Mainland website Christian Times is about the opening of the movie "Les Miserables" in China. The author refers to it as a "Christian" film, and expresses hope that it will have an impact in China.
The balinghou (aeonmagazine.com)
Food metaphors are telling older Chinese want to know: Why do they have it so easy, when we had it so hard? The main target of this slating has been what the Chinese call the balinghou young people who were born after 1980, who never knew food rationing and were raised after Chinas reform and opening began. Im talking here of the urban middle class, who dominate Chinese media both as purchasers and consumers. The raft of criticisms being levelled has very little to do with the actual failings of the young, but is a symptom of the yawning, and unprecedented gulf between young urban Chinese and their parents.
What China was lacking in technology 30 years ago it has more than made up for as it has leapfrogged traditional communications media to become one of the most connected countries in the world. A generation ago the idea of a personal telephone in one's home was unheard of, unless one's family was particularly privileged. Today, although wired telephones in every home still may not be the norm, personal mobile phones are considered a necessity. Even for migrant workers with no permanent home and very few personal possessions, the mobile phone is a lifeline to family back home and to job opportunities in the city.
This article, translated from the Mainland website Christian Times is a report of the grand opening of LiuShui Church, which now lays claim to being China's largest church.
Visitors to China often remark at the speed with which cities, or large portions of cities, seem to suddenly appear. Pudong and Shenzhen have risen literally out of nothing to become urban showpieces and major financial centers. The "Bird's Nest" stadium that became the much heralded centerpiece of the 2008 Beijing Games was erected at unprecedented speed, along with dozens of other Olympic venues, several new subway lines, and major beautification projects across the city.
None of this would be possible were it not for hundreds of millions of migrant workers streaming into China's major urban centers. They are the silent, or at least unacknowledged, partners in China's rush to lead the way in global urbanization.
Christian business people and entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for opportunities to use their enterprises for outreach. In this article, translated from the Christian Times, a Mainland website, a reporter interviews Brother Long, proprietor of the Gospel Inn in Dali, Yunnan Province.
What does the future hold for China? (March 5, 2013, BBC)
China's moment of change has come. After a decade in power, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are stepping aside. Xi Jinping and a new generation are taking over. Already elevated to the post of general secretary of the Communist Party last November, Xi Jinping will be confirmed as China's new head of state by the National People's Congress now meeting in Beijing. So, naturally, the question everyone is asking is, what does the future hold for China? How will Xi Jinping govern this huge, complex and increasingly powerful nation?
I am frequently asked for advice on how to learn Chinese. My answer always includes a pitch for perfecting pinyin. (Pinyin is a system which romanizes Chinese Characters, whereby is rendered nihao.)
In this article, published in January 2012 on the Mainland website Gospel Times, the author considers ways that believers can share with their family members during the traditional Chinese New Year Festival.
Opportunities for collaboration between Christians inside and outside China have evolved as China's continued opening has allowed for more natural cross-cultural relationships. Early attempts at partnering were often one-way, with those outside China providing funds, training, and other resources to an indigenous church with great needs but seemingly little to contribute in return. With the emergence of a new generation of trained leaders who are increasingly connected with the global church, either virtually or directly through going abroad or working with foreigners in country, collaboration has moved to a new level.
Theres a void called the countryside visions of dying village life (February 28, 2013, Danwei)
Migrant workers tend to be presented as an anonymous mass, and thought of either as a problem for Chinese cities and infrastructures, or an example of inequalities and discrimination in contemporary China. This weeks post invites us to look at rural-urban migrations from a different angle, by focusing on the relationships and continuity between cities and country towns. Zhang Zejias Theres a void called the countryside and Li Tianqis These old people back home who got old both explore this ongoing attachment to the rural hometown. Through the vision of a dying rural world, they also reveal the complexities of personal attachment to rural memories, the strength of family networks, and the significance of yearly return journeys to the rural hometown for city dwellers.
Following up on her January 30, 2013 blog, Tiger Lily poses a question.
Persecution in China a lightning rod for pundits of every persuasion and a topic of vital importance to Christians who grieve for the sufferings of their brothers and sisters. A recent report by China Aid citing an increased number of incidents of persecution in 2012 and claiming that the Chinese government has embarked on a planned effort to eradicate the house churches in China by 2025 is being widely reported in the news. Headlines such as "How China Plans to Wipe Out House Churches" are grabbing attention and painting a bleak picture for China's Christians.
Attempts by China watchers to unravel the complexity of China's Christian community often result in a bifurcated view depicting a pitched battle between the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the house church. Liberal theology, political control, and collusion in persecuting believers characterize the TSPM, while the "real Christians" are to be found only in the house church, a bastion of evangelical faith set amidst an atheistic state that is out to destroy it.
This article, translated from the Mainland based website Christian Times, is a testimony to the power of the Gospel among the Miao people of Yunnan Province.
Scanning the headlines on any given day, one cannot but take note of the vastly different portraits of China which emerge.
The article translated below is a testimony from a Christian man who lost his wife to the Eastern Lightning Cult. It is posted on a Mainland-based website called Kuanye Zhi Sheng (Voice in the Wilderness).
Is China Persecuting More Christians for their Faith? (February 22, 2013, ChinaSource)
According to the latest statistics from China Aid, 13.8% more Christians in China were persecuted last year as compared with 2011, continuing a trend of increasing persecution that goes back to at least 2007. On their face these numbers appear to be cause for serious alarm, and the China Aid report has in fact spawned headlines decrying the beginning of the end of the house church in China. However, upon closer examination these statistics do not support China Aid's assertion of a nationwide government-sponsored campaign against Christianity in China. Without a doubt, Christians in China face many obstacles as they live out their faith in an often hostile environment. But Christians are not persecuted simply for being Christians, nor are house churches targeted for attack simply for being house churches. If this were the case one would expect to see hundreds of house churches being closed down each week. (Beijing, which had the highest number of persecution cases in 2012, reportedly has more than 3,000 house churches, yet the China Aid report mentions only two cases involving Beijing house churches for the entire year.)
An article on a think-tank website in China lays out the current conditions of Christianity and religious regulations in China.
According to Pew Research Center's latest statistics, China has more than 600 million religious believers. Of these, an estimated 68 million are Protestant Christians, accounting for just over five percent of the population.
Those of us who work in China are often asked if we think that the situation for the church in China is getting better or worse. I have always found that to be a problematic question.
Province by Province, a Portrait of China (February 11, 2013, The New York Times)
The resulting series, China, is a historical document of a country as its villages turn into cities; its cities into megacities. Shot before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the portraits present a diverse nation through its people: yak farmers, gynecologists, television personalities, village chiefs, singing gondoliers, prostitutes, aging revolutionaries, circus stars, bank employees, beggars and trash collectors.
In this post, translated from the Christian Times, we hear from a pastor who leads a church of migrant factory workers in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.
Public expression is something we in the West value as a God-given right but also take very much for granted. We expect to be heard, have the right to be heard, and are encouraged at every stage of our lives to express ourselves. In the West even a 4-year-old child has a voice.
However, for much of the world, public expression is not a God-given right. Christians in many places are not able to publicly share about their beliefs without severe penalty. The internet has changed this by becoming a public forum where voices can speak and be heard; a place where one can express their opinions and beliefs and pass it on to others.
Now, the internet in China has the appearance of being regulated and highly censored. The idea that the internet can be a public forum in China is a difficult concept for those outside of China.
Is Xi Jinping a Reformer? Wrong Question. (February 1, 2013, China Real Times)
Better questions are needed in order to produce more useful analyses and forecasts of Chinas political development. Such analyses should start by recognizing two facts: First, the new leaderships various initiatives and pronouncements after taking office indicate that it fully accepts the need for change. Second to quote the American political scientist Samuel Huntington, the leadership is clearly aiming at some change but not total change, gradual change but not convulsive change. In short, the leadership wants controlled reform, not revolution or regime change.
The study of Chinese as a second language is exploding around the globe, yet few Westerners today read, write and speak Chinese fluently. No wonder native speakers often say, with a certain satisfaction, their language is tai nan xue, "too hard to learn."
This post is a translation of an article that was published in The Christian Times in December 2012. It is about Dr. Luke, a member of the Tibetan Tu people who became a Christian through the witness and influence of his high school English teacher, who was from Northeast China.
This is part 2 of a report on a conversation with a pastor of an unregistered urban church in which he talks about the importance of vision and his churchs vision to serve the community.
China's ethnic Manchus rediscovering their roots (January 30, 2013, The Los Angeles Times)
Descended from a horse-riding nomadic people of northeastern China, the Manchus were the last imperial rulers of the country, establishing the Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 until 1912. After the abdication of the last emperor, Pu Yi, his clan changed its name to Jin. The Yehenalas, related to Cixi, the empress dowager who was de facto ruler in the late 19th century, became Ye or Na. A century later, ethnic Manchus are rediscovering their roots.
January saw some of the worst pollution in China with readings as high as over 800 for PM 2.5.
It is often enlightening to observe what TV programs are being shown to get an inkling of what the government wants people to think. Leading up to the Olympics and June 2009, there were numerous TV serials about the Ming dynasty and Chinese venturing to places like Southeast Asia in search of a better life but not forgetting their Chinese roots. One particular serial was "" which recounts the time of China's maritime supremacy in the 1400s this all just before the 60th anniversary of its navy in 2009 and subsequent flexing of its muscles in the South China Sea.
The pastor of an unregistered urban church talks about the importance of vision and his churchs vision to serve the community.
Private higher education in China is a recently founded, rapidly expanding sector. When economic reforms were introduced in China after Deng Xiaoping's assumption of power in 1978, the way was open for private higher education. The first private higher education institution (HEI) in the post-Cultural Revolution era was Zhonghua Societal University, established in Beijing in 1982.
Recognizing the prevalence of internet use among Christians, this article encourages pastors to use social media to connect with their congregations.
Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates (January 16, 2013, The New York Times)
China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in what economists call human capital. Just as the United States helped build a white-collar middle class in the late 1940s and early 1950s by using the G.I. Bill to help educate millions of World War II veterans, the Chinese government is using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities. The aim is to change the current system, in which a tiny, highly educated elite oversees vast armies of semi-trained factory workers and rural laborers. China wants to move up the development curve by fostering a much more broadly educated public, one that more closely resembles the multifaceted labor forces of the United States and Europe.
While many in the west are concerned about the condition of the church in China, Christians in China are often concerned about the state of the church in the west. In this article, published in the Christian Times, a pastor expresses his confidence that the church in England and Europe will once again experience revival.
Following a rapid downturn in 2012, what are the prospects for China's economy in 2013? What trends are being seen, and what do they indicate? How do social and political considerations interact with the economy and does this have any impact for Christianity? Based on statistics, Dr. Zhao gives his outlook for China's economic future.
Governmental policies making it possible for migrant children to attend public schools often are not implemented. The result is many migrant children attend privately-run migrant schools with lower standards or do not receive schooling. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the situation.
In this interview with the Christian Times, Christian actress Yang Xin opens up about the importance of keeping a pure heart and the value of a loving family as she struggles to live out her faith in a challenging profession.
There is more freedom than many realize for Christians to use the Internet. Numbers of netizens, use of web sites by Christians and links to many sites are provided in this article.
Management Issues in the Rural Church (January 8, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)
Compared to the urban churches, Chinese rural churches lack all kinds of resources. In addition to the lack of finances and preachers, we cannot ignore management issues. Recently, the Executive Secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council, Chen Jianguang, wrote an article in the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelisms Pastoral Sharing periodical in which he pointed out that the most difficult problem that Chinese rural churches currently face is in the area of management, not finances.
Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "China by the Numbers" (CS Quarterly, 2012 Winter).
This article, from the Christian Times, highlights some of the issues facing the rural churches, which have been and are feeling the effects of urbanization.
With attention placed on evangelization of adults, China's children and youth have been overlooked and few are being discipled for Christ. The author outlines the challenges facing the church, the consequences if action is not taken and realistic steps that can be put into practice.
Current evidence is that religion is flourishing in China. However, practical problems make statistical statements for the number of religious believers in China quite hazardous. The author cautiously examines the evidence that exists for each of the five, major, officially-recognized religious faiths in China.
Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China by Leslie T. Chang. Picador, 2010, ISBN-10: 033044736X, ISBN-13: 978-0330447362; 320 pages; paper $10.88; Kindle edition $11.99 at Amazon. (Note: Various editions are available with a slightly different title, dates of publication and number of pages.)
Reviewed by Andrea Klopper
This article, translated from the website Kuanye, reports on the opening of a church for the blind in the city of Shenyang, in Chinas northeastern Liaoning Province.
Changes and Challenges for China in 2013 (December 26, 2012, Council on Foreign Relations)
This October, China's Eighteenth National Congress ushered in a new generation of leaders that will set the agenda for the second-largest economy in the world, provoking myriad questions about what we'll see out of the country in the coming year. CFR's Adam Segal predicts continued international concern for China's cyber policy, while CFR's Elizabeth C. Economy weighs its challenges of keeping "foreign policy front and center" against a heavy list of domestic concerns. Claremont McKenna's Minxin Pei adds that China will be forced to respond to calls for greater political openness, facing a delicate balancing act. CFR's Yanzhong Huang points out that despite China's highly publicized health-care achievements, reform hasn't fundamentally solved the problem of access and affordability.