Every Chinese leader since Chairman Mao has had a slogan (and accompanying campaign of some sort) that was meant to define their rule. President Xi Jinping's slogan is "The Chinese Dream." The organizing principle of his predecessor Hu Jintao's rule was "Harmonious Society."
Mike Falkenstine, President of the China Resource Center, an organization that does Bible distribution in rural churches (registered), recently returned from a trip to China, in which he had the opportunity to seek help from his friends and partners in understanding some of the recent events in China, particularly the cross/church demolition campaigns in Zhejiang.
"This is crazy," I observed to my audience of parents and high school students in Beijing. "Why on earth would parents send their 14- or 15- or 16-year-olds to the other side of the world for schooling, especially when studies show some of the best schools in the world are in your own country?"
Our top picks this week are all on the lighter side. We hope you find them as interesting as we did.
Two glimpses of China's past and the impending trial of a recent infamous murder top this week's list of items not to be missed.
The stories that captured our attention this week provide glimpses into religion in China, an arrest, and the Chinese student community in Los Angeles.
The news out of and about China this week is incredibly eclectic, just like China itself.
Churches, migration, and anti-corruption campaigns are the topics of this week's Top Picks from the ZGBriefs Newsletter.
China is in the midst of an education explosion.
We included quite a few articles about education in this week's ZGBriefs, but a couple of them stood out to us. One is a podcast discussion of education in China; the other is a look at Chinese study abroad programs. In addition, there were two articles about the Uyghur experience in China following recent terrorist attacks that caught our eye.
Up until the beginning of this decade, China's elderly and young adult populations were growing at roughly the same rate.
An arrest and a peek into history this week's must read ZGBriefs articles.
The articles that caught our eye in this week's ZGBriefs Newsletter fall within two large topicsChinese language and Confucianism.
The church demolitions continue in Zhejiang, as does the commentary trying to make sense of it all. Two articles this week contributed to the conversation.
History in the making and forgotten history were in the news this week along with Chinese-style self-help and the extension of Chinese consumerism to the US.
There was really only ONE story out of China this week, namely the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident. We could have devoted the entirety of ZGBriefs to the marking of that event, but we narrowed it down to a handful. Two of those articles are highlighted here. In addition, we couldn't pass up two articles about the hazards for foreigners who live and work in China.
Urbanization has irreversibly changed the landscape of Chinademographically, socially, geographically, and economically.
These are the topics that caught our attention this week pork fat, bound feet, and a Miao festival.
Two of our favorite stories this week are about those on the margins of Chinese societythe poor who struggle to care for sick babies, and the disabled who are shut out of the educational system. The third article is an interesting look at how a the propaganda office in a neighborhood in Qingdao is trying to tackle the problem of "evil cults."
Why China's most privileged youth generation ever is still looking for more.
Geographic and cultural divides and differences understanding them and bridging them were common themes this week.
This is a picture of the skyline of Pudong, the glitzy business district of Shanghai. For a time, that tall building with the hole in the top was actually the world's tallest building. It was soon beat out by the Burj in Dubai, and, as you can see, by the new building going up right beside it.
Statistics released by a Beijing think tank in January reveal that emigration from China is at its highest level ever, with 9.34 million leaving the Mainland in 2013. The "immigration deficit," or difference between those immigrating to China and those leaving, has risen 129 percent since 1990, from 3.71 million to 8.5 million. China is the world's fourth largest country for emigration, coming behind, India, Mexico, and Russia.
If there were a theme to the three articles that we have chosen this week, it would be information.
As far as most of our readers go, probably the biggest story out of China this week was the demolition of the Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou.
In his work report at last month's annual meeting of the National People's Congress, Premier Li Keqiang, citing the growing toll which China's environmental crisis is taking on the economy, pledged to "declare war" on pollution.
China today has been variously described as an emerging superpower, an economic miracle, a totalitarian regime, a corrupt kleptocracy, a regional hegemon, a bellwether of the future, and a victim of its past. Each of these narratives contains a kernel of truth, yet none by itself begins to do justice to the complexities of China.
Our favorite stories this week cover the gamut searching for Hui identity in Taiwan; the life of "Taobao Girls" in Beijing; the June 4 crack-down in Chengdu; and a trailer for an upcoming documentary about a Tibetan woman living in Beijing. China is nothing, if not complex!
Schools, nostalgia, and explaining the unexplainable these are the subjects of our top picks in ZGBriefs this week.
Tomorrow (April 5) is "Tomb-Sweeping Day," a festival to honor the ancestors by tending their graves. There were two articles about this that caught our attention this week.
This is my third blog reflecting back on six days I spent in China recently with Brent Fulton where we met with pastors, seminary leaders and academics in Shanghai and Beijing. I shared in the first blog about my amazement at the growth of the church and the window that seems to be opening for the gospel, and in my second I raised concerns about the environmental disaster that is overtaking China and the key role of the church in calling people to care for God's creation.
It's an interesting question, and, as the saying goes, "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'atheist' is."
Two articles about religion, a missing jetliner, and eye-popping gifs of China's urbanization; these are our top picks this week.
This is my second blog reflecting back on six days I spent in China recently with Brent Fulton where we met with pastors, seminary leaders and academics in Shanghai and Beijing. I shared in the first blog about my amazement at the growth of the church and the window that seems to be opening for the gospel.
Scrolling down through ZGBriefs this week provides another glimpse of the complexity of China today.
I am back from six days in China where I traveled with Brent Fulton and met with pastors, seminary leaders and academics in Shanghai and Beijing. I preached twice at Beijing International Christian Fellowship and we also held our ChinaSource Board meeting in Beijing. It was a busy and fulfilling week. I have been asked to share a few highlights and reflections of my time.
Meetings (and things that happened alongside those meetings) and Chinese people in the US caught our interest this week.
Violence was very much in China-related media this week as people inside and outside of China sought to come to grips with the brutal attack that took place in the Kunming train station on March 1. A new date, 3-01 has entered our terrorism vocabulary.
On Saturday, there was a knife attack at the Kunming train station. When it was over, 29 people were dead and hundreds injured. Here's how the Los Angeles Times reported the scene:
My top picks this week center on architecture, education, and the plight of the disabled in China.
There were a number of articles in this week's ZGBriefs that caught my attention. The first two are about romance and weddings in China. The third one is about government efforts to save abandoned babies by providing "baby hatches" in various cities. The fourth is for fun video highlights of a motorcycle ride around China.
Coming off another Great Wall visit, I am again pondering the paradox of the wall a paradox which is true of both the ancient one as well as the more recently constructed one.
There were a lot of great articles in this weeks' ZGBriefs, but the ones that particularly caught my eye were on the topics of human rights and law, ethnic tensions, and American-style Chinese food.
"That is messed up!"
"That is just plain WRONG."
Our top picks this week all touch on some of the social issues that China is dealing with today: happiness, disappearing traditional culture, and the rise of volunteerism.
Our top picks this week are all over the map, so to speak, covering religion, politics, and the perils of language learning!
Let's call it "video week" at ZGB because my top picks this week are all video reports on some fairly pressing contemporary social issues, each of them ripples of China's one-child policy.
These three articles caught my attention while compiling ZGBriefs this week.
This week's must-read stories from the editor of ZGBriefs