August 1, 2013

ZGBriefs is a compilation of links to news items from published online sources. Clicking a link will direct you to a website other than ChinaSource. ChinaSource is not responsible for the content or other features on that site. An article’s inclusion in ZGBriefs does not equal endorsement by ChinaSource. Please go here to support ZGBriefs.


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.


Decoding Xi Jinping's 'China Dream' (July 26, 2103, Christian Science Monitor)

Xi Jinping's reformist agenda goes hand in hand with his crackdown on social activists but that may not be as contradictory as it sounds.

Is China the West's friend or enemy? (July 28, 2013, BBC)

The sudden growth of China as a world economic power has alarmed a great many people in the West. For The Editors, a programme which sets out to ask challenging questions, I decided to find out whether China is the West's friend, or its enemy.

Japans 2013 defence white paper stirs tensions with China (July 31, 2013, East Asia Forum)

The 2013 white paper increases the description of Chinese military activities around Japan and makes clear its defence preparation for them. It also announces the revision of the 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the 2013 defence budget, both which were DPJ government policies.

More NGOs to provide gov't services (August 1, 2013, Xinhua)

The central government said on Wednesday that it will promote the purchase of public services from social organizations in order to meet public demand more comprehensively and efficiently.More qualified NGOs, institutions and companies will be allowed to offer services to government authorities, according to an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.


Regulation on Religious Organizations (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

The role and status of religion in Chinese society has received great attention from the Party and government. At the same time, although peoples understanding of religion has changed and the evaluation of the social function of religion has taken a more positive turn, religions faces many internal problems that need to be resolved.


The Street Of Eternal Happiness (MarketPlace)

Throughout the next year, Marketplace China Correspondent Rob Schmitz brings us stories from the people who make their livings on Changle Road , the Street of Eternal Happiness, in central Shanghai. Together, they will tell the story of Chinas ongoing economic transformation

A Minority in the Middle Kingdom: My Experience Being Black in China (July 17, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

While China is officially home to 55 ethnic minority groups, the Middle Kingdom is far more ethnically homogeneous than the United States. Han Chinese make up 91.59% of the population, and the majority of the remaining 8.41% are visually indistinguishable from their Han counterparts. In part due to this difference, race and nationality are often conflated in China. A white foreigner is likely to be called laowai, or old foreigner, while a black foreigner is more likely to be described as heiren, or black person.

Chinese toddler dies after parking space row (July 27, 2013, BBC)

A Chinese toddler has died in a Beijing hospital after being wounded during a row between her mother and a man over a parking space, state media report. They say the two-year-old girl suffered critical injuries on Tuesday when the man pulled her out of her pram and threw her to the ground.He also reportedly beat the mother, who had refused to make way for his car, while she attended to her daughter. The driver was arrested. He could face execution if he is tried for murder.

Violent July: Chinese Seek the Roots of Recent Incidents (July 29, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Professor Yu also linked the governments policy of stability maintenance, which demands the preservation of social stability at all costs, with this societal trend: The biggest problem of stability maintenance is that the authorities deal with some legal issues in a political way, which has been undermining rule of law in recent years. Rule of man replaces rule of law. Then, rule of law is replaced by violence. This is the breakdown of societal order.

China's 'visit your parents' law weighs on many in one-child nation (July 29, 2013, Los Angeles Times)

Across China, the "visit your parents" measure has inspired applause, derision and a bit of soul-searching: Are the nation's traditional values and time-honored family customs slipping away so fast, many ask, that they must be encoded in law?

3 killed after mentally ill man goes on rampage (July 30, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

Three people were killed and five others injured after a mentally ill man targeted pedestrians in the southern city of Shenzhen yesterday in the latest string of attacks on the streets this summer. Initial investigation said the 40-year-old assailant, surnamed He, who has been battling with psychiatric problems for 22 years, ran out to a roadside snack bar after his father failed to stop him from running out of the house.

Good News for Good Samaritans in Southern China (July 30, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

It might soon be easier to be a good person in parts of China. On August 1, Shenzhen will implement a new Good Samaritan Law (in Chinese; literally, a good person law). The law will help protect those who are sued after helping someone in danger. The statute also sets forth legal repercussions for those who make false accusations against their would-be rescuers. Chinese netizens see the law, the first of its kind in China, as an important step, but many note that it will not be enough to bring the needed change to the system and to broader society.

Tea Time Chat Are You a Diaosi? (July 30, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Last month, TLNs Claire Zhang had this to say about Chinas growing ranks of so-called Diaosi:Diaosi originated as an insult for a poor, unattractive young person who stayed at home all day playing video games, with dim prospects for the future a loser. Yet as the term went viral on the Internet, Chinese youth from all backgrounds began to embrace it. It has become a self-deprecating counter to the gaofushuai, or the tall-rich-handsome, those with status, success, and bright futures. But how deep does Diaosi self-identification go in China, really? TLN queried some of its Chinese-born writers to find out.

2 suspects caught after shoot-out in Chengdu (July 31, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

Gunshots were heard in a residential building in Chenghua District of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, this afternoon. Two suspects have been caught by local police. The number of people who were injured in the incident was not immediately known. Witnesses said one suspect jumped over a platform and was still at large. Police officers equipped with shields released tear gas in the area and residents in the building were being evacuated.

Man in Hong Kong 'injures 11 in knife attack' (July 31, 2013, BBC)

A man has attacked passengers on a bus in Hong Kong with a knife and injured at least 11 people, reports say. The man, 57, took out a meat cleaver and attacked fellow employees as they travelled on the company bus to work. Most of the victims went to hospital for treatment but suffered only minor injuries. The man was subdued by passengers and was later arrested by police. His motive for the attack was not immediately known. The bus was carrying more than 20 people when the attack happened in Tuen Mun district, about an hour away from Victoria Harbour, local media reported.

Photos: Rising Above China (Panos Pictures)

Kacper Kowalski explored the landscape of contemporary China from the air, finding strange constellations and unfamiliar colours and shapes.


Mental Illness in the Middle Kingdom: How Is China Facing Issues of Coping, Care, and Integration? (July 26, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Statistics released by Chinas National Center for Mental Health showed that as of the year of 2009, one hundred million Chinese suffered from mental health problems with more than 160 million citizens afflicted with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and paranoid psychosis. Such figures indicate that one in every thirteen Chinese in 2009 had a mental health problem. Back in the 1950s, the reported ratio of Chinese adults suffering from mental illness was just 2.7%, or one in every 37 Chinese citizens.

60-70% of honey in Jinan is fake (July 29, 2013, Danwei)

The front cover of yesterdays Jinan Times is dominated by an expos of the Shandong honey industry, with a headline proclaiming 60-70% of honey on the market is adulterated, leading into a detailed feature article on pages two and three. The report claims that the production of counterfeit honey in China is an open secret to industry insiders, and so journalists from the Jinan Times went undercover to investigate. If you enjoy eating honey, as the Chinese have since ancient times, then you will not like what these reporters found.

China Arrests Two for Selling Horse Meat as Beef, Xinhua Reports (July 31, 2013, Bloomberg)

China arrested two people for selling more than 35,000 kilograms of horse meat as beef, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today. The suspects, two brothers, had operated in a county in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi and began passing off horse as beef because the profit from beef sales was low, according to Xinhua. They collected more than 1.28 million yuan ($209,000) in sales, according to the report. Another accomplice remains at large, Xinhua reported, without citing anyone.

N95 Pollution Masks: A Buyers Guide (August 1, 2013, My Health Beijing)

Air pollution is such a serious issue here in China that we really need to stick with the best masks with proven results from independent labs, not just TV advertorials and website testimonials. Heres my advice on how to find the best mask.


China silences American-style TV talent shows (July 26, 2013, NBC)

Television singing contests have been curtailed by Chinese censors who claim the country has too many of the American Idol-style shows. The countrys state broadcasting regulator issued a new policy Friday banning satellite channels from producing any more singing contests. It echoes the enforced demise of Super Girl, a singing contest for female contestants which became a phenomenon in China in 2004. That was blamed by commentators on official discomfort at Western-style audience voting.

Top 10 Chinese Pop Songs in History (July 27, 2013, China Whisper)

Its hard to come up with a list of the 10 Chinese pop songs of all time and not leave people out. Any ranking is subjective. This is just my picks of the top 10 Chinese pop songs, most of these songs are from the 20th century and all of them are deserved classics.


China orders nationwide government debt audit (July 28, 2013, Reuters)

China's National Audit Office will conduct an audit of all government debt at the request of China's State Council or cabinet, it said in a statement on Sunday, underlining concern over rising debt levels in the world's second biggest economy. The audit office, responsible for overseeing state finances, made the announcement in a one-sentence item on its website, but gave no details on the audit.

Forget growth, China is contracting, experts say (July 29, 2013, CNBC)

Many China bears, including closely watched short-seller Jim Chanos, have warned that economic numbers from the Chinese government dramatically overestimate growth. But Robert Barbera, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Financial Economics, argued on CNBC on Monday that China's economy is actually contracting.

China Is Going to Be Just Fine, Says Justin Lin (July 29, 2013, China Real Time)

Depressed that the Chinese economy may be starting to meltdown? Anxious that Chinese debt is soaring out of control? Chill out, says Justin Yifu Lin, who was the World Banks chief economist between 2008 and 2012 before returning to China to work as an academic.

China's slowdown and the global glut (July 29, 2013, BBC)

In case you hadn't noticed, China's economy is going through an enormous gear change.And, given the monster that China has grown into, its planned "rebalancing" is not something the rest of us can afford to ignore. In fact, the next few years promise to be quite rocky.

China Takes Aim at Foreign Automakers Over High Prices (July 31, 2013, China Real Time)

Global automakers are the latest target in Chinas crackdown on foreign companies accused of overcharging Chinese consumers. A report Sunday by the official Xinhua news agency argued the price of imported cars in China is high not because of taxes as is commonly claimed. Instead, it said, blame lies with foreign car makers such as Audi AG, Daimler AG, and Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. that pocket massive profits by dominating the market, inflating prices and controlling the sale of auto parts.FOOD /


China's Culinary Diversity in One Map (July 26, 2013, The Atlantic)

In order to get into the finer distinctions of Chinese cuisine, researchers at the Beijing Computational Science Research Center put together this great culinary map of China.

Sinica: The Strange History of Pasta in China (July 27, Sineca Podcast)

After almost three years of podcasting, this week on Sinica we bow to the inevitable with a show about Chinese cuisine, and in particular the strange history of pasta in China.

Sounding Sand desert in China in pictures (July 29, 2013, The Guardian)

The Getty photographer Feng Li tours Xiangshawan desert, also known as Sounding Sand, in Inner Mongolia, China. Xiangshawan is a tourist resort where sliding sands create a sound like that of car engines

The 10 Most Interesting Modern Buildings in China (July 31, 2013, Wild China)

The Middle Kingdom is known for its accomplishments in architecture: a remarkable and endlessly winding wall of stone, majestic palaces and temples of vibrant colors and intricate detailing. However, Chinas high-tech structures have been featured in the news more and more recently and for good reason. WildChina has taken a moment to share ten of our favorite modern buildings.


Methods for Memorizing Characters (July 26, 2013, Study More Chinese)

So what does this mean for the student of Chinese? Unfortunately for you, it means you have to memorize thousands of characters. But don't worry, it may not be as hard as it sounds.

Conceptual Breakdown of Foreign Language Teaching (July 27, 2013, Laowai Chinese)

Although I wrote this mainly to assist teachers of English, I imagine it could help teachers and students of Chinese as well. For example, this blog focuses almost exclusively on the skills of speaking and listening, although I do have an occasional post about hanzi (reading and writing).


Top 10 Must-Read Chinese Autobiographies (July 26, 2013, China Whisper)

Of the books that have ever been written about China for a western audience, Cultural Revolution-era autobiographies tend to top best-sellers lists. Persecution and martyrdom, oppression and socialism unfortunately these plights make for great reading. Most of the books on this list are set during the Sixties, but also span subsequent and previous generations, making them timeless classics about life in China.

A Great Summer Holiday Read Hand-grenade Practice in Peking (July 31, 2013, China Rhyming)

Browsing a book store the other day a friend drew my attention to this recent, and rather delightfully bound, reissue of the legendary China Hand Frances Woods memoir of studying Chinese in the mid-1970s in Beijing, Hand-grenade Practice in Peking. A couple of things to note if you havent read Woods account of her rather bizarre time in China at that rather bizarre time then you really should and its a great summer read.


New Chinese Thinking on Sino-U.S. Relations? (July 26, 2013, China Brief)

New Faces in Xinjiang Signaling a Policy Shift? (July 26, 2013, China Brief)


2013宗教与法治学术研讨会综述 (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

Image credit: Lijiang, by Mi..chael, via Flickr