ZGBriefs

August 15, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Meet Chinas New Corruption Busters (August 12, 2013, China Real Time)

Move over, mistresses. Corrupt officials in China have another reason to be afraid: reporters with Weibo accounts.

Murdered Briton Neil Heywood's mother in China appeal (August 12, 2013, BBC)

The mother of a British businessman killed in China in a case that felled high-profile politician Bo Xilai has spoken publicly for the first time. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Ann Heywood called on Chinese authorities to offer "substantive" help to her son's family. Mr Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, has been jailed for the murder of Neil Heywood in Chongqing in 2011.

Xi realigns Party politics to new realities (August 13, 2013, Asia Times Online)

Chinese premier Xi Jinping has launched a party education campaign that expounds Maoist theory at a surface level, but underneath this "mass line" approach are plans to reshape the party to "serve the public". This strategy isn't only down to fears of social turmoil; the reorienting of party leadership to meet the needs of a prosperous society is becoming a hallmark of Xi's party politics.

China issues new judicial guidelines (August 13, 2013, AFP)

China for the first time has issued guidelines aimed at preventing wrongful or unjust court judgements in response to high-profile judicial scandals, state media reported Tuesday. The guidelines were released by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, part of the Communist Party's Central Committee, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinjiang violence: Two sentenced to death in China (August 13, 2013, BBC)

Two men have been sentenced to death and three more jailed over a clash in China's far-west Xinjiang region that left 21 people dead. The incident happened on 23 April in a town in Kashgar prefecture. Fifteen officials or security personnel were among those killed. China said it was a planned attack by a "violent terrorist group".

Where's Bo Xilai? Chinese wait and wait for scandal-laced trial to begin. (August 14, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

China's leaders have reason to tread carefully: The fallen political star still has influential fans and his trial could pose an uncomfortable challenge to President Xi's authority.

'Likonomics' trumped by harsh realities(August 14, 2013, Asia Times Online)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang aims to beat a growth slump by liberalizing product prices and easing ownership systems to encourage urbanization. But if "Likonomics" ends up relying on government investment to spur growth, it will only perpetuate a system is threatening the party's long-term future.

Chinas princelings on both sides of the law (August 14, 2013, China Digital Times)

Two current high-profile cases are once again focusing public attention on the lives and fates of Chinas princeling class. Bo Guagua, the son of disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, is starting down a new academic path at Columbia Law School in New York after graduating one year ago from Harvards Kennedy School of Government.

Chinas First Order of Business? Its Not the Economy (August 15, 2013, China Real Time)

But those expecting economic reforms that make a major difference to be announced at the plenum will be sorely disappointed. More likely is movement in the political realm though there again, were not likely to see the sort of system-level reforms that some in the China-watching community might be hoping for.

RELIGION

Building a Chinese Dream Together (August 15, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

Chinese Christians are fellow sojourners who walk the China Road along with their countrymen, an embodiment of the Chinese Spirit and an indispensable source of Chinas strength.

Exploration of the Role of Religion in the Modernization Process (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

Religion has played a positive role in the modernization process. Religious belief, especially Protestantism, has contributed to economic development. Religious belief has played an active role in the integration of social order and effectively mitigated the weaknesses of a market economy.

SOCIETY

Temperature warriors take on Chinas heat wave (August 9, 2013, Danwei)

Now, the Zhejiang, Jiaxing-based Nanhu Evening News has given a face to the fight against the heatwave facing China. The front page of this newspaper is dominated by a photograph of a man in a boiler suit with his arms dangling down a manhole. The headline below demands that people Pay respect to the temperature warrior.

Five Years On (August 9, 2013, ChinaFile)

But with each Olympian step upwards toward a more civilized and worldly way of life, there appeared to be nearly as quick a falling back to the depressing and the humdrum. A few of our Chinese neighbors got rich and escaped overseas, washing their hands of their homeland as too corrupt. Others who couldnt afford to leave were faced with life in a city whose pollution had grown so bad as to be intolerable.

Crowded skies, frustrated passengers (August 10, 2013, The Economist)

Military control of airspace and a risk-averse culture threaten to cripple Chinas rapid growth in aviation

China's Gleaming Ghost Cities Draw Neither Jobs Nor People (August 11, 2013, Wall Street Journal)

When this small city in northeastern China launched a plan to build a satellite city 6 miles down the road, it got off to a promising start. Urban planners spent millions of yuan to clean up surrounding marshland that had become a dumping ground for the city's untreated sewage. A pristine environment, they hoped, would help attract the businesses that would raise incomes and swell the population. Four years later, Tieling New City is virtually a ghost town.

China Urbanization to Hit Roadblocks Amid Local Opposition (August 12, 2013, Bloomberg)

Chinas plan to encourage hundreds of millions of rural residents to settle in cities to boost growth faces opposition from local governments, according to Li Tie, an official with the nations top economic planning agency. Officials, researchers and company executives highlighted challenges at an urbanization forum in Beijing on Aug. 10. They cited the strain on local-government finances, the dangers of overbuilding and the cost of scrapping the hukou, or residence permit, system that denies migrants the welfare, health and education benefits of city dwellers.

The abuse of China's 'left-behind' children (August 12, 2013, BBC)

A series of disturbing revelations in China's state media about the sexual abuse of school children has exposed the dark side of life in rural areas where parents leave their homes to earn money as migrant workers.

Don't Dream Big Four Vignettes on Social Mobility in Modern China (August 12, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

The New York Times recently ran an article that detailed the struggles of three young college women from low-income backgrounds, raising questions about whether education remains the great equalizer in America. How does the picture look in China, where education has been prized since the days of Confucius as a way to advance in society? A recent thread on Tianya, a popular online discussion forum, engaged this issue directly and quickly went viral

Doctor ordered to demolish 'mountain' built atop penthouse apartment in Beijing (August 13, 2013, NBC)

A doctor who spent six years and $130,000 transforming his penthouse apartment into a mountain retreat has been told to tear it down by officials who said the work was done without permission. Zhang Biqing, who founded a chain of Chinese medicine clinics, bought the 26th-floor dwelling and then moved rocks, wooden panels and shrubbery to the roof using a service elevator. The bizarre residence sits atop one of several high-rises in a very affluent corner of the citys Haidian district.

Video Reignites Death Penalty Debate in China (August 13, 2103, China Real Time)

An online video purporting to show a public execution in the Chinese countryside has reignited debate about the death penalty in a country consistently singled out by human rights groups for executing vastly more people than any other.

Valentine's Day in China - in pictures (August 13, 2013, The Guardian)

The Qixi Festival falls on the 7th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar (13 August), China's version of Valentine's Day. The festival dates back more than 2,600 years and is an auspicious and hence popular wedding date for Chinese couples.

Wild elephant attacks: Chinese province 'sees rise' (August 14, 2013, BBC)

A growing number of wild elephants in China's Yunnan Province have started to attack humans and damage their farmland, according to local residents. The Wild Elephant Valley nature reserve has worked tirelessly to encourage a rise in the number of wild elephants, but their revival has apparently brought trouble to the people living nearby.

Urbanizing Chinas Ethnic Minorities (August 15, 2013, andrewstokols.com)

Chinas urbanization push has been in the headlines recently. Of course after 30 years, Chinas urbanization is not exactly fresh news. But recent reports of opposition to Chinas urbanization plan underscore just how integral urbanization is to the most pressing issues facing China now: 1. Maintaining economic growth through consumer spending, 2. Reducing the income disparity between urban and rural areas, 3. Growing Municipal and local government debt. One area that receives less attention is the issue of forced urbanization in ethnic minority regions, such as those home to Tibetan and Uighur populations.

HEALTH

China to step up monitoring of baby milk powder (August 9, 2013, BBC)

paper writer China's food safety watchdog says it will increase its scrutiny of baby milk powder after a contamination scare at New Zealand's Fonterra. The China Food and Drug Administration says it will severely punish companies found to have slack safety or quality standards. The body is telling firms to improve management and supervision.

Bribery 'routine' for foreign pharmaceutical firms in China (August 12, 2013, BBC)

Bribes are routinely paid by major foreign pharmaceutical firms operating in China, the BBC has learned. Five drugs salesmen for foreign companies told the BBC their firms paid bribes in order to increase sales of their products. None of them wanted to be identified, fearing they would lose their jobs. The revelations come as Beijing widens its investigation into drugs-price fixing amid a bribery scandal engulfing drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline.

China drug costs: The human price (August 12, 2013, BBC)

For Hongxia, 39, life is pretty tough. Her husband, Zhang Yansheng, 41, is in the room next door watching TV. He is suffering from a brain tumour and cannot walk or talk. Like more than 95% of the population he has some form of government health insurance. But the schemes do not cover all the costs. His wife works as a bus conductor. But she spends her entire salary, around $600 (388), on paying for her husband's medication. The family only survives with hand-outs from relatives.

H7N9 kills 45 in China, vaccine in manufacturing (August 15, 2013, Xinhua)

H7N9 bird flu has killed 45 people on the Chinese mainland since the first human infection was confirmed in late March, a health official said Thursday. A total of 134 cases of H7N9 infection have been confirmed on the Chinese mainland, said Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Wang was speaking at an international symposium on the prevention and treatment of new types of influenza.

EDUCATION / ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

Four female Chinese directors to watch (August 10, 2013, The Los Angeles Times)Directors Zhao Wei, Xu Jinglei, Li Yu and Xue Xiaolu are doing notable work in China.

HISTORY / CULTURE

The Beijing That Never Was: A Two-Center Beijing Under the 1950 Liang-Chen Proposal (August 9, 2013, Untapped Cities)

Imagine a two-center Beijing, with the central Forbidden City and city walls intact, and high rises and skyscrapers flourishing at the western part of Beijing. This vision may be unimaginable for many people, yet once it nearly became reality.

Defender of the Great Wall: William Lindesay Sees "Wilderness That Needs Protection" (August 12, 2013, The Beijinger)

For Lindesay, preserving the Wall isnt just about protecting the bricks. Having coined the term Wild Wall, he said: There are thousands of kilometers of Wild Wall. It is wilderness that needs protection, seeing his work now not just as protecting the worlds longest artifact, but backing environmental protection for the land around the Wall also.

Rare Tibet photos and artefacts are auctioned in the UK (August 13, 2013, BBC)

Rare photographs from a British military expedition into Tibet in 1904 have been auctioned in Britain. The 140 photos were sold by a descendant of the expedition, which was led by Colonel Francis Younghusband. The images sold for more than 12,000 ($18,000).

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

China data blitz points to stabilizing economy (August 9, 2013, CNBC)

A flurry of data out of China on Friday broadly painted an upbeat picture of the world's second largest economy, which appears to be stabilizing after two years of slowing growth.

Easy Summer for Chinas Untaxed Grid (August 13, 2013, China Real Time)

Despite the worst heat wave in 140 years, China hasnt experienced the peak power shortages that typically come with increased electricity use in the summer a sign that Chinas economic slowdown has been taking its toll on the power sector.

From Outsiders to Innkeepers in Chinas Sleepy Countryside (August 13, 2013, The New York Times)

The hotel is far from the noise of any major city, which Mr. Linden, an American who first arrived in China in 1984 as a student, thinks is one of its draws. He and his wife, Jeanee, are among a small number of foreign entrepreneurs in rural China who operate boutique hotels in restored properties that have historic charm. They converted a courtyard residential complex in Yunnan Province, built before the Communist revolution, into the Linden Centre.

Rebalancing China (August 14, 2013, Asia Sentinel)

China's economy could slow to 4 percentwhat matters is how leaders handle this.

What Construction Boom? Beijing Running Out of Office Space (August 15, 2013, China Real Time)

Five years on, with barely a pause in its breakneck growth, the capital appears to have run out of office space. With the citys existing office space more or less full up, Beijing has no option but to build out further out in the suburbs, according to Marcos Chan, head of North China research at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services firm.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

Video: Tackling pollution in China (August 8, 2013, The Economist, via YouTube)

The scale of China's environmental problems are huge. Increasingly, so are its efforts to solve them. But will it be able to reduce carbon pollution? The world's health depends on it.

The denim capital of the world: so polluted you cant give the houses away (August 13, 2013, China Dialogue)

It makes a third of all jeans sold in the world, but the pollution is so bad in Xintang, south-west China, that local people refuse to work in its textile industries

FOOD / TRAVEL

Kung Pao Chicken Subtitled Video Cooking Lesson (August 8, 2013, FOODragon)

Kung Pao chicken is probably the most popular Chinese dish among westerners, both in and outside of China. And today you are going to learn how to make it, directly from the source. Before we start, there's one thing you should know about Kung Pao Chicken and you should keep it in mind when you cook it: It's not the ingredients, but how you cook them that matter

Pilgrim's Promise: Langmusi Monastery (August 13, 2013, Life on Nanchang Lu)

Could this be the most beautiful place in all of China? Langmusi, an alpine Tibetan village surrounded by mountains and forests and filled with crimson-robed monks walking its narrow streets, was our promised reward at the end of a horror day of driving through Qinghai and Gansu on a day that tested our limits in every sense.

Complete Guide to Beijings Water Parks and Pools (August 13, 2013, China Adventurer Travel Blog)

Beijing Summers are hot! Plain and simple, but dont worry theres plenty of places to go swimming and stay cool. Here is your Complete Guide to Beijings Water Parks And Pools.

The 10 Most Exotic Food Streets in China (August 14, 2013, China Whisper)

It may not be until you start traveling in China that you realize just how weird Chinese food can be. You may find many strange local snacks in different areas of China, Here are some of the most exotic snack food streets in China.

How to Hike the Xinjiang Tian Shan in China (August 14, 2013, Far West China)

The teaching English thing never really worked out for me, but a few quick forays into the immense range of mountains south of the city left me in no doubt that this was a place I wanted to get to know better.

Kashgar-Islamabad direct flight opens (August 15, 2013, Xinhua)

Pakistan-based airlines Pakistan International Air and Rayyan Air in collaboration launched direct flights between Islamabad and the Chinese mainland city of Kashgar on Wednesday. It is the first international route linking Kashgar, a southern city in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and the capital of Pakistan. The maiden flight, carrying 89 passengers, arrived at Kashgar International Airport at 12:25 p.m., according to Li Mei, an official with the airport. The flight and its return will be offered once a week on Wednesdays. The flight time is one hour.

BOOKS

See You Again, Old Beijing (August 9, 2013, Slate)

My book was banned in China for five years. Then they cleared itand let me visit on a book tour. [...] Im nearing the end of a three-week promotional tour for the Chinese edition of my book The Last Days of Old Beijing, which details the three years I lived just south of Tiananmen Square in Dazhalan, the capitals oldest neighborhood of hutong, the narrow lanes that lattice Beijing like canals do in Venice. With several locals, I had shared a dilapidated courtyard homesans toilet and heatrecording both quotidian community doings and the largest, looming in the near future: the neighborhoods destruction as the capital remade itself.

Mai-Mai Szes Echo of a Cry a Charming Little Curiosity (August 14, 2013, China Rhyming)Echo of a Cry is her childhood memoir and has some nice reminiscences of London during World War One, life at the Chinese Legation on Portland Place, being the only Chinese girl at a private school in Sussex and then moving on to America. The book is also nicely illustrated with drawing by Sze. Unfortunately I dont have a cover for the book.

Why I Write (interviews with your favorite China authors)

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

Cynthia Miller (Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity)

RESOURCES

The Launch of the China Charity Information Platform (August 15, 2013, China Philanthropy)Different from China Development Briefs online database of NGOs and NGOCNs online communication platform for NPOs , the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China Charity Donation and Information Center recently launched the China Charity Information Platform (CCIP). CCIPs mission is to increase efficiency and transparency within Chinas social sector.

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

中国《宗教法》(草案)公民建议稿要点 (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

中国入世及其对中国社会政教关系的影响 (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

Image credit: by Simon Bak, via Flickr