ZGBriefs

August 22, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

5 things to know about China's crackdown on critics (August 15, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

In recent weeks, Beijing has arrested more than a dozen activists associated with a prominent anticorruption campaign, the latest chapter in an ongoing crackdown against government dissidents and their families. What led up to the crackdown and what is likely to be the fallout from it?

Of Politics, Publishing and Pushback in Beijing (August 16, 2013, China Real Time)

Old leaders dont even fade away, apparently. This week saw the abrupt appearance of books by both former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and former Premier Zhu Rongji, two major architects of Chinas far-reaching economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. These were more than publications: They are a political play by the old guard in China.

At Bo Xilai Trial, a Goal to Blast Acts, Not Ideas (August 20, 2013, The New York Times)

With Mr. Bo set to go on trial on Thursday on charges of corruption, taking bribes and abusing power, Chinas leaders are engaged in a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, they aim to parade Mr. Bo as a criminal and silence his most vocal supporters. On the other, they want to avoid tarring the leftist policies he championed or alienating important revolutionary families.

Bo Xilai Goes on Trial, Twitter Responds (August 22, 2013, China Real Time)

Ousted Communist Party Chief Bo Xilai went on trial Thursday on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Heres what people on Twitter had to say about the trial, Chinas biggest courtroom drama in more than three decades.

RELIGION

Huge turnout at funeral for house church leader in Guangzhou (August 17, 2013, South China Morning Post)

Tens of thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Pastor Samuel Lamb in Guangzhou yesterday, paying tribute to the beacon of China's unofficial church movement amid a heavy police presence. A wide column of people, many dressed in traditional mourning of white or black, formed outside the Guangzhou Yinhe funeral house in Tianhe district. The event was scheduled for today, but Lamb's church announced in the morning it was bringing the service forward, citing "venue limitations".

SOCIETY

China's one-child policy's human cost fuels calls for reform (August 16, 2013, The Guardian)

Thirty years after it was introduced, the 'transitional policy' endures despite warnings of its punitive effects on China's development.

Wangfujing, Then and Now (August 19, 2013, Outside-In)

This morning I made a trek down to Wangfujing, Beijings main shopping street. I don't go down there too often, but today one of the things I wanted to do was take a picture for a then and now set.

On Romantic Holiday, Chinese Talk Love, Marriage, and Household Registration (August 19, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Chinese couples recently celebrated Chinas own Lunar Valentines Day, and once again complained about their disappointing dates. This year, the Horizon Consulting Group conducted a survey centering on the 2013 Chinese Lunar Valentines Day, interviewing 1,074 randomly selected Chinese Internet users aged 18 to 45 about the holiday and their views on love. The results showed that while love may be eternal, Chinese views on love and relationships are changing.

Xue Manzi: How Chinese social media can be a force for good (August 20, 2013, Danwei)

In a country noted for its lack of charitable giving and still reeling from the Guo Meimei embezzlement scandal, Xue is leading the charge to buck this trend. He is one of the most prominent users of the Micro-Charity site, being listed as the fourth most generous giver on its ranking table. Micro-Charity was launched by Sina Weibo in 2011 and is basically a platform for crowdsourcing donations to charitable projects, which can be proposed by any of Weibos million or so verified personal or organisational accounts. It shot to prominence when Xue coordinated a massive campaign, which raised 1,000,000 yuan in just three days to pay for the stem cell therapy needed by a popular micro-blogger with leukaemia, Lu Ruoqing.

Shenzhen public urinal users face fine for poor aim (August 20, 2013, BBC)

Officials in Shenzhen, China, will fine public toilet users 100 yuan (10;$16) if they are deemed to have failed to urinate accurately in city facilities. New laws that come into force next month in the southern city do not specify what amount of spilled urine would be classed as a violation. The move has provoked derision and debate in local newspapers and on China's version of Twitter, Weibo.

China's 'leftover women' choosing to stay single (August 21, 2013, China Real Time)

After years of being badgered by her parents to get married, 26-year-old Zhang Yu finally had enough. "I have decided never to marry or have a child," said Zhang, a university graduate from Changsha, Hunan province, who moved to Shanghai earlier this year to escape her family and jumpstart her career. Zhang's vow to never marry is rare in a country where educated women are constantly told by their families, friends and the state media that they will be lonely and miserable if they do not find a husband quickly.

Chinas Retirement Age Sets Experts at Odds (August 21, 2013, China Real Time)

The politically explosive issue of the official retirement age has drawn academics from two of Chinas most august educational institutions into a public standoff, signaling how closely fought the policy contest over how to cope with the countrys shrinking work force has become. The war of wonks revolves around a yearslong effort by some quarters in the central government to raise the retirement age in the worlds most populous nation to 65. Currently, male Chinese employees retire at 60 and female at 50 or 55.

HEALTH

China Says It Will Stop Taking Organs From Executed Inmates (August 16, 2013, NPR)

China says it plans to phase out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, ending a controversial practice that reportedly supplies most of the country's transplant patients. Huang Jiefu, a surgeon and former deputy health minister who is in charge of organ transplants, says that beginning in November, China will scale back and eliminate the harvesting of inmate organs. Huang says that will be replaced by a nationwide voluntary donor system.

Baby theft in China: Parents devastated by an obstetrician's arrest (August 17, 2013, The Los Angeles Times)

Child trafficking is a huge problem in rural China, where babies are sometimes snatched from their parents' arms and sold to couples unable to conceive or who desperately want a boy. In December, the Public Security Ministry said it had rescued 54,000 children since April 2009, when a nationwide campaign against trafficking began.

EDUCATION / ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

Sinica: David Moser interviews Mark Rowswell (August 20, 2013, Sinica Podcast)

If you're a long-timer in China, this is a show that needs no introduction. One of the most famous foreigners in China, Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Dashan) shot to fame in the early 1990s after a fortuitous break on Chinese television. In this live interview with David Moser conducted at Capital M earlier this month, David and Mark talk a bit about their shared experiences on Chinese television before some light sparring in a deeper discussion of how Chinese media and the Chinese sense of humour have changed over the years. 

China's College Grads Face A New Reality: Fewer Jobs (April 22, 2013, NPR)

It's been about two months since college graduation and more than 3 million graduates from this year and last still don't have jobs, according to government officials. That's not in the U.S., but in China. China is home to the world's fastest-growing major economy. But with nearly 7 million college graduates this year, a record number, finding work is tough and a worry for the ruling Communist Party.

HISTORY / CULTURE

The Boxer Uprising and historical method -Syllabus blogging (August 16, 2013, Frog in a Well)

There is something of a tradition here at the Frog of posting our syllabai for upcoming courses and asking for suggestions. This summer I promised myself that I would get a post up by June and and be able to actually use the suggestions rather than just thinking good idea for next time. I am pretty proud that I actually have this up a week before classes start. Regardless of my procrastination any comments that could be used now or major things that will have to be put in next time are welcome. The class is HIST 200, Introduction to History, our methods course for majors.

Photos: Hungry Ghost Festival (August 20, 2013, China Real Time)

China's major political trials a timeline (August 22, 2013, The Guardian)

Bo Xilai is not the first Chinese politician to have been toppled and taken to court. Here are some other significant cases.

Mooncake Austerity Hits Chinas Mid-Autumn Festival (August 22, 2013, China Real Time)

First baijiu, then red carpets, and now mooncakes. For Chinese government officials, the list of taboos keeps getting longer. One month before the country celebrates its annual Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they are barring officials from buying mooncakesa centerpiece of the holidayas well as giving presents or hosting dinners on the public dime.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

China seen probing IBM, Oracle, EMC after Snowden leaks (August 16, 2013, Reuters)

China's Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research center are preparing to investigate IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and EMC Corp over security issues, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Friday. The report follows revelations by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden of widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. It also comes as Beijing probes Western drugmakers over allegations of bribery and over-pricing.

Doing Business In China. A First Person Account. (August 18, 2013, China Law Blog)

Many months ago, a veteran China hand responded to one of our blog posts by writing me with his own story of China problems. I found his story both typical and fascinating and sought his permission to run it. He gave me permission and then I promptly lost it in the shuffle until now. Though the writer of this story would probably disagree with me, I see the story as revealing two main takeaways for doing business in China. First, get everything in writing, in Chinese and in clear and excruciating detail. Two, figure that your relationship between you and your Chinese partner will change and that your great relationship now could be a very sour one later. Which gets us back to why the first takeaway is so important.

Is Hukou Reform the Key to Reviving Chinas Economy? (August 19, 2013, China Real Time)

As Chinas growth slows toward a 20-year low, leaders are searching for a way to revive the economys flagging fortunes. The suggestion from some of Chinas top policy wonks: reform the hukou system. That was the message that came through loud and clear from a meeting of top academics and policy advisers at a conference hosted by the governments Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Friday.

China home prices continue to rise in July (August 19, 2013, BBC)

Property prices in China continued to rise in July, underlining the challenge the authorities face as they try to control the sector's growth. Prices of new houses rose in 69 of 70 major cities, compared with a year ago. China has unveiled a series of measures in recent times to curb speculation in the sector, amid concerns of asset bubbles forming in the country. Analysts said that despite the curbs, demand for property investment remained high in China, driving up prices.

China manufacturing activity sees sharp rebound (August 21, 2013, BBC)

China's manufacturing activity rebounded in August, a preliminary survey by HSBC has indicated, easing fears of a slowdown in its economy. The bank's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a key gauge of the sector's health, rose to 50.1 from 47.7 in July. A reading above 50 shows expansion. For the first time in four months, the HSBC reading has passed that point.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

New Census Bureau Interactive Map Shows Languages Spoken in America (August 6, 2013, US Census Bureau, via HaoHao Report)

Spanish, Chinese Top Non-English Languages Spoken; Most of Population is English Proficient

Learning Chinese in Beijing? Top tips on renting a flat (Part 1 of 3) (August 19, 2013)

Learn Chinese Blog)Part one in this mini series will look at some of the key things to think about when first looking for, and negotiating a place to rent. Part two will consider things to think about after you have moved in. Part three will help you think about what you are going need to be ready for when you eventually move out.

BOOKS

Robert Morrison and the Protestant Plan for China, by Christopher A. Daily (Hong Kong University Press)

Sent alone to China by the London Missionary Society in 1807, Robert Morrison (17821834) was one of the earliest Protestant missionaries in East Asia. During some 27 years in China, Macau and Malacca, he worked as a translator for the East India Company and founded an academy for converts and missionaries; independently, he translated the New Testament into Chinese and compiled the first Chinese-English dictionary. In the process, he was building the foundation of Chinese Protestant Christianity.

RESOURCES

Smartphones in China (August 20, 2013, FooDragons)

Going to china and still not sure whether or not to take your smartphone or not? Got half a mind for buying a smartphone in China? Don't know which Chinese cellphone carrier and cellphone plan is best suited for your needs? Fear not! This 4 parts guide will tell you everything you need to know, and even provide you with the essential Chinese vocabulary necessary to close the deal.

Image credit: A day's work, by Renato Ganoza, via Flickr