ZGBriefs

August 8, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

China and the Desperation of Dire Predictions (August 2, 2013, China Real Time)

The essay, which warns that China faces poverty and misery because of the destabilizing activity of its growing population of micro-bloggers, hits at the heart of the ideological divide in China and suggests conservatives are growing increasingly anxious about the direction Chinese president Xi Jinping might take as he looks to reform the Communist Party.

Xi Jinping: The All Powerful? (August 4, 2013, US China Report Blog)

Its still early in President Xis term, but there have been a few major developments in Xis tenure that point to a very powerful and unchecked leader that China has not seen since the days of Deng Xiaoping or Mao Zedong.

China finding superpower path no cakewalk (August 6, 2013, CNN)

Its not easy being a superpower, and thats something China is learning. A few years back, international headlines featured breathless accounts of Chinas economic transformation and rave reviews of the Beijing Olympics. But today, news stories often portray a country battling over disputed territories overseas, while struggling at home with vexing issues such as pollution, corruption, and political dissent.

China Labor Camps Under Fire from State Think Tank (August 7, 2013, China Real Time)

An influential Chinese government-run think tank is the latest to decry the countrys controversial system of re-education through labor, with a newly published report describing the system as outdated and in violation of judicial principles.

The Ticking Bomb of Chinas Urban Para-Police (August 8, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

As the population of Chinese cities continues to expand, maintaining order in the streets will become more difficult, requiring the central government to define and enforce needed laws and regulations or risk public acts of rebellion.

Jail video of activist Xu Zhiyong released (August 8, 2013, China Media Project)

On August 8, close associates of Xu Zhiyong () released a video taken of the jailed rights campaigner during a recent visit to the jail in which he is being held by Chinese authorities. In the video, just over a minute long, Xu talks about the need for more citizens to stand up and defend their rights in this age of absurdity.

Bo Xilai's lawyer 'not allowed' to represent him during trial (July 8, 2013, The Guardian)

Lawyer hired by disgraced Chinese politician's family says he has 'not received approval', reinforcing belief that Bo's conviction is foregone conclusion.

RELIGION

Remembering Samuel Lamb (August 8, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

Rev. Samuel Lamb (Lin Xiangao) passed away in Guangzhou on August 3, 2013. He was 88 years old. [...] Although Lamb has not figured too prominently in the church's more recent development, he has been one of the few remaining "pillars" bridging the pre-Cultural Revolution church with the church of today.

Do you wear a face mask? (August 7, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

While air pollution has long been a problem in China, particularly in the urban areas, only recently has the government admitted the scope of the problem. As a result, issues related to pollution have become a topic of conversation. One such issue is whether or not it is necessary to wear a face mask. In the article below, the reminds us that we need to guard against spiritual pollution as well.

SOCIETY

China's New Migrant Workers Want More (July 30, 2013, Business Week)

Government planning documents refer to migrants born after 1980 as new generation migrant workers, and recent reports from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics show how they differ from their predecessors. Just as Juping and Xinfang moved to Beijing as a married couple with a young child in tow, several studies show that a majority of migrant workers now move with at least one other family member.

To kill or not to kill (August 1, 2013, Analects)

China executes far more people than the rest of the world combined, but numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years. Reformers worked quietly within the system to bring about the change

Is China Safe? (August 2, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

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.

China's Plastic Surgery Culture: Going Under The Knife In Hopes Of Getting A Job (August 5, 2013, International Business Times)

Job seekers the world over always want to put their best face forward. But for increasing numbers of women in China, that notion has become quite literal. The culture's common conception of beauty, combined with gender discrimination in the workplace, has driven many women to go under the knife.

Film Illustrates Tragedy of Child Abductions (August 6, 2013, China Real Time)

In a country where many families are allowed only one child, the notion that ones son or daughter could be abducted and sold feels almost impossibly horrible. And yet, as a new documentary makes clear, it happens in China with stunning frequency.

Chinese baby 'sold by doctor to traffickers' is returned to parents (August 6, 2013, The Guardian)

A Chinese couple have been reunited with their baby son after he was allegedly sold to traffickers by a doctor at the hospital where he was born, state media have reported.

The China Handicap (August 8, 2013, The Talking Monkey)

So what if I was allowed a China Handicap? Something that makes me equal and able to compete on a more level playing field in a place where, even after all these years, I find my mental capacity inversely proportional to my height when it comes to really understanding China.

China Numbers: Obesity, Trains & Plastic Surgery (August 8, 2013, China Buzz)

The numbers making news around China during the week of August 5, 2013

HEALTH

China Pollution Report: Only Four Cities Make Cut (August 2, 2013, China Real Time)

People who want to live in a Chinese city with acceptable air quality can try the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, the island city of Haikou, the coastal town of Zhoushan or the Pearl River Delta city of Huizhou. Thats it. No other major population center in the country makes the cut, according to a report by Chinas environment ministry on air pollution in the first half of 2013.

How Corruption Blights Chinas Health Care System (August 2, 2014, Time) The anxious Chinese woman wanted to ensure that her mother would receive the best care during her upcoming gall-bladder surgery. So the woman, surnamed Cheng, cornered the dean of surgery at a hospital in eastern Chinas Anhui province and pressed an envelope in the doctors hands. Inside the hongbao or red packet, as such cash bequests are known in China was 1,000 yuan, or around $160. The doctor took the envelope without questions. Everybody does this, Cheng recalls. If you dont give a hongbao, youll stand out.

Life in a Toxic Country (August 3, 2013, The New York Times)

Before this assignment, I spent three and a half years reporting in Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die car bombs, firefights, being abducted and then beheaded. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my family?

China young adults getting fatter: report (August 6, 2013, AFP)

China's young adults are gaining more weight and exercising less than their elders, local media said on Tuesday, underscoring the fast-developing country's growing struggle with modern health problems.

EDUCATION / ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

To Live Resurrected on Chinese Stage (August 2, 2013, China Real Time)

The story, which is set over a period that sweeps across the Chinese civil war in the 1940s to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution that ended in 1976, is getting another public viewing now this time on stage under the direction of the talented avant-garde master of drama Meng Jinghui.

Chinas Latest Product Recall: Tainted Diplomas (August 2, 2013, China Real Time)

A growing number of recalls for cars, medical devices and food illustrate one way China is addressing product quality concerns. Now, in a case that connects product defect problems, a distrusted medical system and official corruption, a Sichuan province university is recalling its diplomas.

China's Higher Education Bubble (August 5, 2013, Caixin Online)

A rush to open universities and amass academic credentials has devalued diplomas, and for the sake of future generations priorities must be diversified

China has a new "tallest building" (August 8, 2013, Xinhua)

The final steel beam was placed atop the Shanghai Tower, making the structure China's newest "tallest building" and a standing testament to the country's construction frenzy. Designed by US architecture firm Gensler, the dragon-shaped tower is the final skyscraper in the Lujiazui financial district's high-rise trilogy - along with the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Kindle Enters China, and the Plot Thickens (August 1, 2013, Caixin Online)

Amazon's Paperwhite is now available, but for it to become a success story the company must tap into the vibrant Web publishing market.

China Mobile unveils company branded handsets, targets low-end (August 2, 2013, Reuters)

China Mobile, the countrys largest mobile carrier, introduced two own-brand handsets on Friday, as a way to bring more affordable smartphones to its 740 million customers. The phones are low-end models optimized to use the carriers different wireless services. Both phones will launch later this month.

Coin of Realm in China Graft: Phony Receipts (August 3, 2013, The New York Times)

To begin to comprehend Chinas vast underground economy, one need only visit this citys major transportation depots and watch as peddlers openly hawk fake receipts. Receipts! Receipts! calls out a woman in her 30s to passers-by as her two children play near the citys south train station. We sell all types of receipts.

China fines six baby formula suppliers $108 million (August 7, 2013, Los Angeles Times)

China fines one domestic firm and five foreign companies, including two in the U.S., that it said artificially inflated prices.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

Shanghai sweats out hottest day in history (August 7, 2013, Xinhua)

East China's Shanghai experienced its hottest day in history on Wednesday, with temperatures of 40.8 degrees Celsius breaking the record of 40.6 degrees Celsius set on July 26. Wednesday marked the most sweltering point since the business hub's meteorological records began 140 years ago, according to the city's meteorological center. Shanghai on Wednesday issued its fifth red alert this year for high temperatures.

FOOD / TRAVEL

China's rainbow mountains - in pictures (August 1, 2013, The Guardian)

The Danxia scenic area in Gansu province, north-west China, is a landform of reddish sandstone that has been eroded to create unusual rock formations.

Getting to Langmusi: Further Travels in Tibetan Qinghai and Gansu (and Why You Should Never Join Us On A Road Trip) (August 5, 2013, Life on Nanchang Lu)

Our road trip along Qinghai's Route S101, with all its curvilinear grace and evenly laid bitumen, had led us to assume we might expect the same from other roads in this remote part of China.

No Sweat: Four Noodle Dishes For Keeping Cool (August 5, 2013, The Beijinger)

In what isn't one of those traditional Chinese hot-water-cools-you-down tricks, we give you four noodle recipes that will keep you sane in the heat. In fact, there's not a hot bowl of tang in sight.

Chinese Bumper Stickers [5] (August 6, 2013, Outside-In)

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING / CULTURE LEARNING

Do you really know how to count in Chinese? (August 1, 2013, Hacking Chinese)

Counting in a foreign language is one of the first things we learn, yet it takes very long to master. This is not because counting in Chinese is exceptionally hard, but because its the case that counting is a task that looks easy but is actually quite difficult. I also think that most students abandon practising numbers too early, leading to a surprising and serious gap in our knowledge. I include myself in this category of students; this post is mainly the result of my finding out that Im really bad at numbers in Chinese.

8 Ways to Say Goodbye in Chinese (August 7, 2013, Fluent U)

Here are 8 frequently used expressions when saying goodbye in Chinese, along with detailed explanations so that you can make sure youre saying exactly what you want

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

Pan Xiushan (Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity)

RESOURCES

Compass Learning Services

Our goal is to help you to be an effective culture and language learner.

Peace Corps Language Archive Free (Live Lingua)

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

中国基督教家庭教会先辈林献羔告别会将于8月17日举行 (August 7, 2013, Christian Times)

“中国网络第一推手”杨军归入基督 培养网络宣教精兵 (August 7, 2013, Christian Times)

Image credit: Construction and Shoppers, by sherrah sherrah, via Flickr