ZGBriefs

December 20, 2012

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FEATURED ARTICLE

China to Speed Up Hukou System Reform (December 18, 2012, China Digital Times)

The National Development and Reform Commission announced Tuesday that the government will speed up reform of Chinas household registration or hukou system, following up on pledges by incoming leaders to emphasize urbanization and improve opportunities for rural citizens.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Xis Seduction of the Military (December 14, 2012, China Real Time)

Most obviously, Xis appearance in Guangzhou reaffirmed the sense that, despite being more accessible to outsiders than some of his predecessors, he is a strong patriot, unafraid of showing his nationalist credentials.

Senior provincial officials named (December 19, 2012, China Daily)

Five provincial-level administrative regions got their new top officials on Tuesday, as the reshuffling of key positions within the ruling Communist Party of China continued. Hu Chunhua was appointed Party chief of the southern export powerhouse of Guangdong, replacing reform-minded politician Wang Yang, according to a Party announcement.

The real Wang Lijun revealed in magazine expos (December 18, 2012, South China Morning Post)

Police chief, criminal, designer, calligrapher and fashionista - it may come as a surprise that the man who encompasses all of those things is China's most infamous former cop, Wang Lijun. What was the real story of Chongqing's powerful yet mysterious "super cop"? A 40-page in-depth story published in Chinas Southern Metropolis Weekly magazine reveals a shocking picture of Wang's private and work life.

How to Fight China's Corruption Cancer (December 19, 2012, Caixin)

A sunshine law, an effective anti-graft watchdog and an independent judiciary must be put in place to address the country's biggest political problem.

The Chinese government and social media (December 20, 2012, Danwei)

Sina Weibo claims to have more than 400 million users, and its influence and power are without doubt. Yet the Chinese government and all its myriad bodies and institutions are likewise getting in on the act, not just by means of regulation or censorship but by active participation. A report was published this month that outlined statistics and new trends in government use of social media in China. The 2012 Sina Government Weibo Report (2012), released by the People Online Public Monitoring Office (), describes in detail what types of government organizations are using Weibo accounts, ranks the most popular ones, discusses new trends, and forecasts three main trends for 2013.

RELIGION

If Joseph Were Chinese, Would He Have Adopted Jesus? (December 14, 2012, Jackson Wu)

How does this relate to China? To answer this question, we must first reflect on what Joseph ordeal. He would potentially forfeit much of whatever social standing he had by accepting this girl of gross poor character (as was supposed). Lets not forget that it was against the Law to have a child before marriage. He not only endures tremulous loss of face, but invests his family name and fortune in a firstborn son who was not actually from his bloodline. The loss of social status and strained friendships would put their future at risk and make it all the more difficult to earn a living.

For Once, Chinese Arrests Have Nothing to Do With Religious Freedom (December 18, 2012, The Corner)

China has recently detained hundreds of practitioners of a fringe cult. At first glance, its easy to read this as just another case of religious persecution against Chinese Christians. But that interpretation is wholly wrong.

Chinese leaders still suspicious of religion, party document shows (December 18, 2012, Washington Post)

Chinese leaders issued an order last year quietly directing universities to root out foreigners suspected of plotting against the Communist Party by converting students to Christianity. [] The 16-page notice obtained this month by a U.S.-based Christian group uses language from the cold war era to depict a conspiracy by overseas hostile forces to infiltrate Chinese campuses under the guise of academic exchanges while their real intent is to use religion in westernizing and dividing China.

New Taiping Rebellion Threatening Beijing? (December 18, 2012, The American Interest)

China has a long and bloody history, and one of the bloodier episodes is the Taiping Rebellion, in which a Chinese man claiming to be the younger brother of Jesus led a violent uprising against the corrupt Manchu dynasty ruling China. The conflict raged for 14 years before coming to an end in 1864, with a death toll in the tens of millions. As a result of movements like these, Chinas rulers past and present have tended to be anxious about upstart religious cults. The Chinese Communist Party is no exception, and is worried about another such group today.

Ministry of Truth: The Almighty God Cult (December 19, 2012, China Digital Times)

Central Propaganda Department: Discontinue reporting on recent public conversion assemblies and other illegal activities orchestrated by the Almighty God cult.

Almost 1,000 doomsday cult members arrested in China (December 20, 2012, BBC)

Police in China have carried out further arrests of members of a doomsday cult for spreading rumours about the imminent end of the world, state media say. Almost 1,000 members of Christian group Almighty God have now been detained. State media terms Almighty God an "evil cult" - the same description it applies to the banned Falun Gong group. The sect predicts Friday will usher in three days of darkness and has urged its members to overthrow communism. Its adherents believe 21 December is the last day in the Mayan long count calendar and thus signifies the end of the world. The belief has gained considerable popularity in China where the film 2012 was a box office hit.'

Eastern Lightning': The cult that wants to destroy the Chinese Communist Party (December 20, 2012, Shanghaiist)

It's debatable whether or not the cult actually believes that the Mayan's somehow predicted an apocalypse wrought by a God they had no knowledge of whatsoever. Regardless, cult leaders have spotted a prime opportunity for fundraising and recruitment, preying on the stupid and the scared in the manner of all successful religions. Cult members in Inner Mongolia demanded donations of over 3,000 to 'save' people from the impending apocalypse.

Falun Gong practitioner calls on US government to pressure China on religious freedom (December 20, 2012, Shanghaiist)

On Tuesday a Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner, who was recently detained in China, called on the US to pay greater attention to China's treatment of Falun Gong practitioners and to publicly ask the CCP to stop persecuting the Falun Gong community. Chung Ting-pang was arrested at Ganzhou airport in June and held for 54 days until he confessed, under duress, to aiding Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China.

SOCIETY / LIFE

10 Uplifting and Amazing Chinese Internet Stories from 2012 (December 14, 2012, Tea Leaf Nation)

Censored and fraught though it may be, Chinas Internet is also a place populated with hundreds of millions of human beings, and thus hundreds of millions of stories. As we hurdle toward 2013, its worth reflecting on some of the most uplifting of those stories.

Peoples Daily: be good online, please (December 18, 2012, China Media Project)

An article on the front page of the official Peoples Daily today serves as a cautionary note to Chinese: the internet is as much a tool of rumor and misinformation as a platform for information sharing, and everyone must be as responsible and law-abiding online as they are offline. The article, which appears in the Todays Topic column, is at the bottom of the Peoples Daily front page. The article is written by Mo Jinjin, almost certainly a byline standing in for an official government department.

 

China state media vows 'fresher' style of journalism (December 18, 2012, The Telegraph)

China's notoriously stodgy state-run media has vowed to clean up its copy, after the country's new leadership signalled its desire to project a more down-to-earth image.

Law Firms Are Accused of Aiding Chinese Immigrants False Asylum Claims (December 18, 2012, The New York Times)

They invented woeful tales of persecution for their Chinese clients. Prepped them on how to lie about having had a forced abortion. Even tutored them on religion. In all, 26 people, including 6 lawyers, were charged Tuesday with helping Chinese immigrants submit false asylum claims in an effort to stay in the United States, law enforcement officials said.

Infographic: A Comparison of Chinas and Americas Richest People (December 18, 2012, Tea Leaf Nation)

Perhaps surprisingly for a country where all land legally belongs to the state, Chinas rich are more likely than their American counterparts to have made their money in real estate. While the data may exclude individuals with undeclared assetsand thus potentially a number of contenders from both countriesit does reveal some unique differences between the worlds top two economic powerhouses.

China's multimillionaires emigrating in droves (December 18, 2012, The Telegraph)

The research, released this week by the influential Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, suggested Chinese entrepreneurs were heading overseas in an attempt to protect their assets, better educate their children and enjoy an improved quality of life. The findings, published in China's 'Annual Report on Chinese International Migration 2012', were widely publicised in the country's state-media and came accompanied by stern warnings from senior academics about the potential consequences.

Tongue-in-Cheek Nation: 10 Hilarious and Clever Chinese Internet Stories from 2012 (December 18, 2012, Tea Leaf Nation)

Below are TLNs ten most hilarious and clever stories from the Chinese Web, circa 2012. We cant wait to see what 2013 will bring.

Year End Wrap-Up: Top 10 Social Search Terms (December 20, 2012, Baidu Beat)Were kicking things off with the Top 10 Social Search terms: searches related to politics, phenomena in society, the economy and so forth.

The song of Song (December 22, 2012, Economist)

The shot that killed Song Jiaoren was not heard around the world. But it might have changed Chinese history

HEALTH

Beijing to build massive downtown nursing home (December 20, 2012, Shanghai Daily)

BEIJING is to build a massive nursing home in its downtown area to cater for rising demand for senior care. The construction of the nursing home, located by West Dawang Road in the Central Business District in Chaoyang District, will begin at the end of December and the facility is expected to open in 2014, according to the district's civil affairs department. The 460-bed nursing home is funded by the government and will cost nearly 200 million yuan (US$31.8 million), an official with the department said at the Beijing International Senior Industry Expo 2012, which opened yesterday.

EDUCATION / CULTURE / ART

22 Children Injured in Knife Attack at Chinese School (December 14, 2012, The New York Times)

A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens. The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located.

Smaller U.S. Colleges Try to Crack Chinese Market (December 14, 2012, The New York Times)

Among newer entrants are small-town Christian and community colleges that focus on students who may not make it to top universities. Admissions officers from some smaller colleges say they are interested in China partly because they want more globalized campuses, but also because they can find students to pay full tuition.

Wang Shu and his architecture projects in China in pictures (December 15, 2012, The Guardian)

In offering an alternative view, Wang disputes that the power and prevalence of huge new building projects are the only or inevitable architectural products his country has to offer

A day in the life of a Chinese kindergarten in pictures (December 19, 2012, The Guardian)

Born in Lanzhou, China's north-west Gansu province, in 1979, Aly Song first became a photojournalist at the Shanghai-based newspaper Oriental Morning Post. In 2005 he joined Reuters' China team as a staff photographer covering political, business and daily life in China. Here, he visits a kindergarten in Ruzhou, a city in Henan central province

Billions for Beijings 798 (December 20, 2012, Shanghaiist)

Beijing wants to turn its famous 798 arts district into a tourism wonderland, with giant water theater and fancy hotels. But the plan faces skepticism from local artists and some in the public over its cost, its impact on the district and the heavy amount of water it will use in a city constantly worried about supplies.

University student axed to death in library (December 20, 2012, Shanghai Daily)

A student in east China's Anhui Province was axed to death in a university library this morning, local authorities said. The victim, surnamed Tan, 23, a senior student majoring in biomedical engineering of Anhui Medical University based in the provincial capital of Hefei, was killed at about 7:45 am.He was axed to death in a classroom on the sixth floor of the library, a Hefei municipal public security official said.

Photos: Students and parents protest school demolition in Anhui (December 20, 2012, Shanghaiist)

On Monday afternoon (17.12) students and their parents gathered in the pouring rain to protest the demolition of a primary school in Anqing, a small city in Anhui province. The school, called Double Lotus Temple primary school, was scheduled to be demolished as part of the city's redevelopment plans. The day after the protest (18.12) the mayor of Anqing released a statement that discussions were still ongoing and that the local government would seek consultation with the relevant departments, the school, the parents, and other members of local society.

BUSINESS / ECONOMICS / FOREIGN TRADE

China to continue property controls in 2013 (December 16, 2012, Xinhua)

China will continue its property market control policies next year, according to a statement issued Sunday after a two-day central economic work conference held in Beijing. The country will step up the construction and management of low-income housing, as well as the renovation of run-down areas, according to the conference, which charts the course for the following year's economic work.Stubbornly high real estate prices have been a significant source of public complaint in recent years, forcing the government to implement a string of policies to keep prices down.

Forming A China WFOE. How Long Will That Be Going On? (December 17, 2012, China Law Blog)

My law firm does a considerable business in forming China WFOEs. Unlike forming a company in the United States, which costs very little in out of pocket costs (always less than USD$1000) and takes almost no time at all (a few days at most), forming a company in China can be a long and expensive process. We typically start the procedure by sending out an email with the following LONG list of questions and document

Bank raises East Asia outlook, sees China growing 8.4 percent in 2013 (December 19, 2012, Reuters)

The World Bank raised its 2013 economic growth forecasts for China and developing East Asia on Wednesday, and said the region remained resilient despite the lacklustre performance of the global economy. []The World Bank said China was expected to expand by 8.4 percent next year, fuelled by fiscal stimulus and the faster implementation of large investment projects. The latest forecast is higher than the 8.1 percent figure cited in an October report.

China Urges U.S. to End Political Vetting of Its Firms (December 19, 2012, Bloomberg)

China wants the U.S. to end its political background check of Chinese companies seeking to do business in America, the nations vice premier said as economic talks between the two nations concluded. Our two countries have to strengthen our economic relationship, Vice Premier Wang Qishan said through a translator at a dinner in his honor yesterday after the annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings in Washington. Wang said Chinese companies want to ensure that they receive fair treatment in the U.S., regardless of their links to the Communist Party, while acknowledging that checks for national security concerns should continue. He said U.S.-based businesses operating in China also want to ensure that they receive treatment on par with domestic competitors.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

China listening in on Skype; Microsoft assumes you approve (December 13, 2012, greatfire.org)

With 250 million monthly connected users, Skype is one of the most popular services for making phone calls as well as chatting over the Internet. If you have friends, family or business contacts abroad, chances are you are using Skype to keep in contact. Having said that, you are probably not aware that all your phone calls and text chats can be monitored by the censorship authorities in China. And if you are aware, chances are that you do not consent to such surveillance.

China tightens 'Great Firewall' internet control with new technology (December 14, 2012, The Guardian)

China appears to be tightening its control of internet services that are able to burrow secretly through what is known as the "Great Firewall", which prevents citizens there from reading some overseas content. Both companies and individuals are being hit by the new technology deployed by the Chinese government to control what people read inside the country. A number of companies providing "virtual private network" (VPN) services to users in China say the new system is able to "learn, discover and block" the encrypted communications methods used by a number of different VPN systems. China Unicom, one of the biggest telecoms providers in the country, is now killing connections where a VPN is detected, according to one company with a number of users in China.

Web of Failure: How Chinas Internet Policies Have Doomed Chinese Soft Power (December 18, 2012, Tech in Asia)

When it comes to the web, China has continually struggled to choose between its impulse to control things as tightly as possible and its recognition of web platforms as a powerful way to broadcast its propaganda both at home and abroad. In the past few years, its apparent strategy has been to attempt to have its cake and eat it too: to broadcast its own message using all the Western web channels at its disposal while blocking those channels for domestic web users. Unfortunately for the government, having your cake and eating it is impossible, and this policy if it is continued will prove to be an utter failure.

TRAVEL / FOOD

Deciphering the McDonalds Menu in China Main Course (December 14, 2012, Lets Eat China)

So here are the main courses, or , currently offered at McDonalds in China including translations and notes but excluding the one-off burgers that come and go:

Ten Must Try Foods in Guizhou and Guangxi (December 18, 2012, Life on Nanchang Lu)

Flying Tigers Museum opens in central China (December 18, 2012, Xinhua)

A museum commemorating the Flying Tigers, a U.S. air squadron that helped the Chinese fight the Japanese in World War II, opened to the public in central China's Hunan Province on Tuesday. The Flying Tigers Museum, located at the Zhijiang Airport in Zhijiang County, houses 1,387 pieces of historical artifacts from the Flying Tigers, which are on public display for the first time.The Zhijiang Airport was an important base for the Flying Tigers under the leadership of Claire Lee Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who started working in China in 1937.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

10 Things you can in Chinese (December 14, 2012, Proofread China)

iPhone app provides real-time Chinese-English menu translation (December 20, 2012, Shanghaiist)

Can't tell your from your ? US software developers have created an iPhone app that delivers real-time translation of restaurant menus written in Chinese, no data connection required.

RESOURCES

CHRISTMAS: Culture and History (Chinese subtitles) (Youtube)

CHRISTMAS: Culture and History (English subtitles) (YouTube)

CHRISTMAS: Culture and History (Chinese subtitles (YouKu

CHRISTMAS: Culture and History (English subtitles) (YouKu)

BOOKS

The Miracle of Christmas, (in Chinese) by John MacArthur (ZDL Books)Drawing from both Biblical and historical accounts, author John MacArthur cuts through the myths and depicts the TRUE story of Christmas - starting with the prophecies of Christ's coming in the Old Testament, through the lives of Joseph and Mary, and all the way to the wise men.

You can't have it all (December 12, 2012, Analects)The Rise of China vs The Logic of Strategy. By Edward N. Luttwak. Belknap Press of Harvard Univeristy; 268 pages; 19.95 Edward Luttwak, an American military strategist, argues in his new book that Chinas simultaneous pursuit of three strategic goals is untenable. In his view, it must soon choose between them if it is to avert catastrophe.

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

The Leadership of Xi Jinping: philosophy and endless reform (December 18, 2012, The China Story)Professor He Baogang , Chair of International Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne, spoke to Luigi Tomba of the Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU, about the new leadership, the challenges of political and economic reform in China today, and the political philosophy of Xi Jinping, the newly appointed Secretary General of Chinas Communist Party.

Image credit: Shanghai Railway Station, by China Supertrends, via Flickr