February 27, 2014

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Speed Skating Coach Li Yan Talks about the Bible (February 27, 2014, Chinese Church Voices)

The most successful short track speed skating coach in the world is Li Yan. She is also a Christian. The Christian Times recently reported on the importance of faith in her life.


China denounces Barack Obama's meeting with Dalai Lama (February 21, 2014,The Guardian)

China accused Obama of letting the Dalai Lama use the White House as a podium to promote anti-Chinese activities. Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry, said before the meeting that it was "a gross interference in China's domestic politics" and "a severe violation of the principles of international relations. It will inflict grave damages upon the China-US relationship".

Chinas Anti-Corruption Drive. What Next? (February 21, 2014, China Law Blog)

Had lunch the other day with a bunch of people I consider to be China experts (to the extent there is any such thing). During our lunch, GSKs China corruption issues came up and we mused as to what was really happening in China by way of anti-corruption enforcement.

Beijing Official Detained in Investigation of Former Security Chief (February 21, 2014, The New York Times)

A Communist Party corruption investigation focusing on the former head of Chinas domestic security apparatus has reached into the secretive realm of the intelligence services with the detention of a senior official, people close to party and military leaders said this week. Liang Ke, the director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of State Security, was taken into custody last month by the partys arm for investigating official misconduct, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, according to three people this week, who cited information from leaders notified of the decision.

China sacks security vice-minister Li Dongsheng (February 24, 2014, BBC)

China says it has formally sacked the former vice-minister of its public security office, Li Dongsheng.State media say Mr Li was placed under investigation for "serious disciplinary violations", usually a reference to corruption, in December. It comes amid a series of investigations into officials linked to ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang.

China denounces appointment of U.S. special coordinator on Tibet (February 24, 2014, Reuters)

China will never recognize the United States' appointment of a special coordinator for Tibetan issues, China's foreign ministry said on Monday, saying it opposes any foreign intervention in its internal affairs.

China Labels Japan a 'Trouble Maker' (February 25, 2014, ABC News)

China on Tuesday labeled Japan a "trouble maker" that is damaging regional peace and stability, firing back at earlier criticism from Tokyo over a spike in tensions in northeast Asia. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was responding to comments by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida that China's military expansion in the region is a concern, although Kishida stopped short of calling China a threat.

Domestic security threats, not diplomacy, to be priority of China's national security body (February 26, 2014, South China Morning Post)Diplomacy will not be an overriding concern for the National Security Commission as the newly established body will focus more on internal and unconventional security threats, analysts and government think tanks say.

An Encouraging Sign for (Limited) Legal Reform (February 25, 2014, China Real Time)

Chinas new leadership has signaled that fundamental changes to the countrys legal system are not on the table. But a brief document, largely ignored in the English-speaking world until recently, suggests high-level support for limited but important reforms.

Beijing redoubles counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang (February 26, 2014, East Asia Forum)

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is taking an increasingly hard line on Xinjiang. But long-term Chinese policy itself is contributing to Xinjiangs unrest.

Uighur professor could face death sentence in China: lawyer (February 26, 2014, Reuters)

A prominent ethnic Uighur economist is unlikely to receive a fair trial and could face the death penalty after being charged with separatism in China's far western Xinjiang region, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Beijing police last month detained Ilham Tohti, a professor who has championed the rights of Xinjiang's large Muslim Uighur minority. Unrest in Xinjiang has killed more than 100 people in the past year, prompting authorities to toughen their stance.

U.S. envoy stresses human rights in China farewell speech (February 26, 2014, Reuters)

China's future development will hinge on a neutral judiciary and freedom of speech, U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke said on Wednesday in his final speech as envoy to Beijing, focusing heavily on human rights. Locke, the first Chinese-American to head the embassy in Beijing, leaves the Chinese capital on Saturday and will be replaced by Senator Max Baucus.

China Announces New Cybersecurity Push (February 27, 2014, The New York Times)

President Xi Jinping is presiding over a new working group on cybersecurity and information security, China announced on Thursday, a sign that the Communist Party views the issue as one of the countrys most pressing strategic concerns.


Being Salt and Light in China (February 26, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

As the religious environment has loosened over the past decade, Christians have been taking more active steps to be salt and light in their communities by seeking to meet some of the physical and social needs of the people. It's good to see that being noticed.


Designed in Chicago; Made in China (February 21, 2014, Chicago Tribune)

There are seemingly no rules for Chinas skyscrapers, which come in a variety of attention-getting shapes (a dragon, a pair of pants, a bottle opener). But for the nations apartment towers, there is seemingly nothing but rules. Codes and cultural preferences deriving from the traditional feng shui system of orienting buildings lead the vast majority of new apartment buildings to face south. In most large cities, experts say, the codes even mandate that an apartments living room get at least two hours of direct sunlight on the shortest day of the year.

Stranger Than Fiction: A Q&A with Yu Hua (February 21, 2014, China File)

Personally, I never thought of the book as absurdist, just maybe a little hyperbolic. My new novel, The Seventh Day, is a true absurdist novel, so it has surprised me that many Chinese readers consider it a work of realism. Judging from the readers responses, Chinese society is whats absurd beyond comprehension.

How the Internet and Social Media Are Transforming China (February 21, 2014, China File)

In the decade spent conducting research for her book, Parker found that while state censors and dissidents in China, Russia, and Cuba are ensnared in an increasingly complex, sophisticated cat-and-mouse game, the Internet has ushered in profound psychological changes that authoritarian governments cannot reverse.

It Could Take a Law to Force Hong Kongers to Be Nice to Mainland Chinese (February 21, 2014, China Real Time)

In an effort to stop Hong Kong residents from jeering and hurling insults at mainland Chinese tourists, Hong Kong is weighing a change in its laws to discourage such behavior.

Blind man offers music therapy to autistic children in Guangdong (February 22, 2014, Shanghaiist)

Chen Weijian, who was born with congenital cataracts, teaches autistic children piano lessons under special lighting that keeps them calm, turning the classes into a form of therapy.

Sinica: The Disabled in China (February 22, 2014, Pop-up Chinese)

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by James Palmer and John Giszczack for a discussion of the disabled in China. Join us as we discuss how the Chinese language defines the concept of disability, what public attitudes are prevalent about the disabled, and what resources the Chinese government makesand doesn't makeavailable to help those with disabilities integrate themselves into society.

Xi Jinping Breathes Bad Air With the Masses (February 25, 2014, China Real Time)

Xi Jinpings appetite for impromptu public appearances appears to be growing. On Tuesday, less than two months after he riled up the Internet by scarfing down lunch at a Beijing steamed-bun shop, Chinas new leader once again set social media atwitter by showing up with an entourage at a snack-heavy Beijing hipster shopping enclave known as Nanluoguxiang.

China smog: Shijiazhuang man attempts to sue government (February 25, 2014, BBC)

A resident of the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang is reported to be trying to sue the local government over high levels of air pollution. The man, Li Guixin, filed a complaint with a district court in Hebei province near Beijing. A local newspaper said he was demanding the city's environmental bureau do more to control the blanket of choking smog that often settles over northern China in the winter months. He is also demanding compensation.

Many in China Can Now Have a Second Child, but Say No (February 25, 2014, The New York Times)

After three decades of a Chinese policy that limits most families to one child, many families say they will not take advantage of a major change allowing a second child because of the rising cost of child-rearing.

Hong Kong: Ex-Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau attacked (February 26, 2014, BBC)

The former chief editor of prominent Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao is in a critical condition after being attacked with a cleaver, officials say. Kevin Lau was attacked in Hong Kong by two men on Wednesday morning, police said. He suffered three wounds. The attackers reportedly fled by motorbike.

Finding hope in Chinese Words (February 26, 2014, China Media Project)

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about Chinas media? Ive answered this question for more than ten years now. Ive answered with optimism. Ive answered with pessimism. And its gotten to the point where Im sometimes confused myself about what to say or what to feel.

China details pension overhaul aimed at shrinking urban-rural divide (February 26, 2014, Reuters)

China has released details of a pension scheme reform that seeks to decrease urban-rural economic divisions before 2020, state media reported on Wednesday, part of an overhaul that encourages labour mobility but does not address deeper problems in the system.


Nine-hour tests and lots of pressure: welcome to the Chinese school system (February 22, 2014, The Guardian)

Next week education minister Elizabeth Truss will lead a "fact-finding mission" to Shanghai to learn the secrets of China's success. She plans to adjust the UK's education policy accordingly. Yet Chinese parents and educators see their own system as corrupt, dehumanising, pressurised and unfair. In fact, many are looking to the west for answers.

Fake certificates for English tests sold online (February 24, 2014, China Daily)

Fake certificates for College English Tests 4 and 6 can be bought from online shops with customized scores as required by their buyers, but a lawyer warns their users may lose their jobs if employers discover the truth. The results of CET 4 and 6, the standard English proficiency examination in China, were released on Friday. Obtaining a CET 4 certificate is a must for many graduates to get a job, but, for many, passing the exam is a nightmare.

Does Shanghai's school success exclude migrants? (February 25, 2014, BBC)

Could China really hold valuable lessons for England's education system? After a day in Shanghai visiting schools and talking to teachers and pupils, Education Minister for England Elizabeth Truss is convinced. "First of all it's the attitude," she said. "There's a strong belief that maths gets you everywhere, that it's a really important subject and that everyone can achieve in maths."

In Two-Child China, a New Dilemma (February 26, 2014, China Real Time)

Beijing recently became the fifth region in China to official implement a long-awaited loosening of the countrys family planning rules, announcing last week that resident couples will now be allowed to have two children if one of the parents is an only child. The move is bound to make things easier for a number of families in the Chinese capital, but for one Beijing resident, the new policy means a new dilemma: whether to ignore people with siblings in the search for a spouse.


China's Share of Global Cancer Deaths Tops 25 Percent (February 18, 2014, Bloomberg)

According to the World Cancer Report 2014, each year 14 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed globally and 8.2 million people die annually from cancer. China, which is home to roughly a fifth of the worlds population, accounts for 27 percent of global cancer deaths.


Even Chinas Economists Are Singing the Blues (February 21, 2014, China Real Time)

Chinas state media have long accused foreign analysts of being too bearish on the Chinese economy. Those analysts looking in from the outside are often said to be too eager to be chanting declinechang shuaiwhen it comes to the economys prospects. This time around, Chinas own economists seem to be chanting a pessimistic tune about growth prospects.

Ten Keys For Doing Business In China. A New List. (February 23, 2014, China Law Blog)

Okay, no sooner do I tout a list of ten keys for doing business in China but a loyal reader sends me another such list by which he swears. This list was created by Michael Witt, an INSEAD Professor of Asian Business and it makes up a Forbes article, entitled, The Ten Principles For Doing Business In China. It is described as ten insights intended to help your business be successful in its China operations and it too contains excellent pointers for foreign companies doing business in China.

Sina Weibo: Profits at 'China's Twitter' surge (February 24, 2014, BBC)

Profits at Sina Corp, owner of China's largest Twitter-like site Weibo, surged in the fourth quarter, boosted by a jump in advertising revenue. It reported a net profit of $44.5m (26.7m) in the October-to-December period, up from $2.4m a year ago. The numbers come amid reports that Sina is planning to list Weibo in the US and that it plans to raise nearly $500m by selling Weibo shares. Weibo claims that it has over 500 million registered users.

China Gains 41 New Billionaires As Rich List Expands (February 26, 2014, CNBC)

China minted 41 new billionaires over the past year, driven largely by growth in the technology industry, according to a new rich list. The mainland now boasts a total of 358 U.S. dollar billionaires who have amassed a total worth of $963 billion, the report compiled by the countys Hurun research institute said.

China, LinkedIn Would Like to Add You to Its Network (February 26, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)

LinkedIn is now aiming its bow for the rocky shoals that have claimed Facebook, Twitter, Google, and even eBay: the Chinese market. On Feb. 24, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner announced the launch of LinkedIns Chinese-language site, still in beta, meaning it is a test edition subject to further improvement. LinkedIn has been active (and unblocked) in China for 10 years, but the move reflects an intention to apply for a business license there.

Why the Yuans Decline Matters (February 27, 2014, China Real Time)

Chinas yuan has fallen steadily against the U.S. dollar in the past week. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that it wasnt market forces or traders behind the move, but that the Chinese central bank was deliberately pushing the currency lower. That a central bank would do this on purpose has caught some off-guard, especially since the yuan was long seen by investors as a currency that was only going up.


China's Crippled Lunar Rover Starts Two-Week-Long Snooze (February 23, 2014, NBC)

China's crippled lunar rover has started its third sleep cycle on the moon, stuck in place due to an mechanical problem. A photo from the solar-powered Yutu rover, showing a portion of the Chang'e 3 lunar lander, was passed along on social-media accounts on Saturday just as it was being shut down for the two-week-long lunar night. The state-run Xinhua news service's Twitter account reported that Yutu's mechanical problems remained unresolved.

Air pollution in China in pictures (February 25, 2014, The Guardian)

Beijing and broad swaths of six northern provinces have spent the past week blanketed in a dense pea-soup smog that is not expected to abate until Thursday. Beijings concentration of PM 2.5 particles those small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream hit 505 micrograms per cubic metre on Tuesday night. The World Health Organisation recommends a safe level of 25.

China vows 'harsh punishment' for toxic smog culprits (February 26, 2014, Reuters)

China's environment ministry has vowed to 'harshly punish' factories and power plants that contributed to a hazardous smog which enveloped much of Northern China, official state media reported on Wednesday. Investigations had found that some thermal power plants, cement and steel makers in the northern province of Hebei had failed to halt or curtail production during severely smoggy days despite government orders, state news agency Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Environmental Protection as saying.


Chinas Museums (February 24, 2014, Frog in a Well)

It is interesting to try and figure out why things were included in what category and why they are there at all.

Sochi Winter Olympics: How Did China Do? (February 24, 2014, China Real Time)

In terms of overall medals, China finished 11th with nine medals, while on the gold medal count it was 12th after winning three golds. Russia won on both counts, with 33 medals in total and 13 golds.


Ten must-read Sichuan and Chongqing travel articles (February 21, 2014, Go Chengdoo)

GoChengdoo's 10 most-read travel articles and guides about the Sichuan and Chongqing region.

Stray cats keep Beijing's Forbidden City clean (February 27, 2014, BBC)

Officials at Beijing's Forbidden City have a policy of keeping about 200 cats at the imperial palace complex to keep rats and vermin away from the cultural relics, it's been reported. While stray cats are an annoyance for residents in the rest of capital, the museum curators have neutered over 180 felines in the last five years, state-owned Xinhua news agency reports. Some of them might even be descendants of royal pets, says museum official Ma Guoqing.


Chinese Grammar WikiFrozens Let It Go in Chinese Dialects (February 25, 2014, Sinosplice)

To Conquer Characters, Rethink Radicals (February 27, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

When I began learning Chinese at age twenty-one, I was encouraged to discover that every character has a "radical", a component which communicates meaning. Characters containing the "three dots", for example, denote something to do with water. River and lake , wash and rinse , and sweat and tears all contain the water radical on the left. Having learned 30 or so radicals I thought I was on my way to mastering Chinese characters. I soon hit a wall, however. Radicals became less and less helpful as I learned more characters. Why?


Ten Books on Christianity in China (February 24, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

The Brave Catholics of China (March 6, 2014, The New York Review of Books)

In The Missionarys Curse and Other Tales from a Chinese Catholic Village, the Oxford historian Henrietta Harrison describes the competing forces that resulted in the creation of this active center of Chinese Catholicism. The Missionarys Curse is a rich piece of micro-history, replete with violent priests who bullied their flocks and pious missionaries who spent their lives in hiding.


Escaping Chinas Gulag (February 25, 2014, The China Story)

The impact of the Gulag Narrative is enormous. I have been in somewhat surreal situations with people who talk about Chinese Gulags within a ten-minute drive from camps where persons are held without charge or trial. Often, the people who use this term genuinely believe that Chinese people are still being re-educated by the millions and that the re-education system in China has not really changed since day one.

Will China find the memory of Zhao Ziyang too hard to handle? (February 25, 2014, East Asia Forum)

Rumours that the discussion of Zhao may become less restricted in the PRC were published in Hong Kongs Chinese language newspaper, Ming Pao. These rumours are part of a broad series of signs that the Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang leadership might still have more reformist tendencies than they have so far fully revealed.


Consider studying the Bible and theology in Chinese

Logos Evangelical Seminary, located in Los Angeles, is a Mandarin-language seminary that offers fully-accredited MA, MDiv, and ThM degrees with a highly qualified Chinese faculty. Logos is now introducing the Logos Total Immersion Program (L-TIP) for students who speak Chinese as a second language. L-TIP students may choose to audit courses or, if their Chinese is strong enough, take courses for credit. For students who need help taking graduate-level classes in Chinese, the L-TIP program provides a professional Chinese language tutor. L-TIP students live in the dormitory and participate in all seminary activities. Students with a seminary degree can take the one-year L-TIP Certificate. Students without a seminary degree can enter a degree program at Logos and either graduate from Logos or transfer their credits to another seminary. More information can be found at:http://www.les.edu/cn/admission/?nondegree_ltiphttp://www.les.edu/cn/home/index.asp

Image credit: China team win relay, by leniners, via Flickr