ZGBriefs

July 25, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

 From Cape Town to Seoul (July 24, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

Christian leaders from China made history at the 2010 Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, not by their participation, but by their absence. Although some 200 leaders had made preparations and raised the necessary funds to attend, the vast majority were stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving China. Nearly three years later, about 100 of these leaders were able to join their counterparts from around the world in Seoul, Korea, for the Asian Church Leaders Forum. This meeting was historic in that it represented perhaps the first time that such a broad spectrum of Chinese church leaders from multiple regions of China and multiple streams within the unregistered church was able to meet with an equally broad spectrum of international evangelical leaders.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Foreign NGO registration rules eased (July 19, 2013, China Daily)

International NGOs will find it much easier to become registered in China, as registration approval power has been handed over by the Ministry of Civil Affairs to provincial civil affairs authorities. The move is part of the reforms the ministry has initiated to make NGO operations in China easier. Other measures include preferential taxation, financial support for domestic organizations and a new management system that will loosen the requirements for international NGOs operating in China, said Wang Jianjun, director of the non-governmental organizations department under the Ministry of Civil Affairs. He was speaking at a forum on Thursday in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province.

A Reformist Chinese Leader? Stop Fooling Yourself (July 22, 2013, Time)

When I read the news on China, I think not just about how far the country has moved since Dengs time but also since Chiangs. And yet, while China is radically different in so many ways than it was in the Nationalist period (192749) or earlier in the current post-Mao era, Xus detention and increased doubts about Xis potential to move China forward politically remind me not only of things Ive been reading in the press since the late 1970s, but also things Ive encountered in the archives from three-quarters of a century ago.

The Precarious Lives of Criminal Defense Lawyers in China (July 23, 2013, The Atlantic)

Poorly paid and subject to government pressure, China's small but stubborn group of weiquan nonetheless continue to fight for the country's accused.

China bans new government buildings in corruption curb (July 23, 2013, BBC)

China has banned the construction of government buildings for five years, according to state media. The move comes as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to show that the ruling Communist Party (CPC) is cracking down on corruption and waste. Glitzy new government buildings, sometimes in impoverished areas, have been a source of public outrage. The directive forbids luxury makeovers and expansions done under the guise of repair work, Xinhua news agency said.

When Old Chinese Leaders Say Nice Things (July 24, 2013, China Real Time)

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin has once again come dancing back into the political spotlight, sparking chatter in China-watching circles about the possible implications for new Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Retired leaders generally tend to keep a low profile, and Jiang has been especially quiet in recent months, so it was noteworthy when Chinas foreign ministry splashed a report about Jiang meeting with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger across the top of its website on Monday.

China Releases Final Draft of New Visa and Residence Permit Regulations for Foreigners (July 25, 2013, China Briefing)

The Chinese government released the Administrative Regulations of the Peoples Republic of China on the Entry and Exit of Foreigners (Order No.637 of State Council, hereinafter referred to as Regulations) on July 22, which updates the current visa system and introduces several changes to the application of the residence permit. The Regulations will take effect on September 1, 2013, with the previous administrative regulations on the entry and exit of foreigners scheduled to be abolished concurrently. Detailed information can be found below.

China's Bo Xilai: Disgraced politician charged (July 25, 2013, BBC News)

China has charged disgraced politician Bo Xilai with bribery, corruption and abuse of power, state media say. Bo Xilai, formerly the Communist Party chief of Chongqing, was expelled from the party after a scandal surrounding the murder of a British businessman. His wife Gu Kailai was jailed in August for the killing of the Briton, Neil Heywood. Mr Bo was charged by prosecutors on Thursday in Jinan in Shandong province, state media said.

China Carefully Curates Online Reaction to Bo Xilai Indictment (July 25, 2013, China Real Time)

The long-anticipated indictment of fallen Communist Party star Bo Xilai on charges of corruption and abuse of power on Thursday offered a vivid illustration of how far the Chinese government has come in imposing its will on the countrys famously raucous social media.

China's new coast guard ships in first Diaoyu Islands trip (July 25, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

CHINA'S coast guard approached the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea for the first time yesterday and a Chinese military plane made an unprecedented journey between Okinawan islands. The moves sparked alarm in Tokyo, where the government said it was a sign of "China's ever-growing maritime advance." Four ships, bearing the legend "China Coast Guard," were spotted in the contiguous waters of the islands, Japan's coast guard said.

RELIGION

Video: Behind Chinas Hindu temples, a forgotten history (July 21, 2013, China Digital Times)

The Hindu reports that there is a forgotten history behind Hindu temples in Chedian Village, Quanzhou where residents pray before a cross-legged four-armed goddess with ademon lying at her feet. But she is not a Chinese goddess. Ananth Krishnan explains that while scholars remain uncertain about her identity, they do know that the shrines roots are Indian and that the history of these temples and their Tamil links were largely forgotten until the 1930s:

Chinese Evangelism: Deep in Tradition, Shallow in Theology? (July 23, 2013, JacksonWu)

Its a lot easier to memorize a gospel presentation than to understand it. That seems to be a common thread in following list of troubling trends in Chinese evangelism. Previously, I discussed #13 (though these are not in any sort of rank).

Xinjiang Christian desperate after police raid 'house church' (July 24 2013, South China Morning Post)

Xinjiang Christian Zhu Jinfeng, 60, says she attends "house churches" - religious services at home - instead of state-sanctioned ones because she prefers to talk to God without going through China's administration of religious affairs. But Zhus habits of more than 10 years came to an abrupt end after local policemen stormed into her home in Urumqi last month during a bible study session she held with elderly neighbours. The group was dismissed on site. Zhu was briefly detained, charged with conducting illegal Christian activity, and fined 200 yuan (HK$250).

No Apologies Training Course (July 25, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

As parents, how do you have a good relationship with your children? As a teacher, how do you keep your students from pornography and early dating? As a pastor, are you confused about how to teach teenagers about premarital chastity? If your answer is yes, then Focus on the Family s No Apologies course will help you.

SOCIETY

Li Chengpeng's essay translated: watermelon vendor died pursuing the Chinese dream (July 19, 2013, The Telegraph)

Translation of blogger Li Chengpeng's entire essay that has since seen him "gagged" by Chinese Communist party officials.

China: 115-year-old woman could be world's oldest person video (July 21, 2013, The Guardian)

A 115-year-old woman from southwest China has applied for a Guinness World Record naming her as the world's oldest living person. Fu Suqing, from Chengdu, Sichuan, remains in good health despite having depleting hearing and eyesight. Suqing was born in 1897 and she has 48 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Meet the 'Chengguan': China's Violent, Hated Local Cops (July 22, 2013, The Atlantic)

Separate from conventional police forces, the chengguan are responsible for managing more quotidian aspects of urban life, such as regulating street vendors and unlicensed construction sites. The chengguan system was established recently, in 1997, and appear to operate with little oversight. As a result, stories of chengguan brutality are commonAccording to Human Rights Watch, Chinese media reported more than 150 incidences of violence involving the chengguan between 2010 and 2012.

A List of Chinas Most Alienating Cities Goes Viral (July 22, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Looking over the twin rankings, its not hard to notice that most of the cities listed experienced rocky transitions into the 21st century. Beijing, for example, was ranked The Most Magnificent City in 1998, but transformed into The Most Miserable City in 2013. Shanghai won the Most Luxurious City in 1998. Fifteen years later, however, it was dubbed The Most Arrogant City.

Why a Reporter Feels Sympathy for an Airport Bomber (July 22, 2013, Caixin)

Siding with a man who commits a terrifying act is normal when you hear so many stories of people so wronged they lack the will to live.

Inside China's 'falcon' village: A living slice of Manchu history (July 23, 2013, CNN)

In China's Jilin province, the tiny rural community of Ying Tunknown here as the "Falcon Village"the 55-year-old Zhao has, like many of his ancestors, dedicated his entire life to training the fierce feathered creatures. Jilin is one of China's most isolated provinces. Deep in the northeast, Jilin borders North Korea and Russia. It's the home of China's ethnic Manchu, who continue to practice ancient traditions in an effort to preserve their culture.

Carried Off: Abduction, Adoption, and Two Families Search for Answers (July 24, 2013, ChinaFile)

Child trafficking and its relationship to adoption in China is a serious problem, but also a deeply opaque one. It is a taboo topic for the Chinese government, which acknowledges the problem exists but also does not make public statistics about the number of children kidnapped or the number of children sold into adoption. Because of the implications for the tens of thousands of families in the United States and elsewhere in the West who have adopted children from ChinaAmericans alone adopted nearly 3000 Chinese children in 2012the topic is often taboo outside of Chinas borders, too.

After Killing Sprees, Beijing Bans Knife Sales (July 24, 2013, China Digital Times)

After two recent stabbings in Beijingone of which took two lives (including a U.S. citizen) on July 17 at a downtown shopping mall, the other claimed one fatality on July 22 at the same Carrefour outlet that supplied the murder weaponthe sale of knives at supermarkets in the capital is currently prohibited by police order.

Photos: Earthquake in Gansu province, China (July 24, 2013, The Big Picture)

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Dingxi in China's Gansu province on Monday, killing at least 94 people and injuring as many as 1,000. Efforts have been under way to help and search for the victims in the area, home to about 2.7 million people. Most of the deaths and damage occurred in the southern, rural region making it difficult for rescue efforts.

Killing Highlights Concerns Over Chinas One-Child Policy (July 25, 2013, The New York Times)

A man with a knife killed two government officials at a family planning bureau and injured four other people, the Chinese state news media reported on Wednesday, in an episode that drew wide attention in China because of continuing controversy over the countrys one-child policy.

Baidu's guide to the eight biggest Internet scams in China (July 25, 2013, Danwei)

The eight types of websites deemed by Baidu to be particularly susceptible to fraudulent activity and requiring netizens vigilance are those involving finance, mobile phone credit recharging, medicine, online shopping, ticket bookings, after-sales services, express delivery, and prize draws (see below for more detailed descriptions of the top three Internet scams).

HEALTH

S China reports 37 dengue fever cases (July 20, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

Thirty-seven people have been confirmed as having contracted dengue fever in Zhongshan City in south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities said today. As of yesterday afternoon, all 37 patients were found in five localities in the city's Huangpu Township since July 16, and it is likely that more cases will be reported, the Guangdong provincial disease control and prevention center said.

Hebei woman latest case of H7N9 (July 22, 2013, China Daily)

A 61-year-old woman from Langfang, Hebei province, is in critical condition after being infected with the H7N9 virus, the latest known case of bird flu on the mainland. The woman is in an intensive care unit in Beijing Chaoyang Hospital. She displays symptoms of viral pneumonia, acute kidney failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and diffuse intravascular coagulation. The patient is said to have visited a food market where live poultry is sold each day from June 30 to July 9, the Beijing Health Bureau said.

Video: Cancer villages in central China (July 23, 2013, China View, via YouTube)

As the number of cancer cases continue to rise in central China's rural areas, investigation shows water pollution is to blame.

EDUCATION / ARTS

Elite Universities Flooded with Tourists (July 23, 2013, CRI)

Most tourists were parents taking their children to visit the top two universities in China. They view it as a means of encouraging students to study hard for a better future. On every summer holiday, Tsinghua University and Peking University are full of tourists.

China to crack down on arbitrary school charges (July 24, 2013, Xinhua)

China will crack down on arbitrary charges relating to school admissions, according to a Ministry of Education (MOE) guideline on Wednesday. The guideline bans local governments, institutions and schools to charge for school admissions under any circumstance. It also forbids colleges to carry out illegal recruitment and says that false reporting, embezzlement and misappropriation of educational funds will be severely punished.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Top 10 Most Popular Magazines in China (July 21, 2013, China Whisper)

Though nowadays people tend to spend more time on online news and social networks, some readers still stick to browsing through a magazine when time permits and some even religiously read magazines every day. What are the magazines that readers prefer in China?

China loosens grip on lending rates (July 22, 2013, CNN)

China's central bank is giving lenders more freedom to set interest rates in a move that could foreshadow major changes in the country's banking sector. The decision to remove a longstanding lower limit for interest rates on loans will give banks more autonomy and is widely seen as a sign of Beijing's determination to reform its financial system even if the cost is slower economic growth.

China's PM Li says 7% 'bottom line' for growth (July 23, 2013, AFP)

China's economic growth must not slip below the "bottom line" of seven percent, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying by a state-backed newspaper on Tuesday. "The bottom line for economic growth is seven percent, and this bottom line must not be crossed," Li told a meeting earlier this month, the Beijing News reported. The target was necessary to ensure China achieved its goal of doubling its gross domestic product between 2010 and 2020, he told economic experts and business representatives.

What Would a Hard Landing in China Mean for the World? (July 23, 2013, ChinaFile)

China is not a Ponzi bicycle economy; it is a real economic miracle, with multiple serious and debilitating Ponzi schemes woven deeply into the fabric, especially in the financial sector.

American held in Chinese bribery investigation (July 23, 2013, The Guardian)

Chinese police have arrested a second western businessman in connection with an investigation into alleged bribery of doctors by drug companies. The US embassy said an American citizen has been detained by detectives investigating fraud and corruption in the Chinese medical system. The embassy refused to name the individual or say for which company he worked.

End of an Era? Apple Sees Slowdown in China (July 24, 2013, China Real Time)

There was a time when growing sales of Apple Inc.s iphones in China seemed as sure a thing as any in the fast-changing country. The Chinese consumers love for the iPhone was so great that queues ahead of product launches broke into fights and many would save months of salary to buy the product that represented upward mobility or the ambition of it. But after more than a year of intense competition from cheaper smartphones that run Google Inc.s Android operating system, Apples sheen has finally started to wear off.

China unveils fresh measures to boost growth (July 25, 2013, BBC)

China has unveiled a series of moves aimed at boosting growth, indicating that policymakers are concerned about the slowdown in its economy. The steps include tax breaks for small businesses, reduced fees for exporters and opening up of railway construction. China's economic growth rate has slowed for two quarters in a row and there are concerns that it may slow further. But the cabinet said the economy was in a reasonable shape and it was pushing for reforms to stabilise growth.

China to suspend VAT for small businesses (July 25, 2013, Xinhua)

China will suspend the value-added tax (VAT) and turnover tax for small businesses with monthly sales of less than 20,000 yuan (3,226 U.S. dollars) starting from Aug. 1. The announcement was made in a statement released Wednesday after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. The move will benefit more than six million small companies and boost the employment and income for tens of millions of people, the statement said.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

5 Shocking Photos Of China's Not-So-Green Three Gorges Dam (July 18, 2013, Policy Mic)

Chinas Smartphone Generation (July 23, 2013, Business Week)

Fortunately for Chinas lonely subway passengers, Internet access on Beijings subway is more stable than on New York Citys.

China to unveil 180 billion anti-pollution plan (July 24, 2013, The Telegraph)

China is preparing to unveil a landmark 180 billion anti-pollution package to fight the toxic smog that has enveloped swathes of the country.

Sina Weibo Targets New Users Outside China, Now Lets You Sign Up Via Facebook (July 24, 2013, Tech in Asia)

Its always been really tough for anyone outside of China to sign up for Sina Weibo, the nations hottest social network. The situation only got worse at the start of last year as authorities clamped down on rumors (and free speech) on Weibo by forcing Sina to implement real-name sign-up. But now Sina Weibo is making things a bit easier for people outside of China by permitting signing up for it via a Facebook account.

FOOD / TRAVEL

How Chinese Ingenuity Destroyed Salad Bars at Pizza Hut (July 19, 2013, Kotaku)

You had one trip to the salad bar. So dammit, you had to make it count. In China, Pizza Huts are either take-out only or somewhat upscale sit-down restaurants that even serve steak. A while back, it became a fad of sorts to build enormous fruit and vegetable structures at Pizza Hut salad bars. The reason was that customers only got one plate and one trip to the salad bar, so they wanted their visit to be worth it. And was it ever. The result was truly amazing and wonderfully creative plates of food.

I Spent an Entire Day On the Beijing Subway (July 23, 2013, Vice)

My self-imposed mission is to spend an entire day on Line 2, circling central Beijing from first train to last. Part social observation and part endurance test, there is no better way to sample the cross sections of a city than to watch them change around you from the discomfort of a single subway seat. This is a people-watcher's paradise.

Guizhou Trip Roundup Suggested Route and Recommended Dishes (July 24, 2013, Foodragon)

From all the provinces in Southwest China, Guizhou is probably the least popular among travelers. Between the delicacies of Sichuan, the scenery of Guangxi and the ethnic minorities of Yunnan, Guizhou has a hard time getting noticed. The fact is Guizhou is essentially a combination of all three, so if you only have time for a short trip to the Southwest and you cant cover all the renowned provinces, Guizhou is a nice 3 in 1 package.

All The Chips in China (July 25, 2013, World of Chinese)

Pepsi and Chicken flavor, Chicken and Pizza flavor, these are not Willy Wonkas latest meal in a chewing gum varieties but just two of the bizarre kinds of chips you will find in a typical Chinese convenience store.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING / CULTURE LEARNING

Mandarin Made Easier - Fun with Chinese Zodiac Idioms (July 25, 2013, Go Chengdoo)

BOOKS

Pearl Bucks Letter from Peking: A Novel Reissued (July 23, 2013, China Rhyming)

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

Regulation on Religious Organizations (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

Forecasting China (July 2013, McKinsey Quarterly)

McKinsey's Gordon Orr has been publishing predictions about China for nearly five years. Join him for a review of the good guesses, major misses, and lessons hes learned from both.

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

为基督,为教会——基督教教育的目的和性质为基督,为教会——基督教教育的目的和性质

(Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

RESOURCESA Documentary: High Tech, Low Life (PBS)

Image credit: Hutong's Morning, by faungg's photo, via Flickr