ZGBriefs

June 20, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Beijing to Require Certificate of No Criminal Conviction for Foreigners Employment Licenses (June 19, 2013, US and China Visa Law Blog)

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security has announced that employment license applicants will need to submit a certificate of no criminal conviction (also known as a police clearance letter) from their country of residence, effective July 1.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Chinas tyranny of uniqueness (June 14, 2013, China Media Project)

Still wondering what Xi Jinpings new buzzword, the Chinese dream, is all about? Well, the Red Flag journal, a sister publication of the CCPs official Seeking Truth, continues this week with its series on what the Chinese dream IS NOT. This latest theoretical rant, written by Yu Zhong (), the head of the School of Law at Capital University of Economics and Business, is called, The Chinese Dream and the Choosing of a Road to Democratic Politics. The basic gist of the piece is that constitutionalism the recent bugbear of Chinas leadership is a notion inferior and subordinate to the Chinese dream.

Jailed China dissident's wife decries injustice in letter to Xi (June 14, 2013, Reuters)

The wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has written an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, protesting against her house arrest and her brother's jailing, which activists have called official retribution on the family. Liu Xia's hand-written letter was posted in photos to Twitter by a lawyer for the family on Friday, days after a Chinese court jailed her brother, Liu Hui, for 11 years on fraud charges.

Outrage after assault on Chinese students in France (June 16, 2013, BBC)

Bloggers in China have reacted with outrage to news of an assault on six Chinese students in France's wine-producing Bordeaux region. Two people were arrested after the drunken attack, in which one student was seriously injured when a glass bottle hit her face, police say. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the "xenophobic" attack. The attack was widely criticised on China's most popular social networking service, Weibo.

China calls for explanations of US surveillance (June 17, 2013, AP)

China on Monday joined calls for Washington to provide explanations following disclosures of National Security Agency programs which collect millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on U.S. networks. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Washington needs to heed international concerns expressed since the programs were made public earlier this month by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Blind Activists Former Adviser: Pressure Claims Mystifying (June 19, 2013, China Real Time)

But on Wednesday, one of the lawyers brought in by NYU to assist Mr. Chens transition to life in the U.S. rejected the notion that the Chinese government played any role in his imminent departure from the campus.

Xi stresses work styles in new anti-graft drive (June 19, 2013, Global Times)

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said Tuesday that the Party's upcoming year-long campaign will be a "thorough cleanup" of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. "The main task of the campaign focuses on building work styles," Xi said at a conference marking the start of the latest strongly worded anti-corruption drive. "Party members should be critical and self-critical in the spirit of rectifying improper work styles," Xi remarked.

RELIGION

A Pastors Thoughts on the Gao Kao (June 18, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

Gao Kao is the colloquial term for the dreaded university entrance exam in China. Held every year in early June, it is the final hurdle for high school students who want to attend university.

SOCIETY

Chinas Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities (June 15, 2013, The New York Times)

China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come. The government, often by fiat, is replacing small rural homes with high-rises, paving over vast swaths of farmland and drastically altering the lives of rural dwellers. So large is the scale that the number of brand-new Chinese city dwellers will approach the total urban population of the United States in a country already bursting with megacities.

Bad China Days [or] How I will eventually LOSE IT and end up on the Chinese evening news (June 17, 2013, China Hope Live)

Foreigners in China sometimes experience whats called a Bad China Day. Bad China Days can come in any zillion varieties. These are the days when you especially feel the culture stress; youre irritated and short-tempered, and everything is dirty and loud and inconvenient and irrational and obnoxious.

From sand to skyscrapers: Inside China's newest city as 400 million move to towns (June 17, 2013, The Telegraph)

China is racing to move millions of people out of the countryside, and to accommodate them is constructing new cities on an unprecedented scale. Tom Phillips reports from northwest China on how one such city, Lanzhou Xinqu, is being built from scratch for 500,000 residents putting British new towns of the 1950s like Milton Keynes into the shade.

Chinese Race and Democracy Debunking an Old Anxiety (June 17, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

These controversial quotes, which imply that the Chinese are racially inferior or at least, less disposed to certain types of governance may not accurately reflect Lius current views, but it does reflect a visceral worry among Chinas intellectuals. Yet how does this fear factor into debate about constitutionalism and democracy today?

Annals of Chinese Web Humor: Obamas Secret Message to Xi (June 18, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

An image now making the rounds on the Chinese Web, with over 25,000 retweets on Sina Weibo, features President Obama at the recent so-called Sunnyland Summit, apparently showing new Chinese President Xi the way. But one netizen has added a creative twist, sketching a coded message from Obama to Xi, which reads: All of America is already under our [Communist] Partys control. Please rest assured! -

Making Rural China Urban (June 18, 2013, The China Story)

The Chinese governments plans to move some 250 million rural residents into new towns and cities are being followed with interest worldwide. Writing in the New York Times (15 June 2013), Ian Johnson notes: The shift is occurring so quickly, and the potential costs are so high, that some fear rural China is once again the site of radical social engineering. In this essay, Mi Shih offers insights into how Chinese urban planners and policy makers understand this ambitious project.

China Bans Private Adoptions of Abandoned Infants (June 18, 2013, AP)

China has announced that individuals and groups are banned from privately adopting abandoned infants, in a country where tens of thousands are abandoned each year and where baby trafficking has been a perennial problem. The Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Tuesday that people who find an abandoned child must immediately tell local residential committees and the police and not adopt the child at will.

China completes Internet, phone monitoring scheme for Tibet (June 19, 2013, Reuters)

China has completed a monitoring scheme in restive Tibet that requires all telephone and internet users to register under their real names, state media said on Wednesday, as part of a campaign to crack down on what officials describe as rumors.

Chinese Nonprofits Survive and Thrive (June 19, 2013, Business Week)

But there is one bright spot in China: According to the editor of the newly released Chinese NGO Directory, mainland civil society groups are quickly growing in numberand in ambition. In certain spheres, such as the provision of eldercare or aiding people with disabilities, the central government is actively seeking to partner with and fund Chinese nonprofit groups, a significant departure from the past.

EDUCATION / ARTS

Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects for Graduates (June 16, 2013, The New York Times)

A record seven million students will graduate from universities and colleges across China in the coming weeks, but their job prospects appear bleak the latest sign of a troubled Chinese economy. Businesses say they are swamped with job applications but have few positions to offer as economic growth has begun to falter. Twitter-like microblogging sites in China are full of laments from graduates with dim prospects.

Space lesson to reach millions (June 20, 2013, China Daily)

More than 60 million students and teachers at China's 80,000 middle schools will experience a special class delivered by China's first teacher in space from more than 300 kilometers above Earth's surface. Female astronaut Wang Yaping will carry out fundamental physics experiments onboard the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at around 10 am on Thursday, the space program said in a release on Wednesday. She will interact with more than 330 students who will gather at a classroom of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing, according to the space program.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

China orders firms to curb pollution (June 15, 2013, BBC)

The Chinese government has ordered firms in heavy-polluting industries to cut emissions by 30% by 2017.Under the new rules companies will be legally obliged to improve their pollution control equipment and will be penalised for excess emissions. Analysts said enforcement of the targets was likely to fall to local governments. The announcement did not specify which industries would be affected by the new emissions rules.

China: Massive Credit Bubble Fueled By Shadow Banking And Securitization Could Collapse Banks (June 17, 2013, Forbes)

The unprecedented level of credit expansion in China has gotten to the point where it dwarfs anything weve seen before with overall credit now at about $23 trillion, making a severe banking crisis a very real possibility.

Video:Can China's middle class spend the world out of recession? (June 19, 2013, BBC)

Meet the Zhangs, one of China's new middle-class families who some economists believe are going to spend their way to a revival of the global economy. Zhang Dongyang runs his own construction company in Zhengzhou, one of China's fastest growing cities. His wife, Zhang Min, is a hospital administrator, and together they earn about $40,000 (25,000) a year.

How China Fudges Its Numbers (June 19, 2013, China Real Time)

Its typically advisable not to accept Chinese economic data at face value as even the countrys own premier will tell you. Figures on everything from inflation and industrial output to energy consumption and international trade often dont seem to gel with observation and sometimes struggle to stack up when compared with other indicators.

ENVIRONMENT / SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY

China's Tianhe-2 retakes fastest supercomputer crown (June 17, 2013, BBC)

A China-based supercomputer has leapfrogged rivals to be named the world's most powerful system. Tianhe-2, developed by the government-run National University of Defence Technology, topped the latest list of the fastest 500 supercomputers, by a team of international researchers. They said the news was a "surprise" since the system had not been expected to be ready until 2015. China last held the top rank between November 2010 and June 2011.

FOOD / TRAVEL

Stone City of Xian (June 18, 2013, World of Chinese)

Xian can be described as a city of stone, and from a stone city wall to ancient stone buildings, it certainly wouldnt upset a visiting stone mason. Of course, the reason for all this stone is that this city was the ancient capital of China from the Zhou Dynasty (, 1046-246 BCE) to the Tang Dynasty (, 618-907), has expanded outside the city walls to keep up with the times, but that doesnt mean the past has been forgotten.

Beijings Vanishing Heart (June 18, 2013, Wild China Blog)

Of the 7000-8000 hutongs that originally existed in Beijing, about 90% have been destroyed. Even as late as the 1980s, the winding lanes filled the city, but now, they only exist within the 2nd Ring Road. There, in the heart of Beijing, is where the land is worth the most. In a cruel twist of irony, its also where the residents are the poorest.

The Tea of Immortality (The China Story)

In this article, Australian archeologist James Huston Edgar (1872-1936) introduces the Immortal Tea of Meng Shan and quotes from the work of French historian Jean-Baptiste Du Halde to describe the teas medicinal properties.

BOOKS

Ma Jian: How I Write(June 14, 2013, The Daily Beast)

The Chinese author Ma Jian, whose new novel is The Dark Road, talks about angering the communist authorities, being banished, and how he became a writer.

A Hundred Songs: Exiled Chinese Writer Liao Yiwus Rare U.S. Visit (June 17, 2013, China Real Time)

The prison years are the subject of his book For a Song and a Hundred Songs, a dizzying, and often gruesomely graphic, testimony of vicious brutality and indignities large and small. He was in New York for the books U.S. release, with events including a recital of Massacre at the New York Public Library this past week.

Image credit: The Time Tunnel of Xi'an, by Bernd Thaller, via Flickr