ZGBriefs

June 27, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Building a Chinese Church Culture (June 26, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

Whether or not the church can be accepted in society depends upon the image of the church in society, and the establishment of the churchs image is likewise dependent on the culture of the church. Society cant see the faith of the church; they see only the outward expression of that faith through its culture. The kind of culture the church has will therefore determine what kind of image they have within society.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Chinese Activist Praises Taiwans Democracy (June 24, 2013, The New York Times)

Chen Guangcheng, the legal activist who left China with his family amid a diplomatic crisis last year, praised Taiwanese democracy on Monday while refusing to talk about controversies in the United States.

Tilting backwards (June 24, 2013, Analects)

Over the past couple of months, officials around the country have been summoned to briefings about a Communist Party circular known as Document Number Nine. Its full contents have not been made public, but by all accounts it paints a grim picture of what the party sees as the threat posed by liberal ways of thinking. The message conveyed at these meetings has been a chilling one: stick to the party line and denounce any dissent.

China persuaded Snowden to flee Hong Kong: sources (June 24, 2013, Reuters)

China orchestrated U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden's flight from Hong Kong at the weekend to avoid an extradition battle that would have embarrassed both Beijing and Washington, several sources said on Monday.

Why China Let Snowden Go (June 24, 2013, The New Yorker)

In the single strange month he spent in Hong Kong, Edward Snowden evolved from a tourist to a fugitive to an icon, and, finally, an irritant. And, in the end, the governments with the power to decide his fateHong Kong and Beijingfaced a choice: the short-term pain of defying a U.S. request for coperation, or the long-term anguish of sheltering a man whose biography had become a symbol in China and abroad. They chose the former, and now both the U.S. and China are left to pick up the pieces.

China Brushes Aside U.S. Warnings on Snowden (June 25, 2013, Los Angeles Times)

China brushed aside on Tuesday the Obama administrations warning that allowing Edward J. Snowden, the former national security contractor, to flee Hong Kong would have negative consequences, and said that the relationship between the United States and China should continue unimpeded. On Monday, the White House effectively put responsibility for Mr. Snowdens departure on Beijing, not on the Hong Kong authorities. At a Foreign Ministry briefing Tuesday, a government spokeswoman called the warning by the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry groundless. The administrations comments really make people wonder, said the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

Riots in China's Xinjiang region kill 27: Xinhua (June 26, 2013, AFP)

Riots in China's ethnically divided Xinjiang region on Wednesday left 27 people dead, according to state media which said police opened fire on "knife-wielding mobs". It was the deadliest spasm of violence to hit the troubled western region since 2009. Xinjiang is about twice the size of Turkey and is home to around 10 million members of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority. Police shot at "mobs" who had attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site, the Xinhua news agency said, citing local officials.

Xi Jinpings Rare Scolding of Top Party Leaders (June 26, 2013, China Real Time)

After telling the lower ranks of the Communist Party to shape up and make a clean break from past practice, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has taken aim at a new target: the Party leadership itself. And hes done so with authority and openness from the highest pulpit of politics in Chinathe Politburo, the very place where the senior leaders sit and make policy.

RELIGION

Tibetans Allowed to Openly Revere Dalai Lama in Two Chinese Provinces (June 26, 2013, Radio Free Asia)

Chinese authorities in Tibetan-populated areas of Qinghai and Sichuan are allowing monks to openly venerate the Dalai Lama as a religious leader but not as a political figure, according to sources citing official statements introducing the experimental new policy. The move appears to be confined only to the two provinces but still reverses a longstanding Chinese policy of forcing Tibetan monks and nuns to denounce the exiled spiritual leader, whom Beijing has described as a dangerous separatist seeking to split Tibet away from China.

There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat Chinese parents (June 27, 2013, JacksonWu)

I've written many times about the need for us to explain the gospel and tell the biblical story using other metaphors beside law.

SOCIETY

Chinas Urban Enforcers Caught in a Vicious Cycle (June 24, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

But it is unfair to attribute the chengguans legitimacy crisis to the organ itself. Since its inception in 1998, there has been no systematic, nationwide law or regulation that designates its duties, specifies its administrative procedures, or limits its power. Meanwhile, the list of daily tasks that chengguan are charged with has become increasingly convoluted, chaotic, and infeasible.

Why China has a 'one dog policy' (June 24, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

Nothing goes unregulated in China. Even Chinas one child policy has a little known canine equivalent: Only one dog per household in cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

My Grandfather the Red Guard (June 25, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

But a dilemma lies ahead. People who experienced that horrible ten years are beginning to pass away, while most young Chinese still know very little about it, or choose to avoid it. Will the Cultural Revolution be forgotten before it can be deeply examined?

Fast aging population challenges social funds (June 25, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

China will face financial pressure to cover the growing population of senior citizens with social insurance funds, a government official said yesterday. Chen Liang, an official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, told an international symposium the country needs to increase money going into the funds and diversify investment channels to enhance returns. Chen said China has to preserve and increase the value of its social insurance funds and ensure the sustainablility of its policies.

Back Off Ex Girlfriend Quotes In Search of Mickey Li's (July/August, 2013, Foreign Policy)

It was modern Chinese kitsch, something novel for Shanghai at a time when most lunch places here were undecorated mom-and-pop eateries, and I remember thinking: The owner must be a genius. Surely, Real Kung Fu with its cheap chicken-and-rice staples and globalized gloss would soon be everywhere, the answer to the question I often heard from businesspeople, tourists, and students in China: Where is the Middle Kingdom's answer to McDonald's?

Starter Questions to Develop Cultural Understanding and Build Relationships (June 26, 2013, ChinaSource)

Here is a list of questions for getting to know people and understand their culture in greater depth.

EDUCATION / ARTS

Chinese astronaut teaches 60 million kids from space (June 20, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

A Chinese astronaut gave China its first physics lesson by video from space today, a required lesson for middle schools across the country.

Spoon Half Full for China's Rural School Kids (June 21, 2013, Caixin Online)

A 2010 survey of boarding school students in four of China's poorest counties found hunger pangs, malnutrition and stunted growth appallingly common. Some 72 percent of the more than 1,000 students questioned for the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) survey said they felt grinding hunger while in class. And up to one-third said they went hungry every day.

Renmin University hottie crashes school's server (June 26, 2013, Shanghaiist)

Renmin University's redesigned home page (it's back up, can be viewed here) was knocked off-line on Monday evening after photos of an attractive graduate brought too much server traffic and crashed the site.

In China, Losing Sleep Over Choice of Schools (June 26, 2013, The New York Times)

Next week, millions of fifth graders across China will struggle with their end-of-year examinations. And, with just one year of elementary education left, their parents will struggle with choosing a high school for them.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

China's Other Big Problem: Debt (June 24, 2013, The Street)

The world continues to look at progress in China as a barometer for the global economic recovery and recent headlines have been less than encouraging. For the first quarter, Chinese GDP growth was seen at 7.7%. While numbers like these would be great for most countries, a performance like this is viewed largely as a disappointment, when Chinese growth rates of 10% (and above) have been seen for the last 30 years. But the main question going forward is not whether China will encounter a hard or soft landing. It's also not an issue of the government's commitment to stimulate growth by injecting economic stimulus. The key point that most of the discussion fails to address is the fact that the era of elevated growth in China has peaked, and it is unlikely we will see anything like it again.

China Creeps Into Crisis Mode (June 24, 2013, Forbes)

China is entering a crisis mode all its own. And while some in the market think it means a hard landing, even more still believe Beijing can handle it. Investors will be caught in this tug of war.

Top 10 cities where home prices are set to soar (June 25, 2013, Xinhua)

The website Soufun.com, which focuses on providing information about housing, listed the 10 cities where housing prices are expected to soar in the future.

Why Did Chinese ATMs Stop Working? (June 25, 2013, Bloomberg)

On Sunday morning, while China was taking a weekend breather from the financial fireworks caused by the governments weeklong self-inflicted cash and credit crunch, customers of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank, woke to an unpleasant surprise: Their deposits were not available for withdrawal by ATM or teller (online or in-person).

Why Chinese Workers Sometimes Hold Foreign Execs Hostage (June 26, 2013, China Real Time)

Beset by stories of runaway bosses, Chinese workers are adopting increasingly drastic methods in negotiating with their employers including caging them in their own offices.

ENVIRONMENT / SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY

Photos: Shenzhou 10 Returns to Earth (June 26, 2013, China Real Time)

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

To acquire the Chinese language (June 19, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

For those of you hard at work learning the Chinese language, an encouraging word:

FOOD / TRAVEL

10 most breathtaking photos of Xinjiang (June 26, 2013, Far West China)

Image credit: Pot, by Kejung Gu, via Flickr