ZGBriefs

March 20, 2014

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Contemporary Confucian Revival and Its Interactions with Christianity in China (March 13, 2014, ChinaSource Quarterly)

Chinese society today has turned fairly religious with Protestant Christianity and Confucianism experiencing the most growth in recent decades. As these two traditions interact more and more, the tension and rivalry between them intensifies. Dr. Yao looks at the roles that each plays in today's China along with the place of the so-called New Confucian Movement. As the current Confucian revival represents an attempt to regain Confucian dominance in Chinese society, what is the response of Christianity?

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Wang Lixiong: The Elephant and the Mouse (March 13, 2014, Rangzen Alliance)

The recent incident in which Uyghurs attacked and killed Han in Kunming has precipitated a mood of hostility towards Uyghurs among many Han, including intellectuals who in normal times are critical of the authorities. Even those opposed to the CCP regime have similar attitudes.

Fallen Tiger, Shaken Dragon (March 14, 2014, Forbes)

Less than 18 months after becoming General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping is poised to cage the biggest political tiger a corrupt top official in the history of the Peoples Republic.

Chinese activist Cao Shunli dies after being denied medical help, says website (March 14, 2014, The Guardian)

Human rights activist Cao Shunli has died of illness after Chinese state security agents denied her medical attention, a human rights website has reported. Cao was detained in September after she staged a two-month sit-in at the foreign ministry with other activists, pressing authorities to allow the public to participate in a national human rights review.

China's Struggle to Forget (March 16, 2014, The New York Times)

China has, over the last 30 years, gone through tumultuous changes. Its abnormal development has generated a huge gap between rich and poor, and pervasive corruption has ignited conflict between officialdom and the population at large. These days, Chinese society is riddled with contradictions, but Never forget class struggle has been replaced by harmonious society and stability overrides all other considerations.

Beijings Propaganda Crisis (March 17, 2014, The New York Times)

More and more, the Chinese are questioning the government line. They mock the tone and style of the propaganda and resist the moral preaching. Its fair to say that in the Internet age, the Chinese governments propaganda machine is facing a crisis.

The way Xi moves: speech under assault (March 18, 2014, China Media Project)

In China today there are three principal spheres of public opinion: schools, commercialised media and the internet.

China Confronts the Limits of Its Power in MH370 (March 18, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)

Chinas President Xi Jinping cant sleep, its Premier Li Keqiang pines for a thread of hope, and the countrys mainstream media stands flatfooted. As the mystery of Malaysian airliner MH370, which disappeared while bound for Beijing carrying 153 Chinese passengers and 74 others, continues into its tenth day, Chinese authorities are keen to be seeing as doing something anything to find the missing plane.

New U.S. Ambassador Talks the Talk, Aims to Walk the Walk (March 18, 2014, China Real Time)

The new U.S. ambassador in Beijing looks like he plans to walk the walk. Not long after getting off a flight from Honolulu on Monday night, Max Baucus was greeting the local press corps, kicking off his remarks with an energetic quote from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu and saying a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

Carrots for Xinjiang (March 18, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)

Xinjiang, a vest region in western China covering a surface area roughly as large as that of Iran, is known to be ethnically fraught, economically underdeveloped, and opaque to outsiders. But a new Chinese policy is giving outside observers a rare albeit entirely one-sided glimpse into what Chinese Communist Party policy looks like at the village level there.

China attacked over human rights at UN forum in Geneva (March 19, 2014, The Guardian)

US and EU question death of activist Cao Shunli and continued detention of democracy advocates.

Opponents of China Trade Deal Occupy Taiwans Legislature (March 19, 2014, Sinosphere)

Hundreds of people have occupied Taiwans legislature to protest a trade deal with China that they fear will give Beijing too much influence over the islands economy.

China: Two dead in Xinjiang violence (March 19, 2014, BBC)Police have shot dead an armed man who attacked a police officer in the far western region of Xinjiang, Chinese authorities say. The suspect attacked a 29-year-old officer in Urumqi on Monday night, China's public security ministry said. Police at the scene shot the man dead and the injured officer later died from his wounds, the ministry said.

RELIGION

Perspectives on Confucianism (March 13, 2014, ChinaSource Journal)

As guest editor for this issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, I am very pleased that we are able to offer a number of articles from different perspectives that will help us understand the role of "Confucianism"broadly definedin China today, how Christians have tried to relate to this dominant strain of Chinese society and culture in the past, and how they might do so productively in the future.

Joseph Fan Zhongliang, Underground Bishop of Shanghai, Dies at 95 (March 18, 2014, The New York Times)

Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, who was imprisoned for more than two decades for resisting a Chinese crackdown on religion and spent his final years under house arrest after Pope John Paul II named him bishop of Shanghai, died on Sunday at his home in Shanghai. He was 95.

Filial Piety: A Christian Perspective (March 18, 2014, Chinese Church Voices)

The mainland site Gospel Times, recently re-posted an article from a personal blog titled The Christian View of Filial Piety. In it the author explores the similarities and differences between the Chinese concept of filial piety and the Biblical teaching to honor ones parents.

Reflections on China, 2014 (March 19, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

This is my third trip to China in a year and my fifth overall. One continuing impression is how much things change every time I visit. One of the most promising changes I noted on this trip was the continuing openness the Christian church is experiencing.

SOCIETY / LIFE

How Chinese Internet Censorship Works, Sometimes (March 13, 2014, China File)

In news media outside China, discussions of Chinese Internet censorship often center around how Chinese Internet users creatively circumvent filters and blocks, especially when the censorship hides Chinese politicians graft. While the power of netizens should never be discounted, the cases of Zhou and He illustrate the multiple ways in which Chinese censorship still often manages to succeed by either pushing the agenda of authorities or silencing critical stories.

An Inside Peek at China's Ghost City (March 13, 2014, Gizmodo)

You might have seen pictures of Ordos already but in this report I hope to show you the Ghost City as you've never seen it before.

Flower Town: The rise and fall of a Sichuan village (March 14, 2014, The Anthill)

A collection of small villages on the southeast outskirts of Chengdu, in 2006 the municipal government designated Sansheng Huaxiang an official flower-growing hub.The farmers had already changed much of their crop rotation to reflect the market cabbage plots and cornfields became rose fields and pear orchards and those with the means to do so turned their homes into B&Bs for the avant garde middle classes who arrived in droves after 2006. We started calling it Flower Town.

Market quarrel leads to stabbing frenzy in China, six dead (March 14, 2014, CNN)

Six people died after an argument between two vendors led to a stabbing spree at a market in Hunan province in central China on Friday morning, local police told CNN. The incident took place in Changsha city, the capital of the province. One of the dead included a suspect in the attacks, police said.

Violent Disputes in the Chinese Medical Sector: the Yinao Phenomenon (March 14, 2014, Asia Pacific Memo)

The medical sector in China has witnessed increasing disputes between doctors and patients over the past several years. According to a 2012 report, medical disputes in China had increased at the rate of 22.9 percent annually since 2002, and are now one of the countrys biggest social problems.

China unveils landmark urbanization plan (March 17, 2014, Xinhua)

By 2020, China's ratio of permanent urban residents to total population should reach about 60 percent, while residents with city hukou should account for about 45 percent of total population, according to the plan. The country will help 100 million migrant workers and other permanent urban residents to get urbanite status.

Video: China baby hatch suspended after hundreds abandoned (March 18, 2014, BBC)

A baby hatch in southern China has been forced to suspend work after hundreds of infants were abandoned, overwhelming the centre, its director says. More than 260 children had been left at the welfare home in Guangzhou since 28 January.

Now Chinas Super Rich Are Fleeing to Avoid Smog (March 18, 2014, TIME)

The country's wealthiest residents are emigrating to other countries, in large part to avoid awful air pollution.

Chinese authorities fish out 157 dead pigs from river (March 19, 2014, The Guardian)

Chinese authorities have found 157 dead pigs in a river, state media have said, underscoring the country's food safety problems a year after 16,000 carcasses were discovered in Shanghai's main waterway. The animals were recovered from the Gan river in Jiangxi, which supplies drinking water to the provincial capital Nanchang, the official news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.

The Nightmare Never Ends For Families of Missing Jet (March 19, 2014, TIME)

Grief stalks the halls of Beijings Metropark Lido Hotel. Families of the Chinese passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have spent the last 12 days sleeping, eating and waiting here. They pass the hours scouring the Internet and watching television, desperate for information about their loved ones. They are exhausted and angry.

Fresh assault on Hong Kong journalists (March 19, 2014, BBC)

Masked men armed with metal bars have attacked and injured two newspaper executives on the street in Hong Kong, sparking fresh concern about press freedom. The victims work for the Hong Kong Morning News, which is being launched later this year. The four attackers fled in a car.

EDUCATION / HISTORY

5 challenges youll face as an English teacher in China (Marcy 17, 2014, Matador Network)

I SEE A NEW FACE at the expat bar every weekend, undoubtedly drawn to this frozen corner of Heilongjiang Province by the promise of a lifestyle change, adventure, and a unique cultural experience along with a free apartment, money, and a 15-hour workweek. I dont want to be the one to burst their bubble while theyre holding their drink, still high off jetlag and excitement, but these are five of the headaches that await them on their TEFL journey.

Europe vs US: battling for hearts of Chinese students (March 19, 2014, The World of Chinese)

Chinas booming economy and a tendency for broadening cultural exchange has changed lives dramatically; now more and more new graduates from middle schools are willing to continue their higher education abroad. The students, fostered and sponsored by their parents, go to America or Europe in flocks in the hope of getting a desired, highly-valued bachelors or masters degree. Until recently, preference was directed toward American and Canadian universities, but the 19th China International Education Exhibition Tour which was held last weekend in Beijing with more than 400 universities from 20 countries and regions taking part, showed a different picture.

HEALTH

China Halves Its Tuberculosis Cases, Giving Other Countries Hope (February 20, 2014, TIME)

China has cut the number of tuberculosis cases among its citizens by more than 50 percent in the last 20 years by adopting an aggressive treatment program recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), a new report in The Lancet reveals.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Beijing Relaxes Foreign Invested Company Incorporation Rules (March 5, 2014, China Briefing)

Starting March 1, 2014, Beijing adopts new incorporation requirements for all companies, including for foreign invested enterprises, consistent with national reforms enacted in the legislation Reform of Registered Capital Rules. Beijings announcement follows similar pronouncements in February of other major Chinese municipalities such as Tianjin and Guangzhou and also in Zhejiang.

China's Li Keqiang warns investors to prepare for wave of bankruptcies (March 13, 2014, The Guardian)

World's second largest economy is facing 'serious challenges' and many companies with high debts are being forced to the wall.

Sina Weibo: 'China's Twitter' to list in the US (March 14, 2014, BBC)

China's largest Twitter-like service Weibo has unveiled plans to sell shares on the US stock market. Weibo, owned by Chinese internet giant Sina, is looking to raise $500m (300m) via the share sale. However, the firm did not give details of the number of shares it plans to sell or the price range.

China loosens grip on its currency (March 16, 2014, CNN)

China's central bank has further loosened its hold on the yuan, making a big move that gives teeth to a government pledge to move toward a more market-driven economy. The People's Bank of China announced Saturday that it would double the allowable trading range for the yuan against the dollar to 2% from a midpoint rate it sets every day.

Twitter CEOs China Visit Is Interesting, but Not for the Reason You Think (March 17, 2014, China Real Time)

Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Dick Costolo is in Shanghai for a few days, but that doesnt mean Twitter will follow. The U.S. social media network confirmed Monday that Mr. Costolo was in China to learn more about Chinese culture and the countrys thriving technology sector.

Chinas Rapid Growth Hits the Brakes (March 18, 2014, The New York Times)

New pockets of economic weakness in China emerged on Tuesday, as the collapse of a highly indebted real estate developer and weak home sales pointed to a slowdown in the sprawling property sector.

China to allow direct yuan, New Zealand dollar trades (March 18, 2014, Reuters)

China has allowed direct domestic trading of the yuan against the New Zealand dollar to encourage such trading as it internationalizes the Chinese currency.

China's trade with Africa at record high (March 19, 2014, Christian Science Monitor)

Chinas enduring importance for Africa was strengthened again in 2013, when trade between the globes most populous country and its poorest continent soared to a record total of $200 billion. That included a 44 percent spurt in Chinese direct investment in Africa.

How to Calculate Your 2013 Expatriate Individual Income Tax in China (March 19, China Briefing)In China, an individuals income from wages and salaries is taxed according to a progressive rate, depending on his/her duration of stay in China. Non-employment income is taxed at a variable rate depending on income type. In this article, we outline the rates and calculation methods for both income sources and overview the declaration process for individual income taxes in China.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

China deploys drones to spy on polluting industries (December 19, 2014, The Guardian)

China is using drones to spy on polluting industries in its attempts to battle the lung-choking smog that frequently engulfs many of its cities. The deputy minister of environmental protection, Zhai Qing said drones have recently been used in Beijing, Shanxi and Hebei provinces to inspect for pollution. These are some of the worst affected areas of China, with a high number of coal-fired power stations, steel mills and cement plants.

Watch: China Drops Bombs On Icebound River To Prevent Flooding (March 18, 2014, TIME)

Faced with possible flooding due to an ice-choked curve of the Yellow River, China decided to bring in the heavy artillery. Chinese authorities sent three bombers Tuesday to bombard the river and break up the ice. The barrage of 24 bombs successfully smashed the ice floes, lowering the water level that had risen to dangerous levels on Monday.

ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

China Is Decentralizing Movie Censorship. But Will It Make a Difference? (March 17, 2014, China Real Time)

Chinas state film regulator is outsourcing movie censorship to local bureaus, but industry experts say they are skeptical the move will do much to liberalize the countrys film scene.

In praise of Da Shan (March 19, 2014, Nanfang Insider)

But it is easy to take for granted the difference that Da Shans unique career has made to Chinas perception of foreigners. Since his emergence in the late 1980s, Da Shan has shattered the deeply held belief both within and without China that as the missionary William Milne put it two centuries ago learning Chinese is a work for men with bodies of brass, lungs of steel, heads of oak, hands of springsteel, hearts of apostles, memories of angels, and lives of Methuselah.

Zeng Fanzhi: Most Expensive Living Asian Artist (March 19, 2014, Everything with a Twist)

Zeng Fanzhi was born in Wuhan and currently lives and works in Beijing. While at art school, Zeng paid a particular interest in German Expressionist painters and by the time he had his first show he had gained his own style.

FOOD / TRAVEL / CULTURE

15 Incredible Photos That Capture My Xinjiang Story (March 17, 2014, Far West China)

Its only been 6 months since we decided to board an airplane that would take us back here to Xinjiang, China and yet it feels like its been years. Xinjiang has been such a huge part of my life and I have been excited to share it with my son who, up until now, has never even left the country.

Chinese smog insurance: travel agency offers air pollution policies (March 19, 2014, The Guardian)China's largest online travel agency, Ctrip.com, has launched a 'haze-travel insurance package', allowing tourists to claim compensation for trips ruined by pollution.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

Chinese is Easy! Ep1 - Chinese Tones (YouTube)

Sensible Chinese character learning revisited (March 17, 2014, Hacking Chinese)

What follows is a crash course in learning how to write Chinese characters, sorted by most relevant for beginners first.

BOOKS

The Color and Complexity of Chinese Opera (March 17, 2014, Slate)

Trying to understand Chinese opera can be daunting to those unversed in its rich history and complex visual vocabulary. Peter Lovrick and photographer Siu Wang-Ngai make the form more accessible in their book Chinese Opera: The Actor's Craft, published by Hong Kong University Press.

Why I dont recommend Safely Home (March 17, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)Last month I wrote a post recommending ten books specifically about the church and Christianity in China. Again, I left Safely Home off the list. Many wonder why. I know the book has been (and continues to be) popular among Christians in the West, so writing a negative review and recommending that it NOT be read may be unpopular. Oh well; it's good to hear dissenting views once in awhile, right?

Image credit: Confucianism Float, by Choo Yut Sing, via Flickr