ZGBriefs

March 8, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

What does the future hold for China? (March 5, 2013, BBC)

China's moment of change has come. After a decade in power, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are stepping aside. Xi Jinping and a new generation are taking over. Already elevated to the post of general secretary of the Communist Party last November, Xi Jinping will be confirmed as China's new head of state by the National People's Congress now meeting in Beijing. So, naturally, the question everyone is asking is, what does the future hold for China? How will Xi Jinping govern this huge, complex and increasingly powerful nation?

SPECIAL SECTION: NATIONAL PEOPLES CONGRESS

Special Report: NPC and CPPCC Two Sessions (Xinhua)

As NPC Convenes, Factions Jockey to Solidify Power (March 3, 2013, China Digital Times)

With the 12th annual National Peoples Congress opening in Beijing, the Chinese government is set to conclude the second stage of its once-a-decade leadership transition when Xi Jinping takes over as president and Li Keqiang takes over as Premier. 

In China, 'red nobility' trumps egalitarian ideals (March 4, 2013, The Los Angeles Time)

The fact that there are no free elections leaves the party elders vulnerable to accusations that they have merely perpetuated China's dynastic traditions by handing down power within a "red nobility." The privileges of birth extend to every sector of the economy, be it oil, electric power, insurance or even diamonds.

Chinese television broadcasts condemned men before execution (March 4, 2013, The Guardian)

Chinese state television broadcast live images last Friday (1 March) of the last moments of four foreign drug traffickers who were about to be executed. According to the Los Angeles Times, the cameras pulled away before the lethal injections were administered. However, the coverage was unprecedented and unleashed a storm of criticism and debate about the use of the death penalty.

Political season takes off (March 4, 2013, Global Times)

The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, opened its annual session on Sunday, signifying the start of the most important political season finalizing the central government's leadership transition.

Grandpa Wen bows out (March 5, 2013, Analects)

During his ten years as premier, Mr Wen's cultivated his image as an avuncular figure full of concern for the common people, earning for himself the nickname "Grandpa Wen." In his final work report, Mr Wen was frank and forthcoming about many of the serious problems the new leadership duo is about to inherit.

China's next leaders aim to launch new economic era (+video) (March 5, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

As the National People's Congress gets under way, expectations are high that China's new leaders will promote economic reform and tackle corruption. But entrenched interests pose a serious obstacle.

Chinese Politician: We Must Allow the Chinese to Have a Second Child (March 5, 2013, The Atlantic)

China's National People's Congress (NPC) are in full swing, with lawmakers proposing a variety of new regulations addressing issues of concern to China's citizens. Perhaps one of the most welcomed of these proposals was Guangdong NPC representative He Youlin's call for an adjustment to China's one-child policy, which became the hottest topic in Weibo's My Two Sessions Proposals category, the hottest trending topic of conversation on the Twitter-like site. "Two years ago I raised this matter, and I raised it against last year. I will raise it again this year!" remarked He Youlin. "We must allow Chinese to have a second child. We cannot wait another minute." The top five comments on this Sina article, each receiving more than 500 "likes," expressed support for He's proposal.

Chinese parliament deputies gather in Beijing - in pictures (March 6, 2013, The Guardian)

Guardian photographer Dan Chung has photographed some of the 3,000 deputies who are attending the 18th National People's Congress of China this week.

Stories on the edge of the NPC (March 7, 2013, China Media Project)

As often happens during the NPC, its the stories breaking on the margins that tell us the most about the real challenges facing China. And one of the top stories breaking in the newspapers and on social media today goes to the heart of the above-mentioned set of challenges about urbanization and Chinas migrant population.

Photos: Inside Chinas Two Meetings (March 7, 2014, China Real Time)

Billionaires Big at Chinas Annual Political Conclave (March 8, 2013, China Real Time)

Hurun counts 31 billionaires among the NPC delegates this year, plus another 52 in the

CPPCC.GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Chinese Communist Party: Communism under construction (March 3, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

But if the party is communist in name only, it remains very much a Leninist institution, following almost to the letter the Russian revolutionary's edicts on how to control a state and suppress any challenges to its rule. China today lives under "market-Leninism," a system introduced by Deng Xiaoping, who took a uniquely pragmatic approach 30 years ago as he launched the free-market economic reforms that have propelled the country to global prominence.

Chinas labor camps come under scrutiny (March 3, 2013, The Washington Post)

After decades of stonewalling, Chinese officials have begun to address public concern about the camps, slowing their use and signaling that a parliamentary meeting of Chinas top leaders in Beijing this week could bring broader changes.

China navy seeks to "wear out" Japanese ships in disputed waters (March 6, 2013, Reuters)

China's naval and paramilitary ships are churning up the ocean around islands it disputes with Tokyo in what experts say is a strategy to overwhelm the numerically inferior Japanese forces that must sail out to detect and track the flotillas.

Pollution Forces Chinese Leaders to Act (March 7, 2013, China Digital Times)

As National Peoples Congress delegates meet in Beijing, and Xi Jinping officially takes over as state president, Chinas leaders are confronting a number of urgent issues facing the nation, including the degradation of the environment.

Chinese activist Lu Haitao in US (March 8, 2013, BBC)

The US State Department has confirmed that Chinese dissident Lu Haitao and his wife are in the US. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to give any details of the case, nor would she comment on whether the pair had been granted political asylum. Mr Lu, a writer and human rights activist since 2011, had campaigned on behalf of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng. He was detained after a protest in Mr Chen's village in December 2011 and then again the next year.

Korla Under Tight Security After Police Confirm Attacks (March 7, 2013, RFA)

Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang on Thursday placed a city under security lockdown after deadly violence between ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs and Han Chinese, police and Uyghur exiles said. Police said a security clampdown had been imposed following clashes in Korla city in central Xinjiang, confirming an undetermined number of fatalities. According to accounts from people working near the scene and from netizens, several people including both Uyghurs and Han Chinese were killed and more injured after a fight broke out in a video game arcade in the city's Golden Triangle commercial district.

China warns against Korea escalation (March 8, 2013, BBC)

China has appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula, hours after North Korea said it had scrapped all peace pacts with the South and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes. China, the North's only major ally, said all sides should continue to talk and avoid "further escalation". Pyongyang has reacted angrily to another round of sanctions imposed by the UN over its recent nuclear test. The sanctions restrict luxury goods imports and banking activities. Beijing provides fuel, food and diplomatic cover to Pyongyang.

RELIGION

The Future of Christianity in China: A Panel Discussion (June 8, 2013, ChinaSource)

The following is a panel discussion that explores the future of Christianity in China. It deals with both the problems and the opportunities facing the Chinese house church today. The panelists included Ezra Jin of Zion Church, Beijing; Man De, a scholar with China Ministries International; Daniel Li of Blessings Foundation and Franklin Wang, a seminary student from Beijing.

Video: New pope faces old problem of divided China Church (March 1, 2013, AFP)

China has called on Pope Benedict XVI's successor not to meddle with its internal affairs. Tensions remain high as Beijing does not recognise the ultimate authority of the Pope in its state-established Catholic churches.

Toward a Culture of Partnering (March 4, 2013, ChinaSource)

Opportunities for collaboration between Christians inside and outside China have evolved as China's continued opening has allowed for more natural cross-cultural relationships. Early attempts at partnering were often one-way, with those outside China providing funds, training, and other resources to an indigenous church with great needs but seemingly little to contribute in return. With the emergence of a new generation of trained leaders who are increasingly connected with the global church, either virtually or directly through going abroad or working with foreigners in country, collaboration has moved to a new level.The church in China is increasingly well-resourced financially and in terms of human capital. Throughout China Christians are harnessing the power of knowledge and relationships through their use of the internet. The Chinese church not only has much to share with the church outside; it has many new channels by which to do so. All these developments pave the way for more equal and equitable collaboration. Is it happening?

What to Say During Spring Festival (March 5, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

During Spring Festival, a lot of people busy themselves drinking and eating and with social events. Actually, these days of reunion are a great opportunity to love one another. Christians can try saying some new things during Spring Festival. These might include sharing the Gospel with their families, sharing their hearts, saying loving things, expressing thanks, or just saying positive, hopeful things.

Good Lord: In China, Christian Fundamentalists Target Tibetans (March 8, 2013, Time)

Tibet is one of the most coveted locations for nondenominational American and Korean Christian groups angling for mass conversion. Most are fundamentalist Christians who prioritize preaching and winning converts over the charitable works traditionally performed by mainstream missionaries. The more radical evangelists believe in the biblical notion of the Great Commission that Jesus can only return when preaching in every tongue and to every tribe and nation on earth is complete.

SOCIETY / LIFE

Chinas Youth Tell Employers: I Quit (March 4, 2013, China Real Time)

For increasing numbers of young Chinese professionals, the first day back at work after the Lunar New Year holiday is the day they quit.

China's biggest problem? Too many men (March 5, 2013, CNN)

A long history of son preference, particularly among the Han majority, has led to female infanticide and the neglect of daughters in some parts of China. But in recent decades, the spread of cheap ultrasound (enabling sex-determination in early-mid pregnancy) and easy access to abortion courtesy of the government's one-child policy, has led to the widespread abortion of female fetuses. As a result, approximately 30 million more men than women will reach adulthood and enter China's mating market by 2020.

China: Portrait of a People (March 5, 2013, The Atlantic)

In China, Baby's Brutal Death Raises Questions For Many About Nation's Values (March 6, 2013, NPR)

In China, news of Baby Haobo's disappearance went viral online, with millions of netizens waiting anxiously for news. Monday morning, his parents had left him in their car with the engine running while they went into a supermarket they own to turn on the heating. When they came out, the car was gone with Haobo inside. The Xinhua news agency reported that 8,000 policemen took part in a manhunt, combing residential communities and parks, but in vain. Almost 36 hours after the car was stolen, a man named Zhou Xijun gave himself up at a police station. He admitted to strangling the baby and burying its body in the snow.

How To Sneak Into A Chinese Village When Police Don't Want You There (March 6, 2013, NPR)

On occasion my job requires me to sneak into a Chinese village as I did earlier this week to report a story on a rural uprising. This does not come naturally. I'm 6-foot-2 with gray hair and blue eyes and don't look remotely like a Chinese farmer.

Watch: Shangpu village revolts over land seizures (March 8, 2013, Shanghaiist)

On the eve of the politically sensitive Nation People's Congress (NPC), villagers in Shangpu Town in Guangdong took to the streets and barricaded their town in response to the attempted seizure of their lands by an allegedly corrupt communist party official. They have demanded that free and fair elections be held for local officials, the return of their land, and the punishment of those responsible for the attack on the village.

BUSINESS / ECONOMICS / TRADE

Chinese Negotiation Training: Sources of Power in Chinese Business Negotiation (March 5, 2013, Chinese Negotiation)

When Westerners negotiate business in China, they have to be aware of their four major sources of power and start developing and leveraging on them right away.

China's Citizens Hide As Much As $2.34 Trillion In Income, Researcher Says (March 7, 2013, NPR)

China's citizens do not report as much as $2.34 trillion of what they make every year, hiding "gray income" that would represent nearly 20 percent of the country's GDP, Chinese economics scholar Wang Xiaolu says, in a report from the news site Global Voices. Wang, of Beijing's National Economic Research Institute, told an audience last week (page is in Chinese) that the figure means the gap between rich and poor Chinese is wider than is commonly believed.

China February exports surge, supports recovery hopes (February 8, 2013, Reuters)

China's exports soared past forecasts to jump by a fifth in February from a year ago, a sign the country's modest economic revival is intact and suggesting global demand may also be on the mend. But underlining expectations that China's recovery is fragile and vulnerable to a wobbly world economy, Chinese imports were surprisingly weak, falling 15.2 percent from a year earlier to 13-month lows, customs data showed on Friday.

TECHNOLOGY / SCIENCE / ENVIRONMENT

Is China choking on success? (March 5, 2013, East Asia Forum)

The entire city of Beijing is choking on its success, subjected to air quality thats the rough equivalent of smoking two packs a day. The putrid, poisonous air is an apt metaphor for the current Chinese predicament and challenges facing Chinas new leaders: the state-centric economic model is unsustainable, exceeding the limits of utility. Chinas citizens are paying a steep environmental price for breakneck development over the past 34 years and increasingly question the legitimacy of a political elite and policies lacking in transparency and accountability.

Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It (March 8, 2013, Business Week)

Since then, Knockel, a bearded, yoga-practicing son of a retired U.S. Air Force officer, has repeatedly beaten the ever-changing encryption that cloaks Skypes Chinese service. This has allowed him to compile for the first time the thousands of termssuch as Amnesty International and Tiananmenthat prompt Skype in China to intercept typed messages and send copies to its computer servers in the country. Some messages are blocked altogether.J

ust How Fast Are Chinas Internet Censors? Very. (March 8, 2013, China Real Time)I

n our data set, 5% of the deletions happened in the first 8 minutes, and within 30 minutes, almost 30% of the deletions were finished.considering the big data set that Weibo has to process, the speed, especially at the 5 to 10 minutes peak, is fast, especially considering it cannot be processed in a fully automated way, the authors write.

CULTURE / EDUCATION / HISTORY

Let's not forget (March 4, 2013, Analects)

As a teenager during Chinas Cultural Revolution, Zhang Hongbing provided the tip that led to his own mothers execution.

16 hired test takers caught taking Shanghai University entrance exam (March 5, 2013, Shanghaiist)

Sixteen applicants to Shanghai University's department of painting and digital arts have been rejected for hiring surrogate test takers to sit the department's entrance exam in their place.

How China came to worship the mango during the Cultural Revolution (March 7, 2013, The Telegraph)

It was one of the most peculiar moments of the 20th century, when millions of Chinese workers started fervently worshipping mangoes in honour of Chairman Mao.

China hires Greg Norman to groom golfers for 2016 Olympics (March 8, 2013, CBS)

China is turning to Greg Norman to identify and coach its best players for the Olympics.The China Golf Association on Friday appointed Norman the exclusive advisory coach of its national golf team to get ready for the 2016 Games in Brazil and improve China's global standing in golf beyond the Olympics. Norman, a two-time British Open champion and former No. 1 player in the world, will develop a comprehensive plan of instruction, nutrition, mental training and course management, along with providing his own tournament experience. He will appoint two assistant coaches to work with the China Golf Association staff. Norman will make regular visits to the national team's training facility in Nanshan leading up to the 2016 Olympics.

FOOD / TRAVEL

Chinese New Year Infographic (February 24, 2013, China Adventurer Travel Blog)

Ever wanted to know the facts behind Chinese New Year? Here is China Adventurers, Chinese New Year Infographic filled with tons of info about the worlds largest human migration.

LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGE LEARNING

4 Basic Tools for Chinese Keyword Research (February 28, 2013, East West Connect)

What will change the most in Chinese Language Learning in the next 5-10 years? (March 7, 2013, Study More Chinese)

It's prediction time What do you think will change the most in learning Chinese in the next 5-10 years? It can be anything and there's no wrong answer, just what do you think?

A Pinyin Opinion (March 6, 2013, ChinaSource)

I am frequently asked for advice on how to learn Chinese. My answer always includes a pitch for perfecting pinyin. (Pinyin is a system which romanizes Chinese Characters, whereby is rendered nihao.) In my observation, despite the fact that Chinese textbooks typically cover pinyin thoroughly in their opening pages, most students of Chinese only muddle along, clear on some sounds, like "ma" and "dou", but fuzzy on others, like "xu" and "zhi".

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

(Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

Catholic Belief in Rural Chinese Culture:Evidence from Catholicism in North China during the Late Qing Dynasty (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

RESOURCES

Connected China (Reuters mobile app)

Image credti: Nanpu Bridge, by dove lee, via Flickr