ZGBriefs

May 30, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

A lot of nice-sounding words (May 24, 2013, The Economist)

CHEN GUANGCHENG is a blind Chinese activist who left his country a year ago, soon after taking refuge in the American embassy in Beijing. Mr Chen was in London recently to receive an award for his work defending the rights of rural Chinese women. The Economist's China Editor, Rob Gifford, caught up with him at the Houses of Parliament, to ask him about recent changes in China and about his own exile.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

A tussle in China over the Communist Party bowing to the Constitution (May 24, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

Constitutionalism has become a code word in China for broad political reform, including the rule of law. The concept is a battleground for liberals and conservatives vying for influence at the top of the Communist Party as a new government establishes itself in Beijing.

Corrupt Chinese officials turn to 'black' PR (May 26, 2013, The Telegraph)"It does not matter how big or sensitive the story is, we can make it disappear," promised a manager at Yage Times,China's largest and most notorious "black" public relations (PR) firm.Dozens of Chinese officials have been put under investigation in recent months, and Communist Party members at every level are genuinely worried, according to the children of two senior cadres. In particular, they fear the internet, where stories about corrupt officials often go viral, putting pressure on the Communist party to launch a high-profile investigation.

Liberal economist Mao Yushi warns of a 'leftist revival' in China (May 27, 2013, South China Morning Post)

Indeed, the campaign against Mao Yushi is part of broad effort by leftists to revive Maoism, a movement which has fallen out of favour over three decades of economic reform by the Communist Party. The campaign has gained momentum as the new leadership seeks to tighten ideological control and crack down on dissent.

Whose Chinese Dream are we dreaming of when we dream China's Dream? (May 27, 2013, Shanghaiist)

The literal word-by-word translation of the 'Chinese Dream' in Mandarin is simply 'China' and 'dream'. How conveniently ambiguous. But in which way should it really be translated? "China's dream" or "Chinese Dream"? The rhetoric in Xi Jinping's new slogan kickstarted a flurry of conversation among Chinese liberals and reformers, highlighting the chasm between the aspirations of the party and those of the individual.

Targets Of Disgraced Bo Xilai Still Languish In Jail (May 27, 2013, NPR)

This was July 2009, and Li Qiang's arrest was one of the first in Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai's highly publicized campaign against the mafia. Now, 14 months after Bo was detained on, some victims of his campaign are going public for the first time with accounts of a process that flouted the law at almost every stage. Many others still languish in jail, despite the fall of those who put them there.

Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies (May 27, 2013, Washington Post)

Designs for many of the nations most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry. Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.

China says it has no need to steal U.S. military secrets (May 30, 2013, Reuters)

China's Defense Ministry dismissed as ridiculous on Thursday a U.S. report that Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems, saying the country needed no outside help for its military development. The Washington Post cited a U.S. Defense Science Board report as saying that the compromised U.S. designs included those for combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defenses vital for Europe, Asia and the Gulf. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng dismissed the report, which the Pentagon and other U.S. defense officials have downplayed as outdated and overstated.

RELIGION

The Milk Powder Crisis as a Christian Spiritual Lesson (May 24, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

On March 6, 2013, the mainland site Christian Times published the article translated below, under the title, The Milk Powder Crisis as a Spiritual Lesson: Have You Mixed Additives to Spiritual Milk? In it, the author urges Christians to keep their focus on Christ and the Word, and not rely on works or other spiritual additives.

Marking the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (May 24, 2013, National Review)

The World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is a high point of Catholics year because, many told me, its the only day they feel connected to the global church.

Preaching the Gospel to the Tiger Mom (May 27, 2013, Jackson Wu)

From the perspective of tradition Protestant Christianity, the prescription seems rather obvious. That voice would no doubt explain, This woman is a legalist who needs to hear that we are not saved by works. We are justified through faith! However, that answer is only obvious at face level.

Feeding the Chinese Church, a Bittersweet Battle (Media Associates International)

Nourishing Chinas swelling Church with quality books is akin to the Chinese proverb, You must eat the bitterest of bitter in order to taste the sweetest of sweet. Paul Peng, founder and CEO of Enoch Communications, faces formidable challenges publishing from the bustling city of Chengdu. Each of the 35 to 40 titles that Peng hopes to hand readers this year must be government-approved, a process ranging from 1 month to 7 years. Then, Enoch must purchase an ISBN number from a government-registered publishing house. Currently, 15-plus titles are awaiting numbers from 6 publishing houses.

SOCIETY

An Interview with Zeng Jinyan (May 27, 2013, The China Story)

The China Story Journal would like to thank Zeng Jinyan for sharing her insights on life in China today and the situation of rights activism. Zeng, born in 1983, is one of Chinas leading human rights activists. She is also a social commentator and documentary film-maker. In 2006, she rose to fame for blogging about her husband Hu Jia, a prominent dissident, who was in police custody but whose whereabouts were unknown.

Chinas Not Just Urbanizing Its Townizing (May 28, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

With Chinas rapid urbanization, a huge number of rural poor have been forced from their homes after developers, in league with local governments, repossess their land. The compensation landowners receive is often inadequate, and they respond by moving into large cities to find work. But while large Chinese cities offer the prospect of gainful employment, they are often expensive, forcing migrant workers to live in urban slums.

China announces convention on civilized tourist behavior (May 28, 2013, Xinhua)

The Chinese government on Tuesday promulgated a national convention calling on the Chinese people to take note of their behavior and act as civilized tourists when travelling. A combination of detailed regulations, the convention was issued by the National Tourism Administration and posted on the Chinese central government's website on Tuesday. "Being a civilized tourist is the obligation of each citizen," according to the convention, which singles out "protecting cultural relics" as one of the norms to be abided by tourists.

Chinese baby 'fell into sewage pipe accidentally' (May 29, 2013, BBC)

The Chinese baby that was rescued from a sewage pipe fell in accidentally, the baby's mother has said. The mother, who has not been named, reportedly told police she unexpectedly gave birth on the toilet and that the baby slipped in to the sewer. She is reported to have raised the initial alarm, despite not admitting it was her baby until later.

Move over 'ugly American,' China's tourists are in town (May 29, 2013, Christian Science Monitor)

The Chinese government is getting worried that as its newly rich citizen-tourists fan out across the world, their behavior is giving their country a bad name. The latest incident of Philistinism, in which a Chinese teenager scratched his name in a 3,500 year old bas relief in a temple in Luxor, in Egypt, has also triggered a tsunami of embarrassed anger among Chinas Internet community.

Communist Party Membership is Still the Ultimate Resume Booster (May 29, 2013, The Atlantic)

Despite a complex application process, some Chinese are quite eager to join the CCP. In large part, it is not because they believe in communist tenets, which China's period of economic liberalization has largely abandoned. It's not even because they have faith in the CCP itself, which seeks to project an image of technocratic competence but is often beset with corruption scandals. Instead, they join because becoming a Party member is a resume booster that can get a Chinese citizen promoted more rapidly, especially within government or state-owned-enterprises.

HEALTH

In China, 'cancer villages' a reality of life (May 29, 2013, CNN)

They say Wuli was once famed for wooded hills and fertile soil. Government officials came in the 1990s and promised riches. "All the local officials did was fill their pockets with money," says an older woman angrily. During this period, a number of textile companies moved into Wuli, building their plants across town. "All these factories should be moved, because they have caused the cancer," says one man, as others nod. "All of these factories should be removed from here."They tell us that Wuli is now a "cancer village."

EDUCATION / ARTS

Facing Toughest Job Market in History, Chinese Grads Ask, Whos to Blame? (May 23, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

The term hardest job-hunting season in history has become a buzzword in China recently. According to Chinas Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 6.99 million students will be graduating institutions of higher education this year, a record high since the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949.

50 Essential Chinese Films Retrospective from Fandor (May 24, 2013, Old China Books Book Blog)

Here is an extraordinary retrospective of Chinese Film from 1922 to the present day. Kevin B. Lee has assembled a variety of Chinese film for this video preview, including many early films from the 30s through the 50s.

Beijings Latest Worry: College Grads (May 27, 2013, China Real Time Report)

One reason for all the high anxiety about higher education is the fear of social instability. Even if they dont have to face an angry electorate anytime soon, the prospect of large numbers of better-educated urban youths facing employment problems is enough to make the new leadership team sit up and listen.

At Prestigious Peking University, a Debate Over the Chinese Dream (May 28, 2013, Time)

But far from instilling patriotism in the hearts of Peking University students, the Chinese-dream letter campaign has instead raised questions about the august schools ethos.

China in soft power push with foreign students (May 29, 2013, CNN)

As Chinese swell the ranks at western universities, the numbers of foreign students studying in China are also burgeoningincreasing by 10% in a year to more than 290,000 in 2011, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE). The push for foreign students is a deliberate strategy by the Chinese governmentthrough investment in scholarships and facilitiesto foster a greater understanding of their culture and language globally, and expand Beijing's "soft power," academics say.

Be nice to China: Hollywood risks 'artistic surrender' in effort to please (May 30, 2013, The Guardian)

Kow-towing to China has become a reflex for actors, writers, producers, directors and studio executives in pursuit of the world's second-biggest box office, a trend set to intensify as China overtakes the US as the No 1 film market.

Azusa Pacific Universitys PhD in Global Higher Education (May 30, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

In my last entry, I stressed the importance of having a high-level, high-impact Christian presence among the leadership in higher education institutions around the world, both Christian and non-Christian. In this post, I want to describe a program that, I believe, is the perfect vehicle for providing the tools for this presence. The program to which I am referring is

Azusa Pacific University's PhD program in Global Higher Education.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

China Plans to Reduce the States Role in the Economy (May 24, 2013, The New York Times)

The Chinese government is planning for private businesses and market forces to play a larger role in its economy, in a major policy shift intended to improve living conditions for the middle class and to make China an even stronger competitor on the global stage.

China's migrant worker pay growth nearly halved in 2012 (May 27, 2013, Reuters)

The annual increase in pay for China's 163 million migrant workers almost halved in 2012, an official survey showed on Monday, signaling a looser labor market as economic growth slows.The average monthly wage of migrant workers grew 11.8 percent in 2012 from the previous year to 2,290 yuan ($370). That marked a sharp slowdown from the annual 21.2 percent surge in 2011, according to the latest survey by the National Bureau of Statistics. The survey of China's rural labor force showed the number of migrants working outside their home towns grew 3 percent in 2012 from the previous year to 163.4 million. The pace eased from 3.4 percent in 2011.

Chinas Central Bank Has Its Own Worries (May 28, 2013, The New York Times)

While developed economies have worried whether international investors will keep showing up at their bond auctions if their central banks keep printing money, China has had a different worry. So many speculators want to move money into China that its biggest problem has been how to keep them out.

Fundamentals No Longer Driving China Housing Market? (May 28, 2013, Reuters)

China's loose monetary policy and strong pent-up housing demand will drive up home prices in 2013, but government cooling measures, including a wider trial program to tax property owners, will keep the market from running away.

China's appetite for pork spurs $4.7 billion Smithfield deal (May 29, 2013, Reuters)

China's Shuanghui International plans to buy Smithfield Foods Inc (SFD.N) for $4.7 billion to feed a growing Chinese appetite for U.S. pork, but the proposed takeover of the world's No. 1 producer has stirred concern in the United States. The transaction, announced on Wednesday, would rank as the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company, with an enterprise value of $7.1 billion, including debt assumption.

China Mobile Sees Future in 4G Amid Threat From Tencents WeChat (May 30, 2013, Bloomberg)

China Mobile, Ltd., the worlds largest phone company by users, sees its future in the expansion of fourth-generation service to help it cope with threats including Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700)s WeChat message app. The way that WeChat instant messaging replaces traditional telecom services is quite severe, China Mobiles Chairman Xi Guohua said at the companys annual shareholder meeting in Hong Kong today. The company must boost data usage and investment in 4G services in response, Xi said.

China buying up the world? (May 30, 2013, BBC)

This week, the largest acquisition of a US firm by a Chinese company was announced. Chinese pork producer Shuanghui International had an offer of $4.7bn accepted by US meat giant Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork producer. Just a fortnight earlier, China's State Grid, the world's largest utility firm, said it was investing in a couple of companies in Australia. And China is also branching out into movies. The new owner of US cinema chain AMC theatres, Wanda, is Chinese.

FOOD / TRAVEL

The Dessert Dilemma (May 23, 2013, Lets Eat China)

There is a dessert dilemma in China, the concept of sweets things at the end of the meal and on a separate plate seems entirely absent. There is the ice cream and fries fiasco. There is the fruit salad in which cut up pieces of fruit are generously drizzled in distinctly savoury salad cream, and then there is the deep fried sweet potato which has boiled sugar poured all over it and served with all the other savoury dishes.

Sneak Peek at Urumqis New High-Speed Rail Station (MAY 28, 2013, Far West China)

Urumqi to Beijing in 12 hours. Urumqi to Shanghai in less than 20 hours. Average speed of 350 km/hr (220 mph). An investment of 143 billion yuan. Its the worlds longest high-speed rail line and it is expected to open as early as 2015. This has the potential to completely change the face of Xinjiang travel and commerce. Consider this: it was only a century ago that such a journey by famous European explorers was measured in months, not hours.

Classic cars head from Great Wall to Paris (May 28, 2013, NBC)

About 100 classic cars started their 7,600 mile journey from Beijing to Paris as part of the 2013 Classic Car Rally. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

Learning how to learn Chinese through self-experimentation (May 21, 2013, Hacking Chinese)

If you conduct the experiment to learn more about yourself and the way you learn, no-one requires you to follow any rules, but it does make sense to follow the scientific method in general, because otherwise your results wont be reliable even for the single student. In case you havent done much research recently, here is a crash course in the scientific method:

The Consulting Vocabulary List in Chinese (May 23, 2013, Fluent U)

For those of us thatve chosen to go into the business, finance, consulting, hedge fund, private equity etc. route .. it may be useful to know some lingo before interviews or the first day on the job like synergies.

Another 45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics (May 27, 2013, carlgene.com)

The following is a collection of sentences in Mandarin which I believe are special in some way.What do I mean by special? Well, lets just say grammatically and structurally theyre not exactly typical, and in most cases they stand-alone as independent expressions. Plus, many of them contain elements of Chinese culture that set them apart from regular sentences.

HISTORY

Documentary about a childrens labour camp during the Great Leap Forward (in Chinese)Beijing of Dreams

This is a website which shows the lost Beijing of Dreams, using old photos surviving from the time when Beijing was the greatest walled capital city anywhere in the world.

The Study of Chinese Coins (The China Story)

In this article, Percy J. Smith introduces readers to the history of Chinese copper coins from the Zhou dynasty to Tang dynasty.

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

基督徒如何看政教关系 (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

RESOURCES

Pathlight: New Chinese WritingPathlight is a new English-language literary magazine produced by Paper Republic and People's Literature Magazine. Pathlight aims to introduce the best new writing and poetry from China, with occasional detours.

Image credit: East Nanjing Pedestrian Shopping Street, by David Veksler, via Flickr