ZGBriefs

May 9, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

China Rising (May 4, 2013, Al Jazeera)

Special Series: After centuries of western dominance, the worlds centre of economic and political weight is shifting eastward. In just 30 years, China has risen from long-standing poverty to being the second largest economy in the world faster than any other country in history. From angry farmers to weary migrant workers, powerful politicians and everyone in between, what China says and does, has become of undeniable importance to the entire world.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Xi's Reforms Face Big Obstacles (May 2, 2013, The National Interest)

The central theme of Xis tenure is what he calls the China dream of national revival, an imprecise pledge to restore the national greatness that it enjoyed long ago. Official versions of Chinese history contend, with some justification, that a century or more of foreign meddling brought division and humiliation to the land before the Communists took over. Historical reality is much more complex, of course, but Xi is trying to impose inspirational and popular goals on a nation that abandoned Maoist ideology years ago and has not found a substitute.

Xi Jinping and the Chinese dream (May 4, 2013, The Economist)

Countries, like people, should dream. But what exactly is Mr Xis vision? It seems to include some American-style aspiration, which is welcome, but also a troubling whiff of nationalism and of repackaged authoritarianism.

Fang Lizhi uses posthumous autobiography to deny any role in Tiananmen protests (May 5, 2013, South China Morning Post)

Fang Lizhi was not a "black hand" behind the pro-democracy movement in 1989, he says in a newly published posthumous autobiography. Rather, it was his innate character as a scientist - perseverance in pursuing the truth - that led him to be named China's most-wanted man and forced him into exile, he writes.

China Needs Justice, Not Equality (May 6, 2013, Foreign Affairs)

Chinas new leaders have interpreted recent unrest as being fueled by anger about inequality. But most Chinese find the gap between rich and poor relatively unproblematic. If the Xi administration hopes to settle the country, it needs to start focusing on the real reasons citizens are taking to the streets: injustice and corruption.

Anatomy of a Protest: Kunming citizens voice concern over chemical plant (May 6, 2013, East by Southeast)

Saturdays peaceful protest in Kunming may be the first of many against a polluting PX chemical plant slated for construction inside Kunmings city limits. Nearly 2000 people participated in the well organized protest, and the crowd met zero resistance from the 200+ police and public security officers sent to the site to maintain order.

Abbas and Netanyahu on separate China visits (May 6, 2013, BBC)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are in China for separate talks with top officials. Mr Abbas, who met President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, said he would explain obstacles to talks with Israel. Mr Netanyahu, who is visiting Shanghai before flying to Beijing later this week, was due to sign trade deals and discuss the issue of Iran. The two men are not expected to meet while they are in China.

India and China 'pull back troops' in disputed border area (May 6, 2013, BBC)

India and China have started pulling back troops from disputed territory near the two countries' de facto border, India's foreign ministry says. Soldiers were said to have set up camps facing each other on the ill-defined frontier in Ladakh region last month. The two sides held a series of talks to resolve the row and on Sunday, agreed to withdraw the troops. The two countries dispute several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Pentagon accuses China of trying to hack US defence networks (March 7, 2013, The Guardian)

China is using espionage to acquire technology to fuel its military modernisation, the Pentagon has said, for the first time accusing the Chinese of trying to break into US defence computer networks and prompting a firm denial from Beijing. In its 83-page annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments, the Pentagon also cites progress in Beijing's efforts to develop advanced-technology stealth aircraft and build an aircraft carrier fleet to project its power further offshore.

Beijing Walking a Fine Line With Environmental Protests (May 8, 2013, China Real Time)

This past weekend saw two attempts to break the stalemate over the nature of policy-making in China. One came in the streets as tensions bubbled between China National Petroleum Corp. and residents in two separate cities in southwestern ChinaKunming and Chengdu where the state oil giant is building petrochemical plants. [] The other effort to bust a stalemate appeared in the Party media, in the form of a widely-distributed commentary on Tuesday about the weekend demonstrations from the authoritative Peoples Daily.

China detains activist Liu Ping on subversion charges (May 8, 2013, The Guardian)

Chinese police have detained an activist agitating for officials to disclose their assets on subversion charges, her lawyer said on Wednesday, underscoring the limits of an anti-corruption push by President Xi Jinping. Xi, who became Communist party chief in November and president in March, has called for a crackdown on corruption, warning, as many have before him, that the problem is so severe it could threaten the party's survival.

In China, Power Is Arrogant (May 8, 2013, The New York Times, by Yu Hua)

That people will be unhappy is no cause for concern because, for so long, the power of the state has trampled on individual rights. Only when rules are so onerous that they stir actual protest do higher-ups take notice: You guys are just making a mess of things, theyll tell their bureaucrat underlings. This is not good for social stability. The rules are then quietly rescinded sometimes.

RELIGION

Current Needs for Missional China (Spring, 2013, ChinaSource Quarterly)

The role of the church in China as it increasingly becomes a missionary-sending church is explored based on past experiences and lessons learned. The article considers the importance of developing a missionary strategy, providing adequate cross-cultural training that goes beyond the classroom and developing a comprehensive field coordination infrastructure. It also takes a brief look at the church in today's China.

Man of the Word Wang Ming Dao (March 4, 2013, The Gospel in China)

The subject of last years biographical study was Wang Mingdao, a pastor in Beijing who was imprisoned from 1955 to 1980. He died in 1991 at the age of 91.

A Xinjiang Pastor on How to Discern True and False Gods (May 7, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

This article, posted on the mainland site Christian Times is a summary of an internet post by a pastor from Xinjiang Autonomous Region on how to discern true and false gods. The context of the article is resurgence of the Eastern Lightning cult last winter. The pastor reminds believers to focus on the attributes of God when discerning false teachings from true teachings. He then spells out five categories of false gods in Chinese culture.

SOCIETY / LIFE

Journalism in China: Impacting Policy in a Changing Media Landscape (Video Interview with Melissa Chan) (May 2, 2013, Asia Pacific Memo)

Currently a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, and former China correspondent for Al Jazeera, journalist Melissa Chan discusses the changing media landscape in China and the role played by foreign correspondents.

Three dead in knife attack in downtown Beijing (May 4, 2013, Xinhua)

A knife-wielding man stabbed two people to death and injured another in downtown Beijing Saturday, local police said. The assailant also died from injuries suffered while resisting police arrest. The man attacked vehicle drivers and passengers with a knife on a ramp of a road near Guangqumen Bridge at about 2 p.m., the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said in a statement. Of the three he injured, two died at hospital after emergency medical treatment failed and the other one was still under treatment, the statement said.

Staying Power: A New Five-Year Visa May Be On Its Way (May 6, 2013, The Beijinger)

2013 is shaping up to be the year of visa reforms for foreigners in China in addition to new measures for collecting biometric data (i.e. fingerprints) from foreigners and tightened-up enforcement, officials are also considering draft regulation for two new types of visas: the R1 and R2 visas.

Why Have Recent School Murders Gripped the Chinese Psyche? (May 6, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Whereas gun control, school shootings, and other mass attacks have made headlines over the past year in the U.S., poisonings have gripped the Chinese psyche. Guns are strictly controlled in China and far fewer people possess them. In both the U.S. and China, the victims have been students young and hard-working, with full lives ahead of them. In both countries, these victims represent hope for the future.

Video: Evan Osnos on the 'High Bar' of the New 'Chinese Dream' (May 7, 2013, Asia Society)

But what is the Chinese Dream? Who can realistically attain it? What are the obstacles Xi faces in trying to turn dream into reality? We asked these questions and more to Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker and 2007 winner of Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize. Osnos wrote about the Chinese Dream on his Letter From China blog, and is working on a book on the subject to be published in 2014.

China to Press Ahead With Hukou Reform (May 7, 2013, Economic Observer)

The reform will make it easier for migrant workers to settle in cities by gradually removing obstacles to obtaining a residence permit and by introducing a uniform system across the country.

China is unhappy (May 7, 2013, Shadow Government)

The findings of two social scientists, Jiayuan Li and John W. Raine, when combined with the conclusions of Inglehart et. al. about happiness and legitimacy has consequences for how we and Chinese leaders should think about the CCP's longevity.

Police step up fight against jaywalkers (May 7, 2013, Xinhua)

Beijing's traffic authority announced on Monday it is getting tougher in its continuing campaign against pedestrians and cyclists who ignore red lights. Traffic police took up positions at 150 major junctions during rush hours on Monday and many jaywalkers were fined. "The campaign against jaywalkers has been going on since April, and 20,000 cases have been reported so far," said Jiang Jing, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau. Under a new regulation, pedestrians and cyclists who ignore red lights will be fined 10 yuan ($1.60) and 20 yuan on the spot.

China poisoning case sparks White House petitions flurry (May 8, 2013, BBC)

A 19-year-old poisoning case has sparked a rush of interest in the US White House petitions site from Chinese internet users. Over 130,000 users have signed a petition demanding the US investigate a woman they call a suspect in the 1994 poisoning incident. A number of other petitions have since been posted by Chinese users, on topics ranging from pollution to tofu. The online platform is designed to help Americans to petition their government.

HEALTH

Navigating China's perilous health care system along the Street of Eternal Happiness (May 6, 2013, Marketplace)

Yao has come face-to-face with one of the biggest challenges of Chinas healthcare system. Public hospitals in China dont receive enough funding from the government, so doctors are forced to look elsewhere for money.

Fake meat racket foiled in China video (May 7, 2013, The Guardian)

More than 900 people have been arrested in China for selling fake or tainted meat in the last three months. Rat, fox and mink meat had allegedly been passed off as mutton in Shanghai markets. Police have confiscated more than 20,000 tonnes of fake meat products after breaking up illegal food plants.

New regulations attempt to staunch antibiotic abuse (May 8, 2013, Shanghaiist)

The National Health and Family Planning Commission announced a new regulation Tuesday, limiting the use of antibiotics in general and specialized state-owned hospitals. According to the Shanghai Daily, health officials said "local hospitals use excessive amounts of antibiotics," a claim substantiated by previous estimations made by the commission. China Daily reported that the commission previously found that an average of 138 grams of antibiotics were taken per year by each person on the Chinese mainland - about 10 times the amount of antibiotics consumed by the US.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Amazon Appstore officially launches in China (May 6, 2013, Shanghaiist)

Techies will be shocked to hear that Amazon debuted its Appstore for China this week, contrary to the company's Asia-Pacific Appstore expansion plan from last month that notably excluded China.The new Appstore features a combination of local and foreign apps. Popular app titles include WeChat, Youku, Weibo, QQ, and Angry Birds of course.

Have A Problem With Your China Counterparty? DO NOT Go Visit Them. (May 6, 2013, China Law Blog)

A few weeks ago, a China risk consultancy contacted us regarding their own China legal matter. During our conversation, the caller went off and said that he really liked our posts on how to avoid getting kidnapped in China. He then told me that so far this year, not a single week had passed without his company having been called in to deal with a hostage or hostage-like situation.

Beijing poised to raise taxi fares (May 7, 2013, Shanghai Daily)

Beijing is set to raise taxi fares, the Municipal Development and Reform Commission said today. The city's flag-down rate is going to increase from 10 yuan (US$1.6) to 13 yuan and a 1-yuan fuel surcharge will be introduced. The rate per kilometer will be raised to 2.3 yuan or 2.6 yuan, according to CCTV news. Taxi drivers in the capital can earn up to 6,000 yuan to 6,800 yuan after the fare raise, officials said, adding that a public hearing on fare adjustments will be held two weeks later.

China's struggling automakers jump on SUV boom (May 7, 2013, AP)

This is China's Year of the SUV. Whatever their specialties used to be, automakers ranging from global brands to China's ambitious rookies are scrambling to cash in on the explosive popularity of sport utility vehicles.

A Shift in the Goals of Chinas Rich Abroad (May 7, 2013, China Real Time)

Chinas rich continue to want to invest and move abroad in large numbers, but their goals have begun to shift, consulting firm Bain & Company said in a report released Tuesday.

China's new leaders to quicken yuan reform, but caution remains (May 7, 2013, Reuters)

China's new batch of leaders may quicken the process of making the yuan fully convertible over the next few years to boost the currency's global clout and support wider financial reforms, but the pace of market opening could disappoint as caution remains. A cabinet meeting on Monday called for "operational plans" to achieve yuan convertibility under the capital account, a seemingly bolder push for change after a new administration took the helm in March.

ENVIRONMENT / TECHNOLOGY / SCIENCE

Can Green and Red Coexist? How Tibets Environmental Challenges Have Become Untouchable (May 6, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

China faces serious environmental challenges nationwide, and Tibet is no exception. As announced in the countrys 12th five year plan, Tibet was slated to become a mining center and a hydropower engine. While the environmental impacts of mining are well-known, those of hydropower are less so.

FOOD / TRAVEL /ARTS

Inside a Puer tea factory (Go Kunming)

While the best pu'er is produced by small-scale growers the vast majority is made in much more prosaic, industrial surroundings. The pu'er-making process we saw at the factory involved the same steps we had seen when visiting smaller scale producers, but carried out in a much more regimented, high-tech fashion.

Punk music scene in China video (May 6, 2013, The Guardian)

When the Sex Pistols were singing God Save the Queen in 1977, China still banned most forms of pop music, and Mao ruled supreme. Nearly 40 years later, punk is alive and kicking in Beijing

L.A. opens tourism office in Shanghai (May 7, 2013, Los Angeles Time)

In hopes of welcoming more big-spending foreign visitors, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Monday that the city has opened a tourism office in Shanghai, the second for Los Angeles in China.

Top 10 Most Mysterious Travel Destinations in China (May 8, 2013, China Adventurer Travel Blog)

Red Obsession Documentary Traces Chinas Bordeaux Boom (May 9, 2013, China Real Time)

Mr. Ross, who owns a vineyard in Australia, traveled to China five times for the film, visiting both growers and collectors to see how the Chinese were learning how to drink and make wine. Red Obsession, narrated by Russell Crowe, screened last month at the Tribeca Film Festival and will open in the U.S. later this year.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

#Pinyin Perfect (May 7, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)

As a Chinese teacher, I feel like I am at war. The enemy is a voice in the back of my students' minds repeating "you can't do this." If they quit, the battle is lost. In this war, time is of the essence. I must help students achieve a steady string of quick, small victories until they prove to themselves "I can do this."

What's In A Brand Name? Chinese Brand Names Of Multinationals (May 7, 2013, Hutong School)

After enjoying your sparrows nest coffee while smoking your 10 000 treasure road, you drive your treasured horse to the nearest family blessing.Meaning: after having your Nescaf coffee and smoking your Marlboro cigarette, you drive your BMW to the nearest Carrefour.

HISTORYChinese Restaurants in America (The China Story)

In his 1925 account of Chinese restaurants in America, G. H. Danton introduces the reader to the cuisine, clientele and commercial considerations of the industry which had supplanted the Chinese laundryman in typifying for America where China is.

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

“文革”的暴发户——国家文物局 Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

汶川地震5周年 看地震给教会带来的影响  (May 9, 2013, The Gospel Times)

RESOURCES

Street view maps of Chinese cities (Soso)

Biographical Dictionary of CHINESE ChristianityRecording the life stories of significant figures in Chinese Christianity across the centuries and around the world.

Chengdu street snack app (Jing Theory)

BOOKS

Top 10 coolest novels about modern China (May 3, 2013, World of Chinese)

China's barbaric one-child policy (May 5, 2013, The Guardian)

For more than 30 years, China has upheld a strict one-child policy. And despite the country's growing prosperity, novelist Ma Jian discovered that ruthless squads still brutally enforce the law with vast fines and compulsory sterilisations and abortions

The Environment in China and the Return of Civil Society (April 14, 2013, The China Story)

China and the Environment: The Green Revolution, edited by Sam Geall of Chinadialogue.net , offers five substantial case studies of how Chinese environmental activists and ordinary citizens are dealing with the problems in their midst. The introduction to the volume by the veteran journalist and a founder of Chinadialogue, Isabel Hilton, presented below, offers valuable insights into the civic will to make China more liveable, a will that drives the countrys environmental movement today.

Review: Unsavory Elements, Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China (May 8, 2013, Shanghaiist)

Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China is a collection of stories by disparate writers bound together by one thing, China. Edited by Tom Carter, best known for his photography collection China: Portrait of a People, and published by Earnshaw Books, Unsavory Elements features writing by Michael Meyer, Simon Winchester, Alan Paul, among others.

Behind the Bamboo Curtain (May 8, 2013, The Wall Street Journal)

Review of Strange Stones, by Peter Hessler

LINKS FOR RESEARCHERS

A Nomads Life (May 8, The China Story)

Ben Hillman conducts research on political change in Asia, democratization, ethnic conflict, post-conflict reconstruction and comparative local governance. He is based at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University, works as an advisor to the United Nations on issues of governance and institution-building and is Founding Chair of the Eastern Tibet Training Institute, a not-for-profit training center based in southwest China that provides free vocational training to unemployed Tibetan and other ethnic minority young people.

Image credit: Red Flags, by Morgann, via Flickr