ZGBriefs

October 3, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Confucius, the Bible, and Preaching (October 1, 2013, Chinese Church Voices)

This article is an interesting Christian response to Yu Dans popularization of Confucianism, arguing that what she preaches is really a watered down version of Confucianism watered down to make it more palatable. The author then wonders if the Church is in danger of doing the same thing watering down the Gospel in order to make it popular.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Mao-era style of self-criticism reappears on Chinese TV (September 26, 2013, Los Angeles Times)

Chinese people switching on their 7 p.m. television news might have done a double take, suspecting that the state broadcaster had mistakenly plugged in a tape from the 1970s before the death of Mao Tse-tung. For 24 minutes, the flagship Chinese news probably the television program with the largest viewership showed President Xi Jinping presiding over an extraordinary public session in which Communist Party cadres in engaged in self-criticism.

What Deng taught Xi Jinping: pragmatism trumps ideology (September 28, 2013, East Asia Forum)

When Xi Jinping became leader of the Chinese Communist Party he chose the location of his first official visit carefully. He did not pay tribute at Maos tomb, or tour the rural heartland of Hu Jintao. Instead, the new General Secretary travelled to Shenzhen, a prosperous special economic zone once overseen by his father. There he laid flowers at a bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping.

China premier pledges to 'accelerate' economic reforms (October 1, 2013, AFP)

China's Premier Li Keqiang pledged to "accelerate" government efforts to restructure the world's second-largest economy on Monday, the eve of the country's National Day. "Development is our top priority," Li said to an audience of 2,500 guests at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. "We will accelerate the shift in growth model, intensify economic restructuring and make vigorous efforts to boost domestic demand."

A devious blueprint to empower the party (October 1, 2013, Asia Times Online)

Everything has to change in order to change nothing. That is the central message of an ingenious blueprint for the Chinese Communist Party to retain power in the face of worries that reforms may stall and lead back to a Maoist path. According to the blueprint, in charting a course to make China great President Xi Jinping would do well to look to Western democracies for inspiration. Timing is everything.

Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng Joins Witherspoon Institute (October 1, 2013, Business Week)

Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese lawyer and human-rights activist, is joining the Witherspoon Institute, a research center that says it works to enhance public understanding of the moral foundations of free and democratic societies. Chen, who fled China last year with the diplomatic intervention of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be a distinguished fellow with the Princeton, New Jersey-based group, according to institute official Matthew Franck.

The word struggle creeps people out (October 2, 2013, China Media Project)

In an article last week in Singapores Lianhe Zaobao, CMP Director Qian Gang outlined the emergence in recent weeks of public opinion struggle, a new hardline term to characterize the Chinese Communist Partys bid for dominance over public opinion

RELIGION

China's Christian churches reduce leaders' age ceiling (September 12, 2013, China Daily)

China's top Christian authority has decided to lower the age ceiling for its senior religious leaders as part of efforts to include more energetic minds in the leadership. The chairman and vice-chairman of the country's two national Protestant associations the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China and the China Christian Council should be younger than 70 when elected, instead of the current maximum of 75, under the new constitutions of both associations.

Church as a new home for Chinese Christians in Finland (September 13, 2013, GB Times)

Like other immigrants, Chinese Christians are plunged into a totally new environment in Finland. Church serves the function of facilitating their integration.

Pastors Reaching and Ministering to Todays Generation (September 21, 2103, ChinaSource Quarterly)

How can pastors and church leaders minister to the younger generation at this opportune time? The author discusses five principles that include incarnational love, a compassionate attitude, helping the younger generation grow in godliness, perseverance and depth of character, enabling them to live out the gospel in a practical manner and leading them towards a God-sized vision.In order for pastors to effectively minister to the younger generation in China, we must first unpack postmodernism's influence; then we can talk about practical ways to minister.

The Postmodern Shift of Chinese Young People (September 21, 2013, ChinaSource Quarterly)

The author looks at the postmodern shift in China as he has observed it and from a very practical point of view. He goes on to give examples of how this shift affects education, employment and daily living within the nation.

Xi Jinping hopes traditional faiths can fill moral void in China: sources (September 29, 2013, Reuters)

President Xi Jinping believes China is losing its moral compass and he wants the ruling Communist Party to be more tolerant of traditional faiths in the hope these will help fill a vacuum created by the country's breakneck growth and rush to get rich, sources said. Xi, who grew up in Mao's puritan China, is troubled by what he sees as the country's moral decline and obsession with money, said three independent sources with ties to the leadership. He hopes China's "traditional cultures" or faiths - Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism - will help fill a void that has allowed corruption to flourish, the sources said.

Christian bookstore accuses Shanxi police of selling confiscated books (October 2, 2013, South China Morning Post)

Months after Chinese police raided a Christian bookstore in Shanxi province, confiscating thousands of books and arresting two Christian workers, the shop is suing local police for selling the books which they say were important evidence in an ongoing court case. Ren Lacheng and Li Wenxi, two Christians working for Enyu bookstore in Taiyuan, were sentenced to five and two years jail after they were found guilty of illegally operating a business in June. They have both appealed against their sentences. Enyu bookstore workers later discovered that books carrying their official stamp were being sold in a local market as used books. They ended up buying back a total of 226 books.

The Gospel with Chinese Characteristics: A Concrete Example of Cultural Contextualization(November, 2013, Global Missiology)

In this article I use Chinese culture to demonstrate what it means to do cultural contextualization. In order to avoid abstraction, the essay assumes a specific social setting. Each of the major sections considers a different question. How does one understand Chinese culture in view of Scripture? What are the false gospels of Chinese society? The article shows one way to share the true gospel in a way that is both faithful to the Bible and meaningful to Chinese people. The essay suggests merely one possible example of cultural contextualization. Therefore, people from different cultures can apply the process it uses to fit their own ministry context.

SOCIETY / LIFE

Watch: Translating Chinas Twitter Equivalent (September 27, 2013, China Real Time)

You keep up with Twitter, but what about Chinas counterpart Sina Weibo, the countrys main online forum for news, gossip and complaints? The WSJs Eva Tam explores whether its possible for those who dont speak Chinese to avoid getting lost in translation.

Petitioners Tales, No. 5 (September 30, 2013, World of Chinese)

The petitioners who come to Beijing are some of the most diverse, interesting, patriotic, and heroic people in China. These are their stories.

Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children (September 28, 2013, BBC)

Chinese police have rescued 92 abducted children and held 301 suspected members of a huge trafficking network, the authorities say. They say two women were also freed in an operation involving police forces in 11 provinces of the country. The traffickers are believed to have targeted children in the south-western Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and then sold them in other regions.

HowGen Y Is Changing Office Culture in China (October 2, 2013, China Real Time)

Like Ms. Wang, a growing number of young Chinese workers are asserting themselves more and demanding their voices be heard in the workplace. Thats according to Ning Lu, China business director for U.S.-based consulting firm InclusionINC, who says so-called members of Generation Ywhich it defines as those born in the period 1980-97will vote with their feet and quit their jobs if they dont get what they want.

National Day holiday: Golden Week, or golden mess? (October 3, 2013, Xinhua)

Highways turned into "free parking lots;" high-speed trains shuttled with the minimum possible intervals but still struggled to take the strain; armed police were summoned to help evacuate stranded crowds. These are not screen shots from Hollywood blockbuster 2012 but rather a reality show currently taking place in China, where 1.3 billion people are on their 14th week-long National Day holiday. Since the holiday kicked off on Tuesday, relatively comfortable weather across the country, toll-free highways, admission ticket discounts, and lower gas prices have combined to make this so-called Golden Week the best time for traveling. At least that was the theory. But such miracles rarely happen when millions of minds think alikethe hustle and bustle of crowds have been seen almost everywhere.

Xinhua Insight: Urban homeless reveal loose ends of China's urbanization (October 3, 2013, Xinhua)

Sociologists said the increasing urban homeless population has become a prominent issue as China experiences rapid urbanization, which has sent massive waves of rural people into cities.

EDUCATION / HISTORY

For Some NYU Students, A Sweet Deal To Study In Shanghai (September 25, 2013, NPR)

The NYU Shanghai campus aspires to educate a new generation of students who can speak English and Mandarin and navigate U.S. and Chinese culture. For many first-year students like Ulan who are willing to take the plunge, there is an added benefit: huge tuition breaks.

British adventurer's re-education in China (September 27, 2013, BBC)

The British diplomat Robert Ford, who has died aged 90, was captured by communist troops in Tibet in 1950 and spent five years being re-educated. Michael Bristow looks back at this pivotal moment in his life.

Wellesley College partnership with China university tested by threats to outspoken professor Xia Yeliang (October 1, 2013, CBS News)

The announcement of a vote on Xia's tenure comes just months after Wellesley College in the United States, announced an academic partnership with Peking University at a June conference in Beijing, where celebrated alums including Madeleine Albright spoke. Now that partnership is under fire from almost 40 percent of the Wellesley's faculty.

A Sounder Education for China (October 3, 2013, The China Story)

The author reflects on the changes in China since 1900 and points out the issues with Chinese learning, urging for a sounder education.

HEALTH

The Enigma of Chinese Medicine (September 28, 2013, The New York Times)

A few years ago, while visiting Beijing, I caught a cold. My wife, who is Chinese, and wanted me to feel better, took me to a local restaurant. After we sat down, she ordered a live turtle. The proprietors sent it over. I startled as the waiters unceremoniously cut the turtles throat, then poured its blood into a glass. To this frightening prospect, they added a shot of baijiu, very strong grain alcohol. The proprietor and waiters, now tableside, gestured with obvious pride for me to drink the potent medicine. I winced, found the courage, and drank up.

Infographic: Markups, Kickbacks, and Sellouts: Whats Wrong with Chinas Medical System (October 3, 2013, Teal Leaf Nation)

China hornets kill 41 in north since July (October 3, 2013, BBC)

Attacks by hornets in northern China have killed 41 people since July, state-run media report.More than 1,600 people have also been injured by stings in Shaanxi province, according to China News Agency. It says 206 people are still being treated in hospital, with 37 patients remaining in a critical condition.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Shanghai's free trade zone raises hopes (September 26, 2013, BBC)

The plan, which has some powerful backers including China's Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, is being seen as deeply significant - a sign that the country's leadership is preparing to test out important, and long awaited, economic reforms. Some are already drawing parallels with China's great architect of economic transformation, Deng Xiaoping.

Understanding Chinas unbalanced growth (September 30, 2013, East Asia Forum)

That Chinas growth is unbalanced is a fact. Consumption as a share of GDP has declined steadily over the past decade to 35 per cent, while investment as a share of GDP has risen to above 45 per cent the lowest and the highest rates of any major economy respectively. But are these imbalances a vulnerability as most observers believe or a consequence of Chinas economic rise, and therefore not inherently problematic?

China to be 'world's top gold buyer this year' (October 2, 2013, AFP)

China is set to overtake India to become the world's top gold consumer this year, as the driving forces in the market shift from West to East, an industry association said Tuesday.

Talk of Inheritance Tax Sparks Debate in China (October 3, 2013, China Real Time)

Whether or not to tax the dead has become a big question in China. The country doesnt currently have an inheritance taxalso commonly known as the death or estate taxa levy paid by people who inherit money or property, or a tax on someones estate after they die. But a recent media report has sparked discussion about whether China should start levying such a tax, and if so, how heavy rates should be.

China recycling cleanup jolts global industry (October 3, 2013, AP)

China for years has welcomed the world's trash, creating a roaring business in recycling and livelihoods for tens of thousands. Now authorities are clamping down on an industry that has helped the rich West dispose of its waste but also added to the degradation of China's environment.

China invests billions in Asia energy deals (October 4, 2013, New Zealand Herald)

Xi visited Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in September and signed sizeable business deals with all four countries. The pattern of spending confirms that Chinese foreign investment flows are largely determined by the political leadership.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

Siberian tigers making a comeback in China (October 1, 2013, The Los Angeles Times)

The Siberian tiger was once considered nearly extinct in China. Environmentalists praise the nation's effort to restore habitat.

ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

5 Best Websites to Watch Chinese Movies Online (September 26, 2013, China Whisper)

Unscrolling the history of China's art (September 28, 2013, The Guardian)

What do we really know about Chinese art? As a major V&A show celebrates 1,200 years of Chinese painting, Kate Kellaway travels east to encounter a parallel universe and the contemporary artists reinterpreting the past.

FOOD / TRAVEL / CULTURE

These photos of National Day crowds will make you glad you stayed home (October 3, 2013, Shanghaiist)

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

On the Character (October 1, 2013, World of Chinese)

On the left is the character (h), meaning grain; on the right is (du), a container for measurement. Together, it means measuring the grain to decide its quality and class.

BOOKS

Eight Questions: Larry M. Wortzel, Chinese Military Power Goes Global (September 30, 2013, China Real Time)

China Real Time spoke with the author, a commissioner of the congressionally appointed U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, former director of the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation, and a 32-year veteran of the U.S. military. Edited excerpts:

Far China Station: The U.S. Navy in Asian Waters, 1800-1898 (October 2, 2013, China Rhyming)

Robert Johnsons Far China Station is an interesting addition to the naval literature on Sino-American history.

Jung Chang Rewrites an Empress (October 3, 2013, China Real Time)

Jung Chang has finally found a heroine she can believe in. Eight years after co-publishing a biography of Mao Zedong with her husband Jon Halliday, the Chinese-British author has turned her attentions to another charismatic despot: the Empress Dowager Cixi, a semi-literate concubine who effectively ruled China for decades until her death in 1908. While Mao: The Unknown Story catalogued Maos legacy of starvation and anguish, Ms. Changs Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, released Thursday, strives to rehabilitate its subjects place in history. Instead of casting the empress as a grasping, power-mad tyrant, as she is commonly perceived, the book hails Cixi as a figure who helped usher China into the 20th century.

ARTICLES FOR RESEARCHERS

Ideological Crackdown Reaches the Strongholds of Reform (September 27, 2013, China Brief)

ARTICLES IN CHINESE (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

EVENTS

25th National Catholic China Conference: "The American Catholic Church and China in an Era of Globalization" (October 4-6, 2013, Loyola University Downtown Campus)

2nd Annual Child Worker Conference 2013, Guangzhou, November 19-23, 2014)

Sponsored by DawenThe Bridge.Theme: Working with Childrens Hearts.Dawen/The Bridge is hosting their second China-wide conference for Child Workers. This conference is open to all those who work with children in orphanages, kindergartens, or schools and whether they be migrant children, street kids, or other kinds of children. Through the plenary sessions and a wide range of supplementary workshops and opportunities to network together with other Child Workers, the conference aims to equip those who work with children to do so from the heart, with greater skills, more confidence, and stronger support.  

Image credit: Huangshan Mountains, by Alex Dunlop, via Flickr