ZGBriefs

September 12, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

At Sina Weibo's censorship hub, China's Little Brothers cleanse online chatter (September 11, 2013, Reuters)

Reuters got a glimpse of the Sina Weibo censorship office in Tianjin, half an hour from Beijing by high-speed train, one recent weekend morning. A dozen employees, all men, could be seen through locked glass doors from a publicly accessible corridor, sitting in cramped cubicles separated by yellow dividers, staring at large monitors. They more closely resembled Little Brothers than the Orwellian image of an omniscient and fearsome Big Brother. "Our job prevents Weibo from being shut down and that gives people a big platform to speak from. It's not an ideally free one, but it still lets people vent," said a second former censor.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Inner Mongolia detains dozens in Communist party internet crackdown (September 6, 2013, The Guardian)

Authorities in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have arrested 52 people for spreading "internet rumours", underscoring rising ethnic tensions in the area, a New York-based human rights group reported this week. The detainees are suspected of "deliberately stirring up ethnic relations [and] encouraging the masses to appeal for their interests in a radical way such as [organising] student strikes and protest demonstrations", the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre reported on 4 September, citing a local police statement posted late last month.

China, Japan leaders Xi and Abe meet at G20 (September 6, 2013, BBC)

The Chinese and Japanese leaders have shaken hands and spoken to each other in an unexpected meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit. China's Xi Jinping and Japan's Shinzo Abe have not met since they took power in March 2013 and December 2012 respectively. Ties between the two sides have been severely strained by a territorial dispute.

Shi Tao: China frees journalist jailed over Yahoo emails (September 8, 2013, The Guardian)

A Chinese reporter who was sentenced to prison in 2005 after Yahoo disclosed details of his email has been released, a writer's group has announced. Shi Tao had been released on 23 August, 15 months before the end of his sentence, the Independent Chinese Pen Centre said in a statement. There was no indication why Shi was released early. Shi was arrested in 2004 and sentenced to prison the following year on charges of disclosing state secrets. He had sent details of a government memo about restrictions on news coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary to a human rights forum in the United States.

China's Guangzhou to empty labour camps 'by year end' (September 9, 2013, BBC)

The last 100 inmates are to be released from labour camps in one of China's biggest cities, Guangzhou, by the end of the year, state media report. The city stopped sending new prisoners to the controversial camps in March. The police can send suspects for re-education for up to four years without a trial.

China's Stealth Campaign on Hong Kong (September 10, 2013, Asia Sentinel)

Before Hong Kong reverted to China in 1997, the departing British administration and the PRC government, without consulting the territory's then 6.7 million people, negotiated the Basic Law which was to apply to the Special Administrative Region for 50 years until 2047. Article 23 of the Basic Law obliges the territory to enact National Security legislation to prohibit treason, sedition, secession and subversion against the national government in Beijing.

RELIGION

Top political advisor meets Chinese Christian delegates (September 12, 2013, Xinhua)

Top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng met with delegates to the ninth National Chinese Christian Congress, China's top Christian authority, in Beijing on Thursday, congratulating the groups on the election of a new leadership. Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), spoke highly of the work by Chinese Christian groups in the past five years, saying they have contributed to the country's economic and social development.

Leaders elected for Chinese Christian groups (September 12, 2013, Xinhua)

A new leadership was elected Wednesday for the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC). Fu Xianwei was elected chairman of the TSPM and Gao Feng as president of the CCC on the final day of the ninth National Chinese Christian Congress, China's top Christian authority, in Beijing.

Tailored sermons proposed (September 12, 2013, China Daily)

Change could help pastors serve believers from diverse backgroundsChina's top Christian authority is encouraging tailored and flexible sermons, as traditional ways of preaching may not answer the needs of rural believers migrating to cities. Along with other migrant workers, a large number of Christians have moved to cities from rural areas amid rapid urbanization, said Elder Fu Xianwei, chairman of the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, one of the two major Christian associations in the country. The trend has led to diversified demands from religious services in cities, especially during Sunday sermons, as parishioners are seeking different comforts.

Religious Freedom and Legal Restrictions: Theory and Practice in China (Pacific Institute for Social Sciences)

SOCIETY / LIFE

Photos: Scenes From 21st-Century China (September 6, 2013, The Atlantic)

The People's Republic of China, the most populous country, and the second-largest economy, in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve. In this, the latest entry in a semi-regular series on China, we find a tremendous variety of images, including an earthquake in Gansu province, a massive rubber duck in Beijing, a narrow five-story nail house, and a replica of Pariscomplete with an Eiffel Tower. This collection offers only a small view of people and places across the country over the past few months.

In China, Avoiding The 'Great Firewall' Internet Censors (September 7, 2013, NPR)

In China, the Internet isn't the free-for-all that it is in the United States. China's communist government censors what's published and some of what's shared online. But some citizens are working around government censors by using agreed-upon "public" code.

Picking Death Over Eviction (September 8, 2013, The New York Times)

Besides the self-immolations, farmers have killed themselves by other means to protest land expropriation. One Chinese nongovernmental organization, the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, reported that in addition to 6 self-immolations last year, 15 other farmers killed themselves. Others die when they refuse to leave their property: last year, a farmer in the southern city of Changsha who would not yield was run over by a steamroller, and last month, a 4-year-old girl in Fujian Province was struck and killed by a bulldozer while her family tried to stop an attempt to take their land.

One sixth of Chinese floating (September 10, 2013, China Daily)

China has 236 million floating people - those who left their places of origin to seek employment or education elsewhere - in 2012, one sixth of its total population, with more than half of those labor-age born after 1980, said a health official on Tuesday. Wang Qian, director of the floating population division of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said that the new generation of the floating population, with an average age of 28 in 2012, leave home at a younger age and show more preference to living in big cities. Wang said 75 percent of the new generation left their hometown before they were 20 years old, and more than 70 percent expect to settle down in big cities.

Beijing To Crack Down On Social Media 'Slanderous Rumors' (September 10, 2013, NPR)

China will jail anyone caught using social media to spread "slanderous rumors" or "false information" for up to 10 years, according to a new legal interpretation of Internet restrictions, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

Some of Chinas Prominent Internet Voices (September 10, 2013, The New York Times)

Here are some popular people on Sinas Weibo and some of their recent messages.

China Numbers: Rape, Discrimination & Weddings (September 12, 2013, The Economic Observer)

HEALTH

China school blast leaves two dead and 17 injured (September 9, 2013, BBC)

An explosion outside a school in southern China has killed at least two people and injured several others, state media say. At least 10 of the 17 people reported injured at the primary school in Guilin, Guangxi province, were school children, police say. Witnesses told Xinhua news agency they saw a three-wheeled vehicle pull up to the school before the explosion. The cause of the explosion remains unclear.

Amid Scandals, Can Chinas New Organ Transplant System Work? (September 10, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

As long as organ transplants have been available in China, the vast majority of organs for transplantation have been taken from executed prisoners, often without their consent. The Chinese government has vowed to phase out this unethical and politically embarrassing practice by August 2015. A pilot organ donation program was launched three years ago. So far this year, according to official statistics, the portion of transplanted organs from executed prisoners has dipped to under 54%, and cadaver organ donations from the general population has risen to 23%. Now the government appears to be taking further steps to meet its goal.

8 Tips For Healthy Living in China (September 12, 2013, My Health Beijing)

The secret to success here is to take control of your health choices, and its easier than it sounds.

EDUCATION / ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

Who is to blame for the worst graduate job market in Chinas history? (September 9, 2013, East Asia Forum)

Approximately 6.99 million students will graduate this year from Chinese colleges and universities, a new all-time high. This reflects Chinas attempt to upgrade its workforce by promoting higher education. But the labour market is sending some rather disappointing messages. Against the backdrop of the troubled world economy and faltering domestic demand, companies in China are increasingly losing their appetite for new hires. The Chinese media predicts that 2013 will be the most difficult job-hunting year in history for university graduates. So who is to blame for this? And what can be done to fix it?

Video: The Absent Artist (Canadian Broadcast Company)

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was barred from attending the Toronto opening of a new retrospective. In a Canadian broadcast exclusive, he spoke to the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi from his Beijing studio.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Is Using the Art of War for Doing Business in China a Good Concept? (September 5, 2013, China Business Leadership)

Is using the Art of War for doing business in China or anywhere a good concept?American Business Magazine, which I usually like, wrote about using Sun Tzu to manage your business.

U.S. firms enthusiasm for China cools as political, economic uncertainty deepens (September 6, 2013, The Washington Post)

American companies enthusiasm for investing in China has been dampened by a combination of policy uncertainty, an economic slowdown and narrowing profit margins, the head of the U.S.-China Business Council said Friday. Attacks on Western values and on foreign companies business practices this year have also unsettled some U.S. businesses operating in China, while barriers to foreign investment in many sectors of the economy remain substantial, escalating concerns about the extent to which the firms will be allowed to benefit from growth in the worlds second-largest economy.

China Business Culture (September 8, 2013, China Law Blog)

More importantly for our present purposes, however, is that Jason occasionally blogs on Chinese culture and intercultural communication and his posts are uniformly thoughtful and thought-provoking. Quite a while back, Jason did a blog post celebrating his 100th post and listing out what he considers his blogs greatest hits, which he describes as the five key posts that get at core issues around intercultural communication, especially regarding China.

You Cant Spell Success in China Without HR (September 9, 2013, China Solved)

If you are not training your senior managers and mid-level supervisors to negotiate relationships internally, you are exposing your China operation to unnecessary risk. To quote from the book - The Fragile Bridge: Conflict in Chinese business comes on without notice. By the time you know something is wrong, its probably too late to fix the situation

Video: Illustrating Chinas Shadow Banking Problem (September 9, 2013, China Real Time)

Perhaps the biggest wild card in the world economy right now is China. Will the worlds second-biggest economy keep growing strongly, or will it suffer for all the money its borrowed in the past five years? The WSJs Ken Brown explains a major risk in Chinas financial system.

Litigating In China. What You Need To Know. (September 10, 2013, China Law Blog)

Just came across a truly excellent article, entitled, Patent Procurement and Enforcement in China: A Field Guide. This guide was written by four Morrison & Foerster patent lawyers. Ken Xie, David Yang, Glenn Kubota, and Peng Li (formerly with MoFo). The article is in two parts. Part I consists of a nuts and bolts overview on China patent procurement. If you are considering filing a patent in China, you should read Part I of this article.

China's industrial output growth adds to recovery hopes (September 10, 2013, BBC)

China's industrial production rose by more than expected in August, the latest sign that the world's second-largest economy may be on the mend. Factory output climbed by 10.4% from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a figure closer to 9.9%. Other data released on Tuesday showed that retail sales and fixed asset investment also rose during the month.

Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage (September 11, 2013, BBC)

China's economy is going through a "crucial" stage of restructuring, says the country's Premier, Li Keqiang. At the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Mr Li pledged to improve relations with foreign firms. He stressed that multinationals would get "equal treatment" with state-owned enterprises. He added that China was well-placed to hit a growth target of 7.5% this year, despite a "complex" economic climate.

HISTORY / CULTURE

Video: Does the way you hold your chopsticks influence the way people see you? (August 7, 2013, erenlai magazine)

We asked around the office, asking both foreigner and Taiwanese people how the way people hold their chopsticks influences the way they feel they are perceived or the way they perceive others - we got a range of responses, some which contradicted one another, others which seemed to have been fabricated out of thin air. (Responses are both in Chinese and English)

Fashion of Tibet (September 11, 2013, World of Chinese)

Tibetan clothing has a strong connection with the people and climate of the Roof of the World, reflecting the history of the local people. Each area of Tibet has their own distinct folk costume due to the different natural and religious environments.

An Introduction to Modern Chinese Wedding Customs (September 11, 2013, Fluent U)

Do you hear that? The ringing of wedding bells in China. The sound of $80 billion being dropped on this booming industry. Cha-ching! So how much does the average Chinese wedding cost in China? What are some of the wedding traditions and customs that are a must know? With an average of 10 million couples tying the knot every year in China, and Id say its a topic to be a bit familiar with. Lets jump into it!

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

China vows to tackle air pollution (September 12, 2013, The Guardian)

China has revealed sweeping measures to tackle air pollution, with plans to close old polluting steel mills, cement factories and aluminium smelters, and slash coal consumption and boost the use of nuclear power and natural gas.

FOOD / TRAVEL

Rediscovering the Great Wall: Sidecar Rides (September 6, 2013, The Beijinger)

Feel the wind in your face and live dangerous biker fantasies as you zip along the wild Great Wall in a Beijing Sideways motorcycle sidecar. Travelling from the north of the city, youll get a quick stop at the Silver Pagodas, then weave through small villages before you arrive at the remote locations of either Huanghuacheng or Shengtengyu.

Pengzhou, Sichuan (September 11, 2013, Go Chengdoo)

Stretching north all the way to the Longmen Shan close to the epicenter of the 2008 quake, Pengzhou County ( ) has undergone a quick recovery and reconstruction and now offers an interesting mix of history, sightseeing, hiking, and wildlife to Chengdu weekend escapists.

Photo Essay: The Post and Telecommunications New Village of 1953, Shanghai (September 12, 2013, Life on Nanchang Lu)

The village, an island of old houses that have somehow escaped demolition in the face of Shanghai's relentless progress, sits alongside a wide canal. In the early 1950s China expanded and modernised its telecommunications network on a massive scale, and suddenly there were thousands of new workers needing a place to live. The village is all that remains of the large housing estate built by Shanghai Post and Telecommunications in 1953 to house them, a vestige of a time when you lived with the people you worked with, and had little choice about it.

LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING

China Not Mad for Mandarin (September 12, 2013, World of Chinese)

The Chinese name for Mandarin, Putonghua (/) or common tongue is therefore something of a misnomer. While it may be assumed that a common tongue might be of the people, this standard was historically imposed from above rather than reflecting Chinese language use.

BOOKS

China at the liberation: The road to serfdom (September 7, 2013, The Economist)

[The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-57. By Frank Dikotter.]With a mixture of passion and ruthlessness, he marshals the facts, many of them recently unearthed in party archives. Out of these, Mr Dikotter constructs a devastating case for how extreme violence, not a moral mandate, was at the heart of how the party got to power, and of how it then governed.

Commander Bradshaw goes to China (September 8, 2013, Frog in a Well)

Our story is a about Joseph Lee (Li Ching Cheng, usually referred to in the story as Jo, or Chinese Jo) son of a progressive mandarin, and his friend Rob Hinckley, son of an American missionary. These two end up seeing most of the Boxer Uprising.

Spoiling Tibet: China and Resource Nationalism on the Roof of the World (Asian Arguments), by Gabriel Lafitte)

ARTICLES FOR RESEARCHERSAfrica: Chinese Myths and Migration (September 8, 2013, All Africa)

My first inklings of China's changing relationship with Africa came in the early part of the last decade, when I worked as Shanghai bureau chief for the New York Times. The first thing to strike me was how every month or two the hotel and office complex where I worked became the scene of an impressive visiting presidential delegation from the continent, whose black limousines would create bottlenecks in the busy entranceway.

ARTICLES IN CHINESE

中国基督教两会5年发行圣经1750万册 灵修书籍出版亦进步可喜 (September 9, 2013, The Gospel Times)

2012年全国流动人口2.36亿 过半是新生代 (September 11, 2013, Economic Observer) essay citation

Image credit: Matthias Ripp, via Flickr