ZGBriefs

September 19, 2013

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FEATURED ARTICLE

China's Debate: Must The Party Follow The Constitution? (September 18, 2013, NPR)

One way to start, he says, is to live up to the promises made in China's 1982 constitution. In many countries, that's just assumed. In China, it's at the center of a bitter debate between reformers and conservative Communist Party members over the future of the country's political system. Increasingly, scholars like Zhang are using China's own constitution against the ruling party to try to make the government more accountable to the people.

GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS

China sentences three men to death over attack blamed on Islamists (September 13, 2013, The Guaridan)

China has sentenced three men to death over an attack in June in the north-western region of Xinjiang blamed on Islamic extremists. The attack left 24 police and civilians dead.

Detained Chinese-American blogger confesses to 'irresponsible' online posts (September 16, 2013, NBC)

Chinese state television aired a surprising video Sunday of one of the countrys best-known bloggers in handcuffs admitting that he spread irresponsible information on the Internet just days after the government announced a new crackdown on online rumors.

The Other Side of Chinas Social Media Crackdown (September 16, 2013, China Real Time)

A recently renewed attack on social media by the Chinese leadership isnt just an offensive against bloggers and activists who dominate the daily online discourse in China. Its also an assault by the Communist Party on its own shortcomings.

For Chinese, Violence in the Middle East Sparks Debate on Democracy, Stability (September 17, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Recent months have been rocky for the Middle East: harsh crackdowns on protesters in Egypt and a Rashomon-like scenario in which the Syrian government and the rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons, just to name a few. The regions great distance from China has not diminished Chinese netizens interest in its unrest. That is not only because of the shocking death tolls, but also because recent riots on Egyptian streets and violence in Syria have resonated with incidents from Chinas own history and a number of social changes currently taking place within the country.

Angry Skies: Japanese Jets Scramble as Tensions With China Escalate (September 18, 2013, Time)

On Sept. 9, the Japanese government confirmed for the first time that an unmanned Chinese drone had flown over Japan, not so far from the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. (It did not violate Japanese airspace.) The day before, Chinese bombers traced another landmark course over Okinawa but again veered away from actually entering Japanese skies. Over the past year, Chinese warships have made historic forays into waters near the contested islands, as have flotillas of Chinese coast-guard vessels that Beijing says are merely patrolling around Chinese waters. The seas around the disputed spits of land are rich in natural resources, from oil and natural gas to fish stocks.

RELIGION

Uighurs at Xinjiang mosque have to face China flag when praying (September 18, 2013, Al Jazeera)

Authorities have placed a Chinese flag at the head of a mosque in western China, forcing ethnic Uighurs to bow to it when they worship, Uighur activists said Wednesday.

Why China Matters for Doing Theology: Biblical Truth (September 19, 2013, Jackson Wu)

Why would someone need to know more about China in order to understand the Bible better? Isnt the Bible bigger than any particular culture? Yes. And thats exactly why theologians (and anyone else who reads the Bible) should learn about China.

Photos: Chinese Muslims to go on annual pilgrimage to Mecca (September 20, 2013, Xinhua)

SOCIETY / LIFE

Mapping China's Income Inequality (September 13, 2013, The Atlantic)

The economic gap between coastal and inland parts of the country is just as importantif not more sothan the urban/rural divide.

No Consensus: China Debate on Womens Roles (September 13, 2013, China Real Time)

Women in China are largely expected to be the caretakers of their families, and many feel societal pressure to focus on finding a husband and having children rather than pursuing careers.

In China, rampant flight delays lead to airport brawls (September 16, 2103, The Los Angeles Times)

The maddening delays have become a drag on the economy and the trigger for near-riots. In a nation that prides itself on social order, state media reported 26 brawls at Chinese airports between May and August. One Hong Kong airline has started teaching its flight attendants kung fu.

Wooing, and Also Resenting, Chinese Tourists (September 16, 2013, The New York Times)

Their numbers have also placed them among the most resented tourists. Mainland Chinese tourists, often laden with cash and unfamiliar with foreign ways, are tumbling out of tour buses with apparently little appetite for hotel breakfast buffets and no concept of lining up. The frustrations with the new tourists were summed up on a Thai online message board last spring, when users posted complaints about Chinese tourists using outdoor voices inside and spitting in public, among other transgressions.

The People's Republic Of Unhappy China (September 17, 2013, World Crunch)

Many hope that economic and social problems will be solved as China develops. But for now, Chinese people simply dont have a strong sense of well-being.

Disabled Chinese remain most needy: federation chairwoman (September 17, 2013, Xinhua)

Disabled people remain one of the most needy groups in China with many living below the poverty line, said Zhang Haidi, chairwoman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation here Tuesday. About 15 million rural disabled people and more than 2.6 million urban disabled are living below the poverty line, Zhang said at the sixth national congress of the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

The Mooncake Economy: Inside Chinas Most Crooked Confection (September 17, 2013, Tea Leaf Nation)

Across the country, Chinese are observing the annual harvest festival by giving and receiving mooncakes, pastries whose round shape is meant to evoke the full moon of the autumnal equinox. In recent years, bemoaning the debasement of this tradition has become as much of an annual ritual as the festival itself. This is because the once homemade, hockey-puck-like confections have become vessels for all that is perceived to be rottenand much that actually isin Chinese society: bribery, piracy, conspicuous consumption, and waste. 

Curiosity Fulfilled the Cat: Excavators on Buildings and Why They Need to Be There (September 18, 2013, Sionpathic)

Chinese are curious. Damned curious. This could be a sign of intelligence a mind thirsting for knowledge is always inquisitive. But this may not be the case for the inability of Chinese to not look inside your grocery basket at the supermarket to judge your purchases, or the compelling need to stand and witness a common argument on the street, or even the innate instinct to gather and scrutinize the furniture and belongings of a new neighbor moving in.

China's child slaves: 'It would be easier to escape if we were allowed shoes' video (September 19, 2013, The Guardian)

Tens of thousands of children go missing in China every year, many of whom are forced to work in brick kilns. While individual stories of stolen children make the headlines briefly and then fade, many parents never stop looking. Some say they are spending thousands of dollars searching, unsupported, for their children, fighting to raise awareness of cases that will never be solved. In this video, former child slaves and their parents share their stories. 

China family planning officials levied 160m in fines in three years (September 19, 2013, The Guardian)

Chinese family planning officials illegally levied more than 160m in fines between 2009 and 2012, Chinese auditors have revealed, reinforcing widespread suspicions that government officials have reaped financial gains from the country's one-child policy. The controversial policy, introduced in 1979 to keep population growth in check, has been relaxed in recent years. While most Chinese people are still only allowed to have one child, some groups, including ethnic minorities and only-child couples, are allowed to have two.

China's stolen children: parents battle police indifference in search for young (September 19, 2013, The Guardian)

Tens of thousands of children are kidnapped in China each year for sale into adoption, street life, forced labour and prostitution. The horror faced by parents whose children are stolen is highlighted in Chinese and international media whenever there is a particularly disturbing case. Recently police arrested a hospital doctor in Shaanxi province over her alleged role in stealing newborn babies and selling them. The police investigation managed to track down some of the missing babies and reunite them with their parents. But that is an unusually happy ending in a country where parents say they are battling police indifference as well as traffickers in the hunt to find missing children.

EDUCATION / HISTORY

Shandong colleges charge tuition based on credit hours (September 13, 2013, China Daily)

Shandong University is one of seven universities in Shandong province that is testing a new tuition system this year to charge tuition according to credit hours. In the system, tuition consists of two parts: major registration and credit hours.

China's 7 million recent graduates compete in toughest job market ever (September 14, 2013, NBC)

Academic success has been seen as the key to prosperity and achievement in China for decades. But the country's slowing economy looks set to make it tough for this year's 7 million new college graduates to achieve the upward social mobility that many have considered their birthright. In fact, Chinese state media has dubbed 2013 the hardest job-hunting season ever.

This house believes (September 14, 2013, The Economist)

Many schools, especially in the big cities, have teams that debate, in English and Chinese. Educators say the aim is to develop some of the skills they know are lacking: critical thinking, spontaneity and public speaking. Many students also believe taking part in debating as an extra-curricular activity can help with applications to universities in the West.

Top 30 Funny Chinese Slogans (September 14, 2013, China Whisper)

Slogans are a typical Chinese culture. These slogans are usually short, easy to remember, and neatly encapsulates a particularly important idea or call to action. Below are slogans used at various periods in China showing the changing political imperatives and policies promoted by the China central government.

Chinese University Asks Students to Sign Suicide Waivers (September 17, 2013, Time)

A university in southern China asked students entering its freshman class to sign a document absolving the school of responsibility should the student commit suicide a macabre sign, say some, of the growing pressures of Chinese society

HEALTH

China reminds hospitals not to push baby milk (September 17, 2013, Reuters)

China's Health Ministry reminded hospitals on Tuesday that they are not allowed to push the sale of baby milk to new mothers after Chinese state television said Danone had bribed hospital staff to give its milk powder to new-born babies. China Central Television said the company's Dumex unit had paid medical staff at a city hospital in Tianjin to promote its products, allegations that the French food group said it was shocked by and would investigate immediately. The ministry, in a statement on its website in response to the report, said existing laws on promoting breast milk and not allowing medical personnel to promote the sale of baby milk must be followed.

China Has over 200 "Cancer Villages" due to Water Pollution: Expert (September 17, 2013, Caijing) 

Heavily-polluted underground water system has resulted in the existence of over 200 "cancer villages" across China - small communities where cancer rates have soared far above the national average, a water expert said. 55 percent of monitored water stations report polluted underground water, mostly in provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan and Yunan, Wang Hao, a fellow with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told a forum held by Cajing on Tuesday.

ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE

Quiz Contest on Chinas New Visa Law (Enter by Sept. 27) (September 14, 2013, US and China Visa Law Blog)

The Five Keys To A China Consulting Contract (September 15, 2013, China Law Blog)

How To Handle A Chinese Government Raid. Very Carefully. (September 16, 2013, China Law Blog)

Five Chinese government officials knock on your companys door with a search warrant. What do you do?

What to Do About Chinas High Housing Costs? (September 16, 2013, China Real Time)

How high are Chinas housing prices? High enough to make government officials and even some analysts more than a little bit nervous. After close to four years of property controls , including limits on second-home purchases to keep prices within reach and head off potential unrest, the results have been decidedly mixed.

China Finds Resistance to Oil Deals in Africa (September 17, 2013, The New York Times)

China wants Africas oil as much as ever. But instead of accepting the old terms, which many African officials call unconditional surrender, some cash-starved African states are pushing back, showing an assertiveness unthinkable until recently and suggesting that the days of unbridled influence by the African continents mega-investor may be waning.

Chinese women move up ranks of global super-rich (September 18, 2013, The Guardian)

Half of the world's wealthiest female billionaires are Chinese, according to a respected ranking published on Tuesday by a Shanghai-based business magazine. According to the Hurun Report's "Hurun China's Women Rich List 2013", three of the world's five wealthiest women with assets of over $1bn (626m) and six of its top 10 are Chinese. None of the world's top 10 richest men are from mainland China.

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY / ENVIRONMENT

Slideshow: The E-Waste Land (September 12, 2013, Caixin)

China says aims to train astronauts from other countries (September 16, 2013, Reuters)

China aims to train astronauts from other countries who will conduct missions with their Chinese counterparts, state news agency Xinhua cited a senior official as saying on Monday. China will also share the technological achievements of its manned space program with other countries, especially with developing ones, Xinhua quoted Wang Zhaoyao, head of the country's manned space program office, as saying.

Hacker group in China linked to big cyber attacks: Symantec (September 17, 2013, Reuters)

Researchers have discovered a group of highly sophisticated hackers operating for hire out of China, a U.S. computer security company said on Tuesday, and it linked them to some of the best-known espionage attacks in recent years. Symantec Corp said the group, which it dubbed "Hidden Lynx," was among the most technically advanced of several dozen believed to be running cyber espionage operations out of China. Unlike a previous report by another company, Symantec did not accuse the Chinese government of involvement in the cyber attacks.

ARTS / ENTERTAINMENT

Filmmaker Giving Voice to Acts of Rage in Todays China (September 13, 2013, The New York Times)

Jia Zhangke, Chinas most prominent art house director, had been preparing to make his first big-budget martial arts film, set in dynastic China, when reality intruded in the form of the Internet.

Armed With Zhang Ziyi, American Director Takes On Chinese Rom-Com (September 19, 2013, China Real Time)

The booming growth of Chinas film market is luring overseas directors to not only market their films here, but to develop original products for the local audience.

FOOD / TRAVEL / CULTURE

Henna dispute: Chinese cruise ship passengers evacuated (September 14, 2013, BBC)

Passengers have begun disembarking from a Chinese luxury cruise ship detained at a port on the South Korean island of Jeju over a legal dispute. More than 1,000 people were scheduled to fly back to China on Sunday, the Chinese consulate in Jeju said. Some 2,300 passengers and crew had been stuck on board the Henna since Friday. A local court ordered the ship not to leave after a request from a Chinese shipping company. It is not clear what the dispute centres on.

China's sky-high airport may not fly in Tibet (September 19, 2013, USA Today)

The silver saucer-like terminal building of the highest and newest airport in the world resembles an alien craft come to rest on this remote plateau where Tibetan nomads still roam on horseback. Daocheng Yading airport cuts the journey time from the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu to just 65 minutes as opposed to the two days the trip takes via a bone-shaking bus ride.

BOOKS

Barthess Travels in China now in paperback (September 12, 2013, China Rhyming)

French philosophy and theory takes on 1970s China not always a happy meeting!

Edward Morses Glimpses of China and Chinese Homes, 1902 (September 13, 2013, China Rhyming)

To all those who read and write China books Something worth pondering from Ellen LaMotte (September 15, 2013, China Rhyming)

Top 10 Chinese History and Culture Books To Read (September 17, 2013, China Adventurer Travel Blog)

If you enjoy reading while you travel and diving further into the culture check out these awesome Chinese history and culture books before your next trip. Here Is China Adventurers Top 10 Chinese History and Culture Books To Read while traveling in China.

Eight Questions: Damien Ma and William Adams, In Line Behind a Billion People (September 20, 2013, China Real Time)

With China already dealing with the environmental fallout of 20 years of runaway growth such as declining water resources and toxic land Messrs. Ma and Adams argue the greatest constraint on Chinas future development is the scarcity of resources.

China Station: The British Military in the Middle Kingdom 1839 1997 (September 20, 2013, China Rhyming)

An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics, by Perry Link(August 2013, MCLC Resource Center Publication)

A review by David Porter

ARTICLES FOR RESEARCHERS

The China Studies Twitterati 50 (September 15, 2013, Jonlsullivan.com)

The Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress: A Primer (September 16, 2013, China Business Review)

The third plenum has historically been a platform for announcing reformpolitical and economic. Heres what you need to know about Novembers meeting.

Image credit: Old men at their daily games, by Connie Ma, via Flickr