ZGBriefs | April 14, 2022

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Featured Article

China’s Growing Influence in Latin America (April 12, 2022, Council on Foreign Relations)
Over the past two decades, China has developed close economic and security ties with many Latin American countries, including Brazil and Venezuela. But Beijing’s growing sway in the region has raised concerns in Washington and beyond.

Sponsored Link

Lecture: From Matteo Ricci: To Pope Francis: Jesuits And Christian Dialogue In China 
(U.S.-China Catholic Association)
Dr. Clark will examine how Jesuits have maintained a Christian dialogue with China from 1582 until the present.  As representatives of this uniquely Jesuit approach, Matteo Ricci and Pope Francis frame that exchange.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | Boston College
5:30–6:30pm EDT
Register here.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

The U.S. orders non-emergency staff to leave Shanghai amid a COVID surge (April 12, 2022, NPR)
The State Department said the order announced late Monday is an upgrade from the “authorized” departure advisory last week that made the decision voluntary. The order covers non-emergency U.S. government employees at the consulate in Shanghai and their family members. Consular officers will remain on duty at the consulate.

Exclusive: Former Xinjiang prisoner arrives in U.S. as key witness to abuses (April 12, 2022, Axios)
A Christian Chinese national who spent 10 months in a Xinjiang detention camp has arrived in the United States after months of behind-the-scenes lobbying by U.S. lawmakers, human rights activists and international lawyers.


China’s Public Schools Are Failing Christian Families (April 7, 2022, Christianity Today)
Whether it’s atheism in the classroom or high-pressure academic environments, parents struggle to find a space that best serves their children.

Towards Authentic Contextualization: A Reader Responds (April 8, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Coming from an Anabaptist tradition, I found the focus on Reformed churches in China in the winter 2021 issue of ChinaSource Quarterly a stimulating read. Since Chinese Christians have long engaged with the amazing and sometimes perplexing global variety of Christian traditions—the earliest recorded encounter being with an Asian and Nestorian expression of Eastern Orthodoxy in the 7th century—it is not surprising that Chinese Christians today are interacting vigorously with Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal expressions of the Christian movement.

The Two Eids and Other Hui Celebrations: Know Thy Hui Neighbor (5) (April 11, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Today, let’s look at four annual festivals and how they might lead to gospel opportunities.

Building on Rock (April 11, 2022, Plough)
China’s persecuted house church leaders are showing the way by being the first to repent.

Churches Seeking to Stay Online (April 12, 2022, Chinese Church Voices)
New regulations governing online religious content came into effect on March 1 of this year. If strictly enforced, the regulations could severely restrict the use of online tools for ministry and outreach by Christians in China. This article from China Christian Daily provides a brief update on how churches are responding.

Hong Kongers are boosting Britain’s church numbers (March 26, 2022 edition, The Economist) (subscription required)
Jimmy is one of around 300 Hong Kongers who have recently joined the Sutton Hongkongers′ Fellowship, which worships at what is now called Trinity Church Sutton. 

Society / Life

Viral Videos On Food Shortages And Quarantine Conditions During Shanghai Lockdown (April 8, 2022, China Digital Times)
Although not all of the video content could be independently verified, CDT Chinese editors have put together a compilation of 14 of the most widely shared and credible videos from Shanghai’s lockdown.

‘Ugh, here we are’ — Q&A with Geremie Barmé (April 8, 2022, Sup China)
We talked to renowned scholar Geremie R. Barmé about Shanghai under lockdown, Xi Jinping’s “empire of tedium,” nationalist thugs, and much more.

Photos: Two Weeks of COVID Lockdown in Shanghai (April 11, 2022, The Atlantic)

‘Like a Kafka novel’: Witnessing China’s zero-COVID policy (April 12, 2022, Christian Science Monitor)
Searching for food felt surreal in the upscale but empty Shanghai neighborhood, with its yoga studio, posh eateries, and coffee shops. Amid shelves depleted from panic-buying, I found some milk, tuna, and crackers and hurried back to the hotel.

How are Shanghai’s Migrant Workers Surviving Lockdown? (April 13, 2022, The World of Chinese)
Four migrant workers in Shanghai share their lockdown stories of food shortages and being unable to work.

Shanghai TV channel postpones Covid spin show after backlash (April 13, 2022, The Guardian)
Residents express dismay online about tribute to city’s handling of outbreak after extended lockdown.

Economics / Trade / Business

China’s lockdowns could trigger a logistics snarl that may ‘dwarf’ 2020 and 2021 (April 13, 2022, CNBC)
Many goods are stuck in China right now as a result of the Covid lockdowns and it could become a “big problem” for the global economy, according to business consultant Richard Martin.

Health / Environment

No home isolation for mild Covid-19 cases, China’s chief epidemiologist says (April 13, 2022, South China Morning Post)
China will not let asymptomatic Covid-19 patients isolate at home because of the risk of spreading the disease or developing severe illness, according to one of the country’s top epidemiologists.

What Is China’s COVID Endgame? (April 13, 2022, Project Syndicate)
By staking so much on the zero-COVID strategy, the Chinese political leadership has positioned itself between a rock and a hard place. If it doubles down, it will further hamper the country’s economic recovery, imposing costs that the people no longer believe to be worthwhile. But if it eases COVID-19 restrictions, infections and deaths will increase rapidly as the virus spreads through a population that lacks the level of immunity found in most other comparable countries.

Science / Technology

How China will censor the metaverse (April 13, 2022, Sup China)
Beijing has long reserved a zero-tolerance approach to politically sensitive internet content. The next stage of the internet will be no different.

History / Culture

Video: Air View of Chienmen area, the main gate to the Tartar City, Peking, China, 1934 (April 12, Tong Bingxue, via Twitter)

Video: Documentary on Edgar Snow and China (Everyday Life in Maoist China)

Video: Ping Pong Diplomacy’s 50-year Legacy: The Courtside View with Jan Berris (April 11, 2022, National Committee on U.S-China Relations)
One of the many excited people waiting on the tarmac to welcome the team was Jan Berris – at that time a program associate with the National Committee, now its vice president. Fifty years later, on April 12, 2022, Jan Berris shares stories of the historic process – from the funny to the momentous – and reflects on the enduring legacy of Ping Pong Diplomacy on U.S.-China relations.

Travel / Food

How COVID Is Changing the Chinese Diet (April 7, 2022, Sixth Tone)
As lockdowns disrupt food chains across China, young Chinese are rediscovering the value of fresh food and home cooking.

China Railway Cuts Daily Schedules by 70% Amid COVID-19 Surge (April 13, 2022, Sixth Tone)
China’s railway operator has slashed its daily schedules by over 70% to prevent possible transmission of the coronavirus as several cities scramble to contain outbreaks, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Language / Language Learning

China to Hunt Down ‘Incorrect and Non-Standard’ Fonts (April 12, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Publishers, packaging designers, and others will be asked to self-regulate in an effort to eliminate “weird” and “ugly” writing.


Chinese Theology: Text and Context, Part I – Book Review (Revisited) (April 5, 2022, Global China Center)
Dr. Chloe Starr has written a brilliant and insightful book with many virtues as well as some problematic points.

Book Review: Children of the Massacre (April 13, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
In Children of the Massacre: The Extra-ordinary Story of the Stewart Family in Hong Kong and West China, the latest in the Studies of Chinese Christianity series of books, Robert and Linda Banks trace these remarkable children through into adulthood and to their deaths. Despite separation at an early age for education and then being orphaned after an awful attack in Hwasang, Kucheng (now called Huashan, Gutian), Fuzhou in August 1895, their close relationships with one another and ongoing desire to serve the Chinese people is the thread woven into the narrative.

Links for Researchers

2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (April 12, 2022, U.S. Department of State)
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The U.S. Department of State submits reports on all countries receiving assistance and all United Nations member states to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974.

How China’s united front system works overseas (April 13, 2022, Australian Strategic Policy Institute)
Led by United Front Work Departments of Chinese Communist Party committees at each echelon of government, the united front system is a complex and opaque set of organisations designed to advance the CCP’s influence in industry and civil society.

The Geopolitical Aftershocks of the China-Solomon Islands Security Agreement (April 13, 2022, The Diplomat)
The deal was likely China’s response to AUKUS. Now Australia and the U.S. will consider how to respond, possibly intensifying the security competition in the Pacific.

Pray for China

April 17 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On Apr. 17, 1851, Dr. Leonora Howard King (郝尔德) was born in Canada. She spent 47 years as a medical missionary in China. In 1879, she was invited by Dr. John Mackenzie to provide treatment for the seriously ill wife of Tianjin’s governor, Li Hongzhang (李鸿章). Dr. King’s success resulted in years of government favor towards Christian missionary work in Tianjin. In 1885, she opened a medical school for Chinese women, and the following year the governor’s wife built a new hospital for Dr. King to use to treat women and children. Pray for Christian doctors in Tianjin to be channels of the Lord’s mercy. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant…Matthew 20:26

Image credit: Pixabay
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio