ZGBriefs | April 8, 2021

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Featured Article

China’s expat tax reform could see more than a third of American firms leave Shanghai, AmCham says (April 1, 2021, South China Morning Post)
More than a third of multinational firms in Shanghai are considering moving all or part of their operation out of China or to another Chinese city when tax exemptions on allowances for foreign employees expire next year, a survey released by a US business lobby group on Thursday showed.

Sponsored Link

Webinar Video: Confucian Shame in Christian Thinking
On Wednesday, March 24, we hosted a webinar entitled “Confucian Shame in Christian Thinking,” presented by Jackson Wu. For Confucian thinkers, shame is an essential element required for moral development. This understanding is foreign to most Westerners. Yet, does shame have a place in Christian theology? Is it something to get rid of or might it have a role in shaping our character? During his presentation, Jackson explored the diverse ways that honor and shame affect our moral decision making as well as Paul’s use of these ideas within his letters. 

If you or your company/organization would like to sponsor a link in ZGBriefs, please contact info@chinasource.org for more information.

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

“Mad Dogs” And Wolves: A History (April 1, 2021, China Media Project)
In recent years, as new digital platforms have come to dominate, the Chinese Party-state and its principal media have pushed a transformation of propaganda and public diplomacy. 

Calls grow louder to boycott Beijing’s Olympics — and analysts warn of retaliation from China (April 6, 2021, CNBC)
Countries and companies outside China face rising pressure to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year, but China will not sit back idly in response, says political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. “Western governments and firms face mounting pressure from human rights advocates and political critics of China to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,” according to Eurasia Group analysts. The Games are due to take place between February 4 to 20.

‘We will respond in kind’: China’s ambassador warns Australia not to join Xinjiang sanctions (April 7, 2021, The Guardian)
China’s ambassador to Australia has warned that Beijing would respond “in kind” if Canberra followed other countries in imposing sanctions against its officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The ambassador, Cheng Jingye, said people should not be under the illusion “that China would swallow the bitter pill” of meddling in its internal affairs, nor attempts to mount a “pressure” campaign.

US military cites rising risk of Chinese move against Taiwan (April 7, 2021, AP)
The American military is warning that China is probably accelerating its timetable for capturing control of Taiwan, the island democracy that has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic U.S.-China war.


Between Loss and Hope: Qing Ming and Easter (April 1, 2021, China Partnership Blog)
Every April, our family lives in the tension between life and death, grief and celebration, loss and hope, Qing Ming and Easter.

Why Not Shout Together? The Joy of the Resurrection (April 2, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
In Chinese, Easter is “come back to life” day. This often brings a gasp to North American listeners—as if the name itself is a witness to the truth of Easter Sunday. But I found few in my circle of Chinese friends, colleagues, and students who made any connection. 

Video: Catholicism in China (April 5, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
Recently the St Theresa of Avila Catholic Parish in Lincoln Park, IL hosted a live webinar on the topic of “Catholics and the Church in Modern China.” The presenter of the webinar was Ian Johnson, correspondent for The New York Times, and author of the book, Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao.

Celebrating Palm Sunday in Gansu Province (April 6, 2021, Chinese Church Voices)
Many churches in China are still unable to meet in person. However, this church was able to resume its services in time for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Let’s see how one church in China (all the way in Gansu Province!) prepared for Holy Week with this article from China Christian Daily.

Reflecting on Tea and Evangelism (April 7, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
Sister M., however, was more than a “tea teacher” and shop owner; she was, at heart, an evangelist, and her teahouse became a launching pad for the gospel. […] Sometimes Sister M. would disappear for weeks at a time, on evangelistic trips into the small towns and countryside villages around central and south China. Upon her return I would meet up with her at her teahouse to hear about the places where she had preached and the people who had believed.

Society / Life

Wuhan, Revisited (April 7, 2021, Sixth Tone)
Returning to the Chinese city nearly one year after it emerged from lockdown, Sixth Tone finds life has superficially returned to normal. But residents’ emotional scars have yet to fade.

History / Culture

What a 60-Year-Old List Reveals About Chinese History (April 2, 2021, Sixth Tone)
In 1961, China marked 180 sites as deserving of special protection. What can the chosen sites tell us about how the country sees its past?

Kristofer Schipper, Influential China Scholar, Dies at 86 (April 4, 2021, The New York Times)
A native of Holland, he helped change the understanding of Chinese religion and became a Taoist priest in the process.

Video: Peking, China circa 1946-1948 (Everyday Life in Maoist China)

Arts / Entertainment / Media

‘The grim reality of reporting in China that pushed me out’ (April 1, 2021, BBC)
As my family scrambled to the airport – late and unprepared from the last-minute packing – we were watched outside our home by plainclothes police, who then followed us to the airport and tailed us through check-in. True to form to the very end, China’s propaganda machine has been at full throttle, denying I faced any risks in China, while simultaneously making those risks abundantly clear.

China launches musical in bid to counter Uyghur abuse allegations (April 3, 2021, The Guardian)
A new state-produced musical set in Xinjiang inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster “La La Land” has hit China’s cinemas, portraying a rural idyll of ethnic cohesion devoid of repression, mass surveillance and even the Islam of its majority Uyghur population.

Chinese Movie “Sister” Stirs Discussions on Traditional Family Values in China (April 6, 2021, What’s on Weibo)
My Sister, directed by Yin Ruoxin (殷若昕), revolves around the story of An Ran, an 18-year-old daughter who is unexpectedly facing the major responsibility for her 6-year-old brother after the tragic loss of their parents. While trying to find her own path in life, she suddenly has to step into the role of caregiver for her younger sibling. But does she want to take on this role?

Language / Language Learning

The five don’ts of novel coronavirus vaccination in Hainan, China (April 6, 2021, Language Log)
A notice issued in Wancheng, a town in Hainan Province on March 31 warning people of consequences if they refuse to take vaccines. 

Living Cross-culturally

Joining the Vaccine Rollout (April 8, 2021, Sinosplice)
So yeah, I’ve had one shot of the Sinopharm vaccine, and I’ll be returning for a second shot 21 days after the first. Vaccinations seem to be proceeding quite swiftly here, with foreigners and the elderly alike all signing up.


Distant Pastures (April 7, 2021, The World of Chinese)
Translated into English for the first time, Li Juan’s writings are timeless in their portrayal of loneliness, vastness, and death—yet bear the marks of the times in cross-cultural collisions on a shifting grassland. Two books by the Xinjiang-born, ethnic Han writer were released in English this February, cementing her arrival onto the international literary scene.

Links for Researchers

Video: Informed Perspectives: Race and Religion in China (March 18, 2021, Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs)
What are the variety and vitality of lives like in a country where religion is often tightly controlled? How does race or ethnicity inform us of the dynamics of Chinese religions and politics, and of China in general? And most importantly, why should we care?

Pray for China

April 10 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On Apr. 10, 2011, Shouwang Church (守望教会) began holding worship services outdoors as Beijing authorities blocked the use of indoor facilities. In March 2019, authorities seized all church assets as part of a campaign that had earlier closed Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Rongguili Church in Guangzhou, and Zion Church in Beijing. Shouwang members have been arrested on many occasions, and Pastor Jin Tianming (金天明牧师) was under house arrest until Oct. 2020, a period of over nine years. Pray for the Lord to provide for all the needs of his people, especially Pastor Jin Tianming, his wife, and their two children.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Image credit: GotCredit, via Flickr
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