ZGBriefs | August 16, 2018

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Featured Article

[Outbound]: Noodle School  (August 13, 2018, Smart Shanghai)
The key to pulling noodles is to align the strands of gluten in a single direction, so they extend, not break, when pulled. You can tell if a la mian shop is run by a Lanzhou native or a Qinghai impersonator by their chili sauce. The flour must be high-gluten. I know all of this about hand-pulled noodles, and more. And still, I am a noodle school dropout.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Retired sages audit 'Xi's China' at summer conclave (August 9, 2018, Nikkei Asian Review)
Now, in Beidaihe, they have the opportunity to register their opposition to Xi's power play, and they are expected to do so by raising the alarm against the cult of personality that is building up around the president.

The Chinese Communist Party’s United Front and Post-Brexit Britain (August 10, 2018, Asia Dialogue)
As international concern increases over the threat of ‘influence activities’ associated with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD) and its affiliated organisations, how will Britain respond? 

China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told (August 10, 2018, BBC)
Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have submitted reports to the UN committee documenting claims of mass imprisonment, in camps where inmates are forced to swear loyalty to China's President Xi Jinping. 

The West is getting China wrong (August 11, 2018, East Asia Forum)
China has not escaped the pressures of political complexity that forced political reform elsewhere. Rather, those pressures are so powerful that the whole structure of Xi Jinping’s administration is a reaction to those pressures.

Exporting persecution: Uyghur diaspora haunted by anxiety, guilt as family held in Chinese camps (August 12, 2018, Globe and Mail)
In the past year, more than 50 people in Khadija’s extended family have vanished. Her mother and father believe the disappeared have been placed into indoctrination camps… 

China denies violating minority rights amid detention claims (August 13, 2018, The Guardian)
A Chinese delegation told a UN human rights panel on Monday that China had launched a “special campaign” to crack down on “extremist and terrorist crimes”, but no specific ethnic or religious groups were being targeted.

China Detains VOA Mandarin Correspondent (August 13, 2018, VOA)
Voice of America's Mandarin Service correspondent and a multimedia journalist working for VOA were detained Monday evening by Chinese police while attempting to interview a retired Chinese professor who was taken away by authorities during a live television interview with VOA nearly two weeks ago.

From laboratory in far west, China's surveillance state spreads quietly (August 14, 2018, Reuters)
In Shanghai, China’s gleaming international port city, two districts budgeted around 600,000 yuan each to purchase phone scanners and data-ripping tools. Beijing’s railway police budgeted a similar amount, the documents show.

Chinese Cops Now Spying on American Soil (August 14, 2018, Daily Beast)
China is compiling a global registry of its ethnic minorities who have fled persecution, threatening to detain the families of those who don’t comply. The message: Nowhere is safe.

Hong Kong activist decries 'colonial invasion' in defiant speech (August 14, 2018, The Guardian)
A Hong Kong pro-independence activist has decried Beijing’s rule over the city as modern-day colonialism in a speech to a foreign journalists’ association that defied China’s demand that the event be cancelled.

Trump’s Trade War Is Rattling China’s Leaders (August 14, 2018, The New York Times)
China’s leaders have sought to project confidence in the face of President Trump’s tariffs and trade threats. But as it becomes clear that a protracted trade war with the United States may be unavoidable, there are growing signs of unease inside the Communistpolitical establishment.

Xi Jinping Thought Is Facing a Harsh Reality Check (August 15, 2018, Foreign Policy)
One deeper question lurked beneath these others: Had Xi Jinping—China’s top leader, who presents himself as all but omnipotent—overstepped his limits thanks to overconfidence in the inevitability of China’s rise?

Trade war raises the spectre of a ‘China collapse’, and Beijing should worry (August 15, 2018, South China Morning Post)
Chinese society is poised for change. For the authorities, 2018 will be a big test of their ability to govern. Whether they pass or fail, one thing is clear: an overall restlessness is appearing in society and people are crying out for changes to the system.


More Destroyed Mosques in Xinjiang (August 9, 2018, Bitter Winter)
Seven out of eight mosques in one of the areas of Lianmuqin town in Xinjiang have been demolished; the remaining one is strictly supervised.

Reflections on the Weizhou Grand Mosque controversy (August 10, 2018, China at the Crossroads Blog)
If the party-state regime persists in antagonizing people like those in Weizhou, it risks isolating those who think of themselves as BOTH Chinese patriots and loyal Muslims. It's a group it can’t afford to lose.

The Inculturation of Christianity in Chinese Society (August 13, 2018, UniGregoriana, via YouTube)

China Shuts Down Six Churches, Forces Members to Leave by Bribing, Threatening Jobs (August 13, 2019, The Gospel Herald)
Persecution watchdog China Aid reports that authorities closed six branches of ZionChurch, located in Beijing, claiming that its members refused to register with the government. 

The Life and Ministry of Shen Yiping (August 14, 2018, Chinese Church Voices)
This article from New Voice of Preachers recounts the life and ministry of Shen Yiping. Shen was at the forefront of much of the Chinese church’s explosive growth in Henan province in the 80s and 90s, yet his ministry also impacted the larger house church movement.

Senior Chinese monk resigns amid sexual misconduct claims (August 15, 2018, The Guardian)
One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from a national post after reports of sexual misconduct, a religious association has said. The Buddhist Association of China said on Wednesday its president, Shi Xuecheng, had passed his duties to a deputy.

How Partnerships Develop (August 15, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
“Partnership” can mean many different things to different people. Some use the term to refer to the general process of partnering, whether formal or informal. For others a partnership denotes an official working relationship between two or more entities that involves legal agreements and obligations. 

Viewpoint: Chinese mosque standoff risks peace in model Muslim province (August 16, 2018, BBC)
China is determined to maintain control over how religion is practised, but recent threats to demolish a mosque could backfire, writes US-based academic David R Stroup.

Society / Life

Video: The Window -- The Aftermath of the Tianjin Explosion (August 8, 2018, China File)
I have spent three years collecting accounts and examining how survivors and families have coped since that traumatic event. I document the lingering pain, to resist public forgetting and indifference.

Stat: 83 Million Disabled People Believed to Be Living in China (August 11, 2018, The Beijinger)
However, only 22 million people were certified as disabled by the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) in 2016, rendering millions unable to access a range of services offered by the government…

Burying ‘One Child’ Limits, China Pushes Women to Have More Babies (August 11, 2018, The New York Times)
Almost three years after easing its “one child” policy and allowing couples to have two children, the government has begun to acknowledge that its efforts to raise the country’s birthrate are faltering because parents are deciding against having more children.

Burning Up: Rage over China’s Cremation Push is Justified (August 13, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Authorities seek to end traditional burials and reform funeral practices, but their methods have sparked a backlash.

Henan ‘Love Bus’ Helps Commuters Commit (August 15, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Yun Xi makes a living cruising busy city streets. For the Zhengzhou resident, mid-August is one of the busiest times of the year — not because of traffic, but because of Chinese Valentine’s Day. This year, the full-time bus driver and part-time matchmaker hopes to build on his success of having paired up 23 now-married couples.

China's student activists cast rare light on brewing labor unrest (August 14, 2018, Reuters)
While they appear to be small in number, the activists are drawing rare attention to calls for greater union representation from Chinese workers, particularly in the south, where demands for more pay are growing. 

“Who is to Blame?” – Harbin Toll Collectors Throw Rock at Speeding Car, Hurt 4-Year-Old in Back Seat  (August 15, 2018, What’s on Weibo)
When a car broke through a toll barrier in Harbin, toll collectors were quick to halt the car by throwing a rock through the window – injuring a little girl in the back seat. The incident went viral on Chinese media: ‘who is to blame?’ is a central question.

Economics / Trade / Business

China Has a Stealth $410 Billion Stash to Boost the Economy (August 9, 2018,Bloomberg)
Stashed away around China is a pile of cash larger than the annual economic output of Norway. 

China Work Permits No Longer Needed for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau Residents (August 9, 2018, China Briefing)
In effect, this means that – at least for employment purposes – residents from these three regions will be treated the same as local mainland Chinese residents.

The Elusive ‘Better Deal’ With China (August 14, 2018, The Atlantic)
By letting the country into the World Trade Organization back in 2001, Washington laid the groundwork for the tensions roiling relations with Beijing today.

China's new home price growth hits two-year high as small cities boom (August 14, 2018, Reuters)
China’s new home prices accelerated at their fastest pace in almost two years in July, led by smaller cities and highlighting challenges policymakers face in stimulating a slowing economy without fueling a property bubble.


China Orders German Student Who Filmed Work of Rights Lawyers to Leave (August 9, 2018, Radio Free Asia)
Authorities in the Chinese capital have revoked the student visa of a German national after he filmed the activities of human rights lawyers as part of an academic assignment. David Missal, a postgraduate student of journalism at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University, was approaching the second year of a two-year scholarship run by a German academic exchange body, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.

China to Relax Employment Laws for International Students (August 10, 2018, The Beijinger)
The Ministry of Education has announced that international students will soon be able to take up part-time work to supplement their studies in China, according to China Daily. 

Florida university latest to cut ties with China's Confucius Institute (August 15, 2018, Reuters)
The University of North Florida will close a campus branch of a Chinese-run cultural institute, the latest U.S. college to do so amid criticism from U.S. legislators that China uses the institute to influence American higher education.

Health / Environment

China’s Rh-Negative Expectant Moms Still Rely on Smuggled Drugs (August 13, 2018, Sixth Tone)
For pregnant women with rare Rh-negative blood living on the Chinese mainland, Rho(D) immune globulin smuggled from Hong Kong remains their only hope for keeping their unborn babies safe from a potentially fatal blood disease, China Newsweek reported Monday.

Severely Ill Children Fall Through the Cracks of China’s Health Care (August 14, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Local governments provide basic health insurance to all citizens, but this only covers a portion of total medical costs and is capped at different amounts in different localities. 

FDA recalls are a reminder that China controls much of world's drug supply (August 14, 2018, NBC News)
But the case does illustrate the challenges that FDA must overcome in regulating a drug market that’s increasingly outsourced to other countries, especially China. While Woodcock says the FDA is on top of things, other experts say these cases illustrate just how vulnerable the U.S. is when it depends on other countries to make essential drugs.

China's recycling restrictions hit U.S. towns (August 15, 2018, CBS News)
Since January, when China tightened the standards for the waste it would accept, its imports of solid waste have dropped by more than 50 percent, according to Xinhua, astate-owned news agency. That's a problem for many U.S. municipalities that have grown used to relying on China for recycling needs.

China's most famous tree is in danger of being 'loved to death' (August 15, 2018, NBC News)
More than 3.3 million people traveled to Huangshan in Anhui Province in 2016, according to the local tourism bureau. And almost all of these visitors invariably pause for a portrait or a selfie in front of the Greeting Pine.

Science / Technology

Why internet users chose Baidu over Google when it was in China (August 9, 2018, Quartz)
As authors Sherman So and J. Christopher Westland explain in Red Wired, Baidu successfully won over users in the 2000s largely due to its strategic execution, though the government’s influence still loomed over the rivalry. 

Superfast Internet on the Way as 5G Officially Launches in Beijing (August 15, 2018, The Beijinger)
Beijing's internet looks to reach unprecedented speeds by the beginning of next year with the China Unicom formally launching its 5G services at a Haidian-based store on Aug 13.

History / Culture

Remembering the 2008 Beijing Olympics (August 13, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
To be sure, the Games were impressive and the city underwent some serious modernization, but what else did the Games leave behind? What about the hopes that the Olympic Games would bring about fundamental and lasting change in China?

Disappearing Deng (August 14, 2018, Lowy Institute)
Shortly after Xi Jinping’s rise, Deng Xiaoping began to disappear. He was disappearing because Xi was claiming some of his most popular moves as his own.

Travel / Food

How to Visit the Great Wall from Beijing (August 14, 2018, Wild China Blog)
Seeing the Great Wall of China is on many travelers’ ‘to-do’ list and it’s certainly high on our list of recommendations for Beijing.  But which section of the wall should you visit? And what should you do there? 

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Welcome Back Google? Not So Fast (August 12, 2018, China Media Project)
Also of interest, a brief invitation from the overseas edition of the People’s Daily for Google to return to China is pulled from Facebook and Twitter.

The Art of Rewriting History (August 15, 2018, China Media Project)
According to recent news reports, the painting is an oil called “Early Spring” (早春) which depicts the very beginnings of Reform and Opening, with Xi Zhongxun and other central Party leaders together making plans for the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

Language / Language Learning

Guide to the HSK 4 exam- advanced Chinese (August 9, 2018, Sapore di Cina)
In this article you’ll find grammatical constructions, the most important expressions and the most useful words that will help you pass the HSK exam level 4.

Living Cross-culturally

TCKs in the 21st Century (August 10, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Today we travel from one continent to another in a matter of hours. Gone is the buffer of time and space that travel used to provide. One TCK, daughter of a TCK, said her mother talked about the ship journey as her time to process the experiences of one place so she had a clean slate, ready for new experiences in a new place.

How I Maintain a Facebook Page in China (August 10, 2018, Far West China)
China tends not to like social platforms it can’t control and would rather push its citizens toward home-grown apps that the government can easily monitor (i.e. WeChat). This means that if your business or social life requires you have access to Facebook in China, you’ll need to figure out a workaround.