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Five Things Every New Expat Should Know (August 14, 2017, The Culture Blend)
There is nothing in the world like the beginning of a cross-cultural experience. It is a jumbled, beautiful mess of every possible emotion, wrapped in giddy wonder, coated in absolute confusion.
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Overseas NGO Law
Comparing Recent NGO Laws in Russia and China (August 10, 2017, The China NGO Project)
Much can be learned from comparing these two laws on foreign organizations and foreign funding of civil society in Russia to the Foreign NGO Law in China. This post focuses on their similarities and differences in development, intent, and effect on civil society.
Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—August 8, 2017 (August 14, 2017, The China NGO Project)
China makes it easier for overseas NGO foreigners to work in China (August 16, 2017, Global Times)
China issued new rules Wednesday on work permits for foreigners working for overseas nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in China to make it easier for them to gain legal status in the country. The rules were jointly issued by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs
Beijing Warns U.S. Over Navy Patrol in South China Sea (August 11, 2017, The New York Times)
As the Trump administration pressed China to curb North Korea, Beijing issued its own warning over another festering dispute on Friday, saying that American naval operations in the South China Sea would only force it to deepen its military buildup there.
China issues order to implement U.N. sanctions on North Korea (August 14, 2017, Reuters)
China's Commerce Ministry issued a ban effective from Tuesday on several imports from North Korea, including coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and seafood, a move that is in line with U.N. sanctions announced this month. Beijing issued the banning order on Monday.
The Chinese Communist Party's Political War on Taiwan: The Assault on Taiwan's Diplomatic Allies (August 14, 2017, Asia Eye)
Panama's switch represents Beijing's latest conquest in a broader strategy to wage an intensified, concerted offensive against the ROC and Taiwan's formal diplomatic allies. Such tactics by the PRC serve as a threat to the current international order, endangering the resolution of transnational challenges, liberal values, and the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
Trump orders probe of China's intellectual property practices (August 14, 2017, Reuters)
President Donald Trump on Monday authorized an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing, but one that is unlikely to prompt near-term change.
China is Forcing Uighurs Abroad to Return Home. Why Aren’t More Countries Refusing to Help? (August 14, 2017, China File)
China is seeking out and recalling members of its ethnic Uighur minority population scattered across the globe. In the case of Egypt, Chinese authorities have relied on Egyptian security to seek out and round up ethnically Uighur Chinese citizens in Cairo.
Taiwan says on high alert after recent Chinese air force drills (August 15, 2017, Reuters)
Taiwan's military is on a high state of alert following three straight days of drills by the Chinese air force near to the self-ruled island which Beijing claims as its own, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
China's Xi looks to party congress to cement authority (August 16, 2017, ABC News)
In a ritual of summer, China's leaders have been holding an unofficial retreat at a beach resort ahead of a key fall Communist Party congress at which President Xi Jinping will launch his second five-year term as party chief and move to cement his status as China's most powerful leader in decades.
Young Hong Kong democrats face jail amid fears of broader crackdown (August 16, 2017, Reuters)
The democracy movement in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong is facing a dark era, student protest leader Joshua Wong said on Wednesday, a day before an appeal court decides whether to send him and two other activists to jail.
Western vs. Chinese Theology (August 11, 2017, From the West Courtyard)
I think of my best Chinese-pastor friend who leads a small house church in northwest China. He knows all parts of the Bible incredibly well, as well as any Chinese person I know. However, he has never been interested in discussing the more debated theological topics that Westerners normally discuss. Those debates just are not important to him.
China missionaries seek converts along the Belt and Road (August 12, 2017, Financial Times)
There are about 1,000 Chinese missionaries outside the country, compared with virtually none a decade ago, according to churches and academics. Church leaders hope to increase their number to 20,000 by the end of the next decade. Those leaders say missionary activity is a natural extension of China’s Protestant movement, which has grown rapidly in recent decades and now numbers about 100m.
What Not to Say When Disaster Strikes (August 15, 2017, Chinese Church Voices)
The author of this article, a Christian from Fujian province, helpfully reminds Christians of the compassion that needs to be shown to others when disaster strikes.
3 Questions: Remembering the Poor (August 16, 2017, From the West Courtyard)
Brother Tom is a grassroots church planter in an Asian city. For the past twenty years he has worked with a global organization on creating access and sustainability for church planting.
Society / Life
Photos: Demolishing Beijing's 'disorderly' development (August 11, 2017, Reuters)
Teen's death at Chinese internet addiction camp sparks anger (August 14, 2017, BBC)
A Chinese teenager has died days after he was sent to an internet addiction treatment centre, reigniting criticism of these controversial institutions. The 18-year-old had allegedly sustained multiple injuries, and the centre's director and staff members have been held by police, according to reports. The incident took place earlier this month in eastern Anhui province.
Why China’s New Mothers Look to Both Science and Superstition (August 15, 2017, Sixth Tone)
In today’s China, the lying-in period is seen as local knowledge with roots in unique cultural customs. Yet it also reflects how tastes are changing. With the advent of modern hygiene, more and more mothers are opting for so-called scientific lie-ins, with a consumer market springing up around this trend. For a price, most new mothers choose to attend specialized maternity hotels or hire maternity matrons in the weeks following birth.
Economics / Trade / Business
Fears of data dystopia as China heads for cashless society (August 11, 2017, The World of Chinese)
As another annual" Cashless Day" concludes, not everyone is enthused with mobile payment.
North Korea factories humming with 'Made in China' clothes, traders say (August 12, 2017, Reuters)
Chinese textile firms are increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border, traders and businesses in the border city of Dandong told Reuters. The clothes made in North Korea are labeled "Made in China" and exported across the world, they said.
China Bans Too-Long, Too-Weird Company Names (August 14, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Further rules prohibit language that discriminates against genders, races, or ethnicities; overtly religious terms related to Christianity or Islam; and words associated with politically sensitive subjects such as national law, the People’s Liberation Army, or the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.
China Work Permit Calculator: Find Your Tier (August 16, 2017, China Briefing)
China’s new work permit system for foreigners was rolled out nationwide on April 1 this year. The new system has introduced a three-tier talent grading system for expatriates. Expats are placed in either Tier A, B, or C, depending on the number of points they earned under the point scoring system, or by fulfilling a condition that automatically places them in a given tier.
China is America's biggest creditor once again (August 16, 2017, CNN)
America again owes more money to China than any other nation. China's vast holdings of U.S. government debt jumped $44 billion to $1.15 trillion in June, according to U.S. Treasury Department data. That took China above Japan, which offloaded $21 billion in U.S. bonds in the month.
Why My School Teaches Students to Survive on Next to Nothing (August 13, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Every summer, a university in Zhejiang gives dozens of students $7.50 each and sends them to live in an unfamiliar city for two weeks.
Report Finds China Sends Most International Students to U.S. High Schools (August 14, 2017, NBC News)
The report, compiled by the Institute of International Education (IIE), a nonprofit, revealed that around 2 in 5 international students enrolled in American high schools came from China and that the total number of students from China rose by 48 percent between 2013 and 2016.
Chinese universities increase visibility in list of global top 500 (August 16, 2017, China Daily)
More Chinese mainland universities than ever before have been ranked among the world's top 500 universities in terms of research capabilities this year. The annual Academic Ranking of World Universities released on Tuesday includes 45 mainland universities, up from 18 in 2009, when not one made the top 200.
Health / Environment
Center for autistic children probed over child abuse reports (August 15, 2017, China Daily)
Classes at a center for autistic children in Beijing have been suspended after surveillance footage showed teachers physically abusing the students. Two teachers at the Senxi Education center in Changping district have been fired due to "grave errors" and another are expected to follow after the police finish their investigation, the person in charge of the center, surnamed Han, told the Beijing News.
Science / Technology
In China, Facebook Tests the Waters With a Stealth App (August 11, 2017, The New York Times)
Now the social network is trying a different way into China: by authorizing the release of a new app there that does not carry the Facebook name.
China's WeChat, Weibo and Baidu under investigation (August 11, 2017, BBC)
China says it is investigating its largest social media platforms – Weibo, WeChat and Baidu Tieba – for alleged violations of cyber security laws. The Cyberspace Administration said people had been using the three platforms to spread terror-related material, rumours and obscenities. The breaches "jeopardised national security," the administration said.
10 Tips For Cross-Cultural Living + Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits (August 15, 2017, Velvet Ashes)
Cross-cultural living encapsulates so many areas! Daily life, language, creating a comfortable living space, making local friends, and helping our family adapt to a new culture. I have tidbits of advice in a lot of these areas, so I’m going with a list. I like lists.
Arts / Entertainment / Media
Rapper Xie Di Wants to Shoot Foreigners in His New Song, "Wack Laowai" (August 11, 2017, The Beijinger)
China's expat community has again become the target of anger for China's rap artists, as illustrated by Sichuan's Xie Di desire to shoot foreigners with a gun in his new single "Wack Laowai" (瓜老外 guā lǎowài).
Journalism, Censorship, and the 19th Party Congress (August 14, 2017, China Digital Times)
At Deutsche Welle, Sabine Peschel talks to Audrey Jiajia Li, a former TV journalist who has turned to social media and foreign media outlets as the media climate within China grows ever frostier.
Chinese Documentary on WWII Sex Slaves Shows How They Live Now (August 15, 2017, Sixth Tone)
A documentary on the remaining Chinese women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II premiered in mainland movie theaters on Monday — the eve of the anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the International Memorial Day for Comfort Women.
Artist Paints ’90s Pop Culture Into Classical Chinese Landscapes (August 16, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Dressed in traditional robes with loose lapels, two figures sit at the prow of an ornate boat gliding over a serene lake. At first glance, the painting resembles a classical depiction of a Chinese landscape, but look a little closer and you’ll see that one of the characters is Doraemon, the blue cat-shaped cartoon robot from Japan.
History / Culture
In China, internet censors are accidentally helping revive an invented “Martian” language (July 30, 2017, Quartz)
When Chinese social media users on microblog Weibo came across an almost illegible post earlier this month, many of them would have instantly recognized it as “Martian,” a coded language based on Chinese characters that was very popular many years ago.
Bloody Saturday: Shanghai’s Darkest Day – the Video (August 14, 2017, China Rhyming)
As it is the week my Penguin China Special is released and the 80th anniversary of Bloody Saturday, a short video from Penguin.
Travel / Food
The Bing Dynasty (August 12, 2017, The World of Chinese)
With gourmet versions flourishing overseas, Sun Jiahui goes in search of the authentic jianbing.
10 Crazy, Little-Known Facts about Xinjiang (August 14, 2017, Far West China)
As a foreigner who has lived in the Xinjiang region since 2006, I’ve learned that there are quite a few things that make Xinjiang unique. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Xinjiang before or maybe you’ve lived here at some point in your life. Either way, I think you’ll find at least a few of these facts fascinating!
China’s top destinations for graduates (August 15, 2017, The World of Chinese)
So if you feel like reliving a part of your youth or are interested in where the youths like to go, pay attention to the following.
Shower of the Gods (August 16, 2017, The World of Chinese)
It’s become cliché for Chinese travelers to claim that they are venturing into the Tibetan region to “purify their hearts” because it’s the closest place to heaven. But for many Tibetan Buddhists in the Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan, a pilgrimage to the “Holy Waterfall” in the Meili Snow Mountains is a genuine annual obligation.
8 Foods You Never Knew You Could Make from Scratch in China (August 12, 2017, Small Town Laowai)
Here are some of the first things we learned to make from scratch.
Flying Economy Class (August 14, 2017, Djibouti Jones)
Your brown-haired daughter snuggled on your lap, her head so heavy your legs fell asleep sometime over Chicago. Be glad you are sitting so close together, there aren’t many more years before she won’t want to lean on you anymore.
Language / Language Learning
Stinky Tofu and Language Learning (August 14, 2017, From the West Courtyard)
A few weeks ago, Chinese Buddy outdid themselves with the release of what is sure to become a big hit: The Stinky Tofu Song. Besides being funny and having a catchy (or shall we say addictive) tune, it does a great job of teaching the basic structure of saying “I want” and “I don’t want.”
Outsourced Children: Orphanage Care and Adoption in Globalizing China (August 15, 2017, China File)
It’s no secret that tens of thousands of Chinese children have been adopted by American parents and that Western aid organizations have invested in helping orphans in China. But why have Chinese authorities allowed this exchange, and what does it reveal about processes of globalization?
Links for Researchers
International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 (United States Department of State)
This report serves as a resource for governments and citizens alike, helping to inform the work of faith leaders, lawmakers, rights advocates, academics, business leaders, multilateral institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource 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 of Northwestern-St. Paul …View Full Bio