ZGBriefs | August 22, 2019

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Featured Article

U.S. Recycling Industry Is Struggling To Figure Out A Future Without China (August 20, 2019, NPR)
The U.S. used to send a lot of its plastic waste to China to get recycled. But last year, China put the kibosh on imports of the world's waste. The policy, called National Sword, freaked out people in the U.S. — a huge market for plastic waste had just dried up. Where was it all going to go now?

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Pro-Hong Kong rallies see tensions boil over in Melbourne and Adelaide (August 17, 2019, ABC News(Australia))
A pro-Hong Kong rally in Melbourne's CBD turned violent as hundreds of demonstrators clashed with more than 100 pro-China protesters.

Photos: Hong Kong protests: Rival demonstrations spread across globe (August 18, 2019, BBC)
Protests over the Hong Kong democracy movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia. In Vancouver, Toronto and London, demonstrators were confronted by pro-Beijing rallies.

Hong Kong leader says dialogue and 'mutual respect' offer way out of chaos (August 19, 2019, Reuters)
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she hoped a peaceful weekend anti-government protest was the start of efforts to restore calm and that talks with non-violent protesters would provide “a way out” for the Chinese-ruled city.

Huge Weekend Of Pro-Democracy Protests In Hong Kong Appear To Be Peaceful (August 19, 2019, NPR)
For the 11th weekend in a row, the streets of Hong Kong were filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters. The authorities did not give permission for a march, there were also thunderstorms, and yet this was one of the largest demonstrations in weeks. The Civil Human Rights Front put together this rally. They estimated a turnout of 1.7 million people, though police say the number was lower.

China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests (August 20, 2019, The New York Times)
As protests continue to roil Hong Kong’s streets, China’s state-led propaganda machine has gone into overdrive to persuade the world that radical Hong Kong protesters have put the city in peril. 

Hong Kong’s tough strategy against protests — and how it could backfire (August 20, 2019, Los Angeles Times)
What are the tough tactics and could they backfire, locking authorities and protesters in a cycle of violence?

Chinese state media labels Hong Kong pro-democracy figures ‘new Gang of Four’ in fresh attacks (August 20, 2019, South China Morning Post)
Articles target Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee, Anson Chan and Albert Ho, calling them ‘traitors’ who act as agents for ‘Western anti-China forces’. Lee, Chan and Ho dismiss the allegations, with the former chief secretary saying she deplored the ‘unwarranted smear campaign’

Hong Kong: China confirms detention of UK consulate worker (August 21, 2019, BBC)
A worker at the UK's Hong Kong consulate has been detained at the border for allegedly violating the law, China has confirmed. Media reports on Tuesday said Simon Cheng, who is thought to be from Hong Kong, went missing on 8 August during a business trip. China's foreign ministry said Mr Cheng was detained at Shenzhen for 15 days.

The trouble with trying to turn Hong Kong’s young people into ‘patriotic youth’ (August 21, 2019, South China Morning Post)
Here we look at how the city’s government has poured millions of dollars into programmes to expose the younger generation to mainland China but the campaign has failed to foster national pride.

China threatens sanctions over US-Taiwan F-16 fighter plane deal (August 21, 2019, BBC)
China has threatened to impose sanctions on US firms involved with the sale of F-16 fighter planes to Taiwan if Washington goes ahead with the deal. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the US to stop the arms sales and end military contact with Taiwan.


My Heart Looks in Faith (August 16, 2019, ChinaSource Blog)
One such hymn that we sang quite often at the church I attended in Beijing was 我有主耶稣歌, which literally translated means “I Have Jesus.” The official English title used in the bilingual hymnal, however, is My Heart Looks in Faith (Song of the Yang-ze Boatman). It was always one of my favorites.

Self-styled Chinese bishop plans to ordain bishops without Vatican go-ahead (August 16, 2019, UCA News)
A Chinese underground bishop who is not recognized by the Vatican is planning to ordain bishops without papal permission. Zhang Tongli, who claims to be a bishop in Shanghai’s underground church, admitted to ucanews.com that he has a plan to ordain new bishops — a move that has aroused concern among some underground community members.

China’s Churches Reaching China’s Ethnic Minorities, Part 2 (August 20, 2019, Chinese Church Voices)
We can say that the contemporary Chinese church’s cross-cultural, ethnic minority missions have travelled all over China. Though it cannot be described in detail in one article, below are several cases of church pastors committed to cross-cultural missions. Hopefully these cases can offer a glimpse into the bigger picture.

Being a Western Christian in the Global Church, Part 3 (August 21, 2019, ChinaSource Blog)
Given all that has changed in the church in China and around the world—it is past time for cross-cultural workers in China to reevaluate our role in the Chinese Christian community. Following are some suggestions for how to better serve the Chinese church in today’s world.

Society / Life

Why New Chinese Moms Are Opting to ‘Sit the Month’ in Style (August 15, 2019, Sixth Tone)
Luxury postnatal care centers trade on mothers’ dreams of a modern family — while playing on their insecurities.

Shanghai's ostracised skateboarders – in pictures (August 15, 2019, The Guardian)
Skateboarding will debut in the Tokyo Olympics next year. Despite this, those who are part of a growing scene in Shanghai, China, complain of being labelled troublemakers.

Teenage Brides Trafficked to China Reveal Ordeal: ‘Ma, I’ve Been Sold’ (August 17, 2019, The New York Times)
A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand estimated that about 21,000 women and girls from northern Myanmar were forced into marriage in just one province in China from 2013 to 2017.

Summer Shouldn’t Mean Bear Season at China’s Museums (August 19, 2019, Sixth Tone)
In recent years, it’s seemingly become common to hear people complain about noisy, disruptive children running amok in public spaces and bothering everyone in sight while their parents passively watch. 

China has the world’s most surveilled cities, report says (August 20, 2019, Inkstone News)
In a ranking based on the number of CCTV cameras per 1,000 people, China has eight of the top 10 most surveilled cities in the world. The only two non-Chinese cities in the top 10 were London in sixth place and Atlanta in the US at No 10.

Ten dead as torrential rain and mudslides hit southwest China (August 21, 2019, South China Morning Post)
Ten people were killed and more than 20 were missing after three days of torrential rain in southwestern Sichuan province, Chinese media reported. […]  More than 49,000 tourists were trapped by the flooding. Police said 36,000 were taken to safety on Tuesday, and the rest were rescued the next day.

China’s parliament rules out allowing same-sex marriage (August 21, 2019, South China Morning Post)
Asked if China would legalise same-sex marriage, Zang Tiewei, spokesman for parliament’s legal affairs commission, said Chinese law only allowed for marriage between one man and one woman. “This rule suits our country’s national condition and historical and cultural traditions,” Zang said.

Economics / Trade / Business

Migrant workers in the digital market: China’s platform economy (August 13, 2019, Asia Dialogue)
Platform work, with its promise of relatively easy earning, profitable entrepreneurship, autonomy and flexibility at work, has a perceived ‘new spirit’ within the ‘Internet Plus’ economy today.

These Are the Foreign Brands Apologizing to China amid Hong Kong Tensions (August 16, 2019, What’s on Weibo)
Foreign luxury brands hoping to appease the Chinese market are walking on eggshells as the political crisis in Hong Kong is deepening. Chinese netizens and state media recently condemned foreign brands for showing any signs of disregarding the One-China Policy. An online witch hunt has begun: this is the list of brands.

Crew describe climate of fear at Cathay after Hong Kong sackings (August 20, 2019, Reuters)
Pilots and cabin crew at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways described a “white terror” of political denunciations, sackings and phone searches by Chinese aviation officials amid anti-government protests gripping the former British colony.

Here are your four apps to understand China’s grassroots consumers (August 20, 2019, Quartz)
The success of the four—online shopping site Pinduoduo, news aggregation app Qutoutiao, video streaming Kuaishou, and crowdfunding app Shuidichou—comes from their understanding of the pressing needs of consumers who don’t belong to China’s highly educated cosmopolitan elites.

Why China Sent Empty Cargo Containers by Rail to Europe(August 21, 2019, Inkstone News)
Widespread waste and fraud associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been revealed after the country’s state railway group admitted that a significant amount of cargo containers shuttling between China and Europe were empty.


The “Post-Truth” Publication Where Chinese Students in America Get Their News (August 19, 2019, The New Yorker)
Over time, and especially after the 2016 U.S. election, it transitioned to the kinds of stories it features today: Chinese news delivered with nationalistic overtones; tabloid tales of Chinese students living overseas (sex, drugs, murders, and missing women appear frequently); and news from the U.S. and the celebrity world.

University of Illinois Establishes Fund to Honor Slain Scholar (August 20, 2019, Sixth Tone)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or UIUC, on Monday announced a financial aid program to honor Zhang Yingying, a visiting scholar at the school who was abducted and murdered in June 2017.

Guideline Clamps Down on ‘Xiaonao’ at Chinese Schools (August 21, 2019,Sixth Tone)
The country’s top education, judicial, and law enforcement officials have identified seven behaviors of aggrieved parents seeking compensation that will now be prohibited on school property.

Health / Environment

Swine Fever Is Killing Vast Numbers Of Pigs In China (August 15, 2019, NPR)
An epidemic of African Swine Fever is sweeping through China's hog farms, and the effects are rippling across the globe, because China is a superpower of pork. Half of the world's pigs live in China — or at least they did before the epidemic began a year ago.

The Brazen Way a Chinese Company Pumped Fentanyl Ingredients Into the U.S. (August 18, 2019, The Atlantic)
Yuancheng used an army of young, perky salespeople to peddle illegal chemicals to Americans.

The Activists Fighting to Free China’s Captive Killer Whales (August 20, 2019, Sixth Tone)
Dozens of SeaWorld-style theme parks are opening across China, but they face a rising tide of criticism from animal welfare groups.

Beijing confirms avian influenza detected in expat (August 21, 2019, China Daily)
Beijing confirmed that a 59-year-old female expatriate who came to the city three months ago was carrying avian influenza H5N6, according to the municipal center for disease control and prevention's report on Tuesday. 

Travel / Food

How to order and eat Chinese hot pot like a pro (August 14, 2019, Matador Network)
Chinese hot pot (huoguo, fire pot, or steam boat) is a social meal of fresh vegetables, thin-cut meats, and a simmering broth shared amongst friends and family. It has a long history as a popular way to share a meal and conversation.

Visa-Free Travel to China Just Got Even Easier… for Some (August 16, 2019, The Beijinger)
Weary travelers can take heart because Chinese regulators have just added new options for visa-free transit for those with layovers in China and for citizens of countries with reciprocal visa agreements. 

Shake Shack to open second outlet in Shanghai (August 20, 2019, China Daily)
New York-based burger joint Shake Shack announced on Tuesday that it would be opening its second outlet in Shanghai in the coming months. Located within Jing'an KerryCenter along Nanjing West Road, the new outlet comes on the heels of its first China outpost which opened in January in the tourist hotspot of Xintiandi.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

CCTV Launches Dramatic Propaganda Video Condemning Hong Kong Protests, Praising HK Police Force (August 16, 2019, What’s on Weibo)
his week, while the protests in Hong Kong were intensifying, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV published a video on its social media channels in support of the Hong Kong Police Force. The hashtag used with the video is “HK Police, We Support You!” (香港警察我们挺你#).

People’s Republic of Desire: A Film Review (August 19, 2019, ChinaSource Blog)
In tapping into the psyche of today’s netizen in China, live streaming has created an ecosystem fueled by extreme amounts of money, fame, and power. Patrons, who provide the main financial backing, have been known to spend up to US$500,000 to get recognition in return.

China Seeks to Shape Hong Kong Narrative With Letter to Media (August 21, 2019, Bloomberg, via Yahoo!)
The letter and supporting documents clock in at a hefty 43 pages and include a timeline of what President Xi Jinping’s government describes as “violent activities that are aimed to trample the rule of law” and have caused “mayhem in Hong Kong.” It cites news articles, largely from Chinese state media, detailing links between “foreign forces” and protesters.

Language / Language Learning

Mandarin Monday: How to Navigate Didi (and Your Driver) (August 19, 2019, The Beijinger)
Hailing a ride in Beijing in 2019 is easier than ever, with numerous platforms at your fingertips waiting to whisk you away across the city with minimal trouble. Didi Chuxing remains by far the most popular ride-hailing app, especially since launching an English edition but doesn't necessarily mean you can get away with a totally Chinese-free ride.

Choice Chengyu: Sharp Words (August 21, 2019, The Beijinger)
The incisive blade and its uses throughout history have spawned a plethora of sharp chengyu…


Minister to Chinese in Your Community (China Partnership)
Millions of Chinese nationals live outside of mainland China and every year, hundreds of thousands of Chinese international students begin studying in North America, Europe, and many other parts of the world. These communities offer unique ministry opportunities and play a vital role in the evangelism of China.

Global Trellis
Global Trellis helps cross-cultural workers flourish. Watch workshops recorded specifically for Global Trellis and add them to your personal portfolio that you can revisit any time.


Evening Desert with ChinaSource, August 25, 2019 (ChinaSource)
Join us for a look at the current situation of the church in China.
Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019
Time: 6:30pm dessert
Venue: Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church
Address: 312 W Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99218

Webinar: What is it Like to be a Christian in China? (September 5, 2019, ChinaSource)
Being a Christian in today’s China is challenging in many ways. The difficulties are not just political but social, cultural, and material in nature as well. As the global church, the more we understand the context of Chinese Christians, the better we can support and effectively serve the church in China.
Date: September 5
Time: 7:30-8:30pm, US Central Daylight Time
Host: Joann Pittman; Presenter: Dr. Mary Li Ma
Cost: US$10.00

The Present and Future of the Catholic Church in China and How the American Church Can Respond: A presentation at the America Media headquarters, hosted by the US-China Catholic Association.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
6:00 p.m.​
America Media Headquarters

Image credit: Mr.TinDC, 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