ZGBriefs | August 8, 2019

ZGBriefs is a compilation of links to news items from published online sources. Clicking a link will direct you to a website other than ChinaSource. ChinaSource is not responsible for the content or other features on that site. An article’s inclusion in ZGBriefs does not equal endorsement by ChinaSource. Please go here to support ZGBriefs.

Featured Article

An Illustrated Guide to Chinese Dumplings (July 25, 2019, Radii China)
In China, however, a wide array of dumplings can be eaten in different ways, in different regions, and at different times of year — so much so that the term “dumpling” is almost meaningless on its own. Here we break down some of the different types of dumplings — soup to rice — so you can flex on your next dim sum or xiaolongbao outing.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Re-Writing the Rules (August 1, 2019, The China NGO Project)
Against a backdrop of talk of a “new cold war” between China and the U.S., it is more important than ever for international NGOs, scholars, and policymakers to understand the dimensions of the environment in which their Chinese counterparts work. In this context, two political trends in China merit attention: first, changing incentive structures for government officials, including those who are charged with overseeing civil society affairs; and second, narrowing definitions of permissible civil society activity. 

Morality politics under Xi Jinping (August 1, 2019, East Asia Forum)
The unmitigated supremacy of the CCP and socialist rule of law are forged through a dual emphasis on ‘governing the country in accordance with the law’ and ‘moral principles’. These principles set the ideological foundation of the integration of law and morality for a new era.

Chinese officials have finally discovered Twitter. What could possibly go wrong? (August 4, 2019, South China Morning Post)
China’s diplomats are finally warming to Twitter as they move away from their traditionally low-key style of communication and seek to engage more directly with the rest of the world.

Chinese rights lawyer Chen Jiangang flees to US to escape ‘persecution’ in China (August 5, 2019, South China Morning Post)
Before fleeing, Chen represented Huang Wan, daughter-in-law of disgraced Communist Party leader and security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who was jailed for life four years ago for corruption.

China’s mysterious ‘Bian Kong’ system that can bar anyone from entering or leaving the country (August 5, 2019, South China Morning Post)
It is public knowledge that China, like many other sovereign countries, has a blacklist as part of its border control system, barring people from entering or even leaving the country. A lack of details about how the system works, such as what infractions cause a person to be placed on the list, has raised concerns that it is growing rapidly and that decisions are subject to political overreach. 

Why Hong Kong protests ebb and flow, like water (August 5, 2019, Christian Science Monitor)
"Be Water" means adopt an attitude of adaptability. That was on display this weekend as protestors occupied and vacated five  Hong Kong neighborhoods.

Beijing Threatens Hong Kong Protesters (August 7, 2019, NPR)
Beijing issued a startling warning to Hong Kong protesters to not "play with fire." We look at how Chinese leaders are responding to increasing unrest in the territory.


Religions: Restrictions and reality in China (August 1, 2019, Asia Dialogue)
China has always had a distinctive view of religion formed as a result of its unique history. The religions currently recognised by the state are the ‘Chinese’ religions of Buddhism and Daoism, and the ‘foreign’ religions of Islam and two divisions of Christianity – Catholicism and Protestantism. In the current political climate in China, ‘Chinese’ religions are being advocated, while ‘foreign’ religions are being co-opted into becoming more ‘Chinese’.

Father, We Praise Thee (August 2, 2019, ChinaSource Blog)
To her and her congregation, this hymn, and so many others in the hymnal are hymns of the faith, not hymns of the West.

The religious landscape of China in the twenty-first century (August 5, 2019, Asia Dialogue)
As well as the religious venues that are approved by the Chinese authorities, many temples, churches and mosques are not approved but nevertheless operate in a grey religious zone.

From KTV Girl to Church Planter (August 6, 2019, Chinese Church Voices)
After a tragic turn of events in her family, a young woman seemed to have no choice but to go to an  unfamiliar city and become a KTV girl to support her family. She experienced two failed marriages before returning to her hometown to open a hairdresser shop, and spread the gospel. This article from Territory tells the testimony of how a former KTV girl started the first church in the county seat.

Being a Western Christian in the Global Church (August 7, 2019, ChinaSource Blog)
Changes taking place in the world and in China in particular are causing many ChinaSource readers to reconsider our China ministries. Publications by Andrew Walls, a British scholar of the African Church who pioneered the study of world Christianity, and Hans Rosling, a Swedish physician known for his statistically grounded global health advocacy, provide much needed perspective for those of us from outside China that are asking questions about our future role in the Chinese Christian community.

Society / Life

Shandong Factory Paints Rocks Green To Fool Environment Bureau (August 1, 2019, Sixth Tone)
The plant decided on the “green” appearance last year in hopes that inspectors wouldn’t notice that environmental requirements weren’t being met, according to a report Wednesday by domestic media outlet iQilu. The painted area was meant to look like vegetation and fool inspectors.

China Planning To Add Drunk Drivers to Social Credit Blacklist (August 2, 2019, Sixth Tone)
In a draft regulation released Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission said that anyone found driving under the influence of alcohol will be named and shamed on a government website that lists “untrustworthy” citizens, as well as barred from some types of travel.

China’s First 5G Phone Owner Is a 78-Year-Old Retiree (August 5, 2019, Sixth Tone)
Despite some enthusiasm for the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G’s midnight release, analysts say the new market will need more time before taking off.

In a workaholic China, the stressed-out find a refuge with monks, Sanskrit (August 6, 2019, The Telegraph)
In the rat race that is modern China, it is not uncommon for ambitious types to study coding or business English in the hope of getting ahead socially, financially or, ideally, both. These students were different. At a temple here in Hangzhou, China's e-commerce capital and a place some call the "city of entrepreneurs," they were learning Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language in which most Hindu and some Buddhist texts are written.

Beijing Polls Residents on ‘Uncivilized Behaviors’ (August 6, 2019, Sixth Tone)
A government survey asks people living in the Chinese capital to identify 10 undesirable actions from a list of 20 and vote on possible punishments.

New facekini designs hit the beaches of Qingdao (August 6, 2019, Shanghaiist)
To help women look their best this summer at the beach while also keeping their skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays, the latest line of “facekinis” have been unveiled.

What the Li Xiujuan Story Says About Petitioning Rights in China (August 7, 2019, Sixth Tone)
Though the law clearly gives citizens the right to file petitions, the reality tends to be much murkier.

China's Alipay launches service for electronic marriage certificates (August 7, 2019, China Daily)
Users in East China's Fujian, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, as well as Southwest China's Chongqing, will be able to apply for and receive an e-certificate on mini-programs of local governments on the Alipay application.

Economics / Trade / Business

The US-China Trade War: What’s Next? (August 6, 2019, China Law Blog)
I predict the following over the next few months:

The resurrection of state capitalism in China (August 6, 2019, East Asia Forum)
Key commentators have noted that Chinese state capitalism has continued to strengthen since the launch of a new stage of SOE reforms in the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in November 2013. 

Companies in the Crosshairs? China to Enact Its Own Export Controls (August 7, 2019, China Business Review)
This summer, China announced its intention to develop two of its own export controls lists, potentially in response to actions taken by the United States. Details pending, these moves could have a profound impact on foreign investment in China.

Nike Likes Manufacturing Outside China and You Should Too (August 7, 2019, China Law Blog)
You can learn that there are plenty of countries other than China that manufacture quality items at a price that makes sense for a highly sophisticated international company like Nike and that alone ought to open your eyes to the manufacturing world outside China.


How Should the U.S. Government Treat Chinese Students in America? (August 1, 2019, China File)
Should there be increased scrutiny of Chinese student visa applications? How can American universities remain vibrant centers of scholarship, cutting edge research, and international exchange, while accurately calibrating the potential danger to U.S. interests of industrial espionage, or of efforts to suppress criticism of the Chinese Communist Party?

Mobile phones off limits in classrooms, targeting teenagers (August 7, 2019, China Daily)
Authorities in Central China's Hunan province have banned students from bringing mobile phones into classrooms, citing myopia problems. Products with electronic displays, such as tablet computers, are also off-limits in classrooms among students, according to a plan targeting children and teenagers and jointly issued by eight government organs in Hunan. Classroom work should be done on paper, according to the plan.

A student attended a protest at an Australian uni. Days later Chinese officials visited his family (August 7, 2019, Sydney Morning Herald)
Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent. The apparent intimidation tactics suggest the Chinese government was monitoring the demonstration at the University of Queensland to record who attended…

Health / Environment

The Chinese medical clinic in Pakistan on the belt and road security front line (August 7, 2019, South China Morning Post)
The first medical centre along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has helped build local goodwill, but also been caught in the crossfire as terrorists try to drive Chinese interests out of the province.

China stipulates national standards for disability nursing home care (August 7, 2019, China Daily)
China on Wednesday issued its first national standards for nursing home care services for people with disabilities. The standards, to go into effect on Jan 1, 2020, apply to nursing home facilities for working-age persons with intellectual, mental and severe physical disabilities. The standards include service contents, requirements and procedures, as well as management and service evaluation.

Science / Technology

On Chinese Wikipedia, a bitter battle rages to define the Hong Kong protests (August 2, 2019, Wired)
The battle over Hong Kong's extradition bill has moved online, with editors in Hong Kong fighting against those aligned with mainland China in the struggle to write the history of the protest movement as it happens.

History / Culture

China in the 1980s, when people felt free to speak their minds (August 1, 2019, Gold Thread)
So I was surprised to learn during a recent conversation with my parents that it was the most hopeful and open time they ever knew in their lives. For all its lack of material pleasures, the ’80s had no shortage of vibrant culture.

The Forbidden City Opens Wide as China Projects New Pride in Its Past  (August 3, 2019, The New York Times)
The revitalization of the Forbidden City has coincided with a broader push in China to protect and project the country’s cultural heritage — an about-face for a Communist Party that came to power vowing to overturn the past and build a new, socialist utopia on the Soviet model.

Travel / Food

How to Use Chopsticks: Avoid Killing Everyone's Appetite With These 9 Useful Tips (August 5, 2019, The Beijinger)
As you've probably already noticed, simply moving food from your plate to your mouth using chopsticks will earn you approving nods and compliments from your Chinese dining compatriots. But it's one thing to know basic chopstick etiquette such as "never insert chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice," and another entirely to master the art of this centuries-old cutlery.

Video: See China in 70 Seconds – Liaoning (August 7, 2019, China Daily)
Located in Northeast China, Liaoning province is the backbone of Chinese manufacturing. It is also the home and origin of Chinese barbecue — Jinzhou Kebab. Let's discover more of the land in 70 seconds.

Hong Kong protests: Australia issues travel alert as China warns of worst crisis since 1997 (August 7, 2019, The Guardian)
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Dfat) said: “There is a risk of violent confrontation between protesters and police, or criminally linked individuals, particularly at unauthorised protests.” Ireland, the UK, and Japan have all issued Hong Kong travel warnings since July.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Here are China’s “Hot 5” Bands for Summer 2019* (August 3, 2019, Radii China)
Streaming platform iQIYI’s Rap of China for rock music unveiled its 5 finalists last night after an 11 episode run that despite some annoying elements has actually turned out better than many Chinese rock fans expected.

“The Farewell” Gets Intimate with the Gaps Between Being Asian, Being Chinese, and Being American (August 5, 2019, Radii China)
The critically lauded film humanizes the China where it takes place, giving Western viewers a fresh perspective on the country.

China to boycott the Golden Horse awards, Taiwan's 'Chinese Oscars' (August 7, 2019, The Guardian)
China’s film regulator said on Wednesday it was blocking the mainland movie industry from participating in Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards, the ‘Chinese Oscars’. No reason was given, in the latest sign of rising tensions between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

Language / Language Learning

Chinese reading challenge, August 2019(August 6, 2019, Hacking Chinese)
Reading is one of the most important skills when learning a language. It’s an excellent way to expand vocabulary, learn grammar and improve your 语感/語感. Yet many students don’t read enough, and when they do it, they do it in the wrong way.

Links for Researchers

Studies in World Christianity, Issue 25.2 (University of Edinburgh)
This special issue of Studies in World Christianity brings together six of the excellent papers that were presented at the conference.

Worship, Technology and Identity: A Deaf Protestant Congregation in Urban China (Volume 25, Issue 2, Studies in World Christianity)
This paper 1 analyses a Deaf community in urban China and explores the extent to which this particular community has contextualised a Protestant message centred on understandings of sin as a disability.

Measuring Religious Change In The Global East (Templeton Foundation)
This one-year project aims to develop survey questions to accurately measure religiosity in the Global East, network with scholars of religion in East Asia, and make preparations to study the spatial-temporal changes of religion in the Global East.

Special Issue "Religiosity, Secularity and Pluralism in the Global East"(MDPI)
This is a call for papers for the Inaugural Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and we will select some papers addressing some of the issues to publish in the journal Religions.


Evening Desert with ChinaSource, August 25, 2019, Spokane, WA (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

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. (US-China Catholic Associatin)
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
6:00 p.m.​
America Media Headquarters
Rockefeller Center, Manhattan
1212 6th Ave, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10036


Prayer Guide: Chongqing (August 4, 2019, China Partnership)

Image credit: Noodle Theory, by Neil Conway, via Flickr