ZGBriefs

ZGBriefs | January 4, 2018

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Featured Article

99 Questions for Global Families (digging for gold in your own home) (January 2, 2018, The Culture Blend)
Questions that focus on the paradox of loving at least two places. Questions that root around in the messiness of living as a family of bumbling foreigners, perpetually on the edge of significant change.


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Overseas NGO Law

NGO Data Stocking Stuffers (December 29, 2017, The China NGO Project)
During our year-end review of 2017’s official Ministry of Public Security data on foreign NGOs in China, we came across several interesting tidbits that didn’t fit into stories elsewhere on the site. 

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

China-Taiwan Relations Head into Another Year of Stalemate (January 3, 2018, VOA)
Political rivals China and self-ruled Taiwan have entered a third year of stalemate, making the ever more frustrated Beijing likely to find new, uncomfortable ways of pressuring Taiwan to the bargaining table.

2017: A Tough Year for China-India Relations (January 4, 2018, The Diplomat)
The China-India relationship stands at a crossroads. Can both sides overcome last year’s frictions in 2018?

Religion

3 things you should know about religious freedom and the church in China (December 25, 2017, ERLC)
Here are three things you should know about the new threats to religious liberty that our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ are facing today.

China reconnects with the religion of Daoism, under the watchful eye of the Communist Party (December 28, 2017, ABC)
The 2,000-year-old Chinese faith of Daoism is a force once more. It's a celebration of harmony, a blending of opposites. The Communist Party tried to crush Daoism but now it's encouraged by the Government.

Symposium on Religion and Rule of Law Held in Beijing (December 30, 2017, China Christian Daily)
Sponsored by Pu shi Institute of Social Sciences, the meeting focused on "fundamental issues of religious legislation", "religious person", "the protection of religious property", and "the relationship between new religions/cults and the government".

Chinese Church Voices—Top 10 Posts of 2017 (January 2, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)

China and the Church: 5 Trends to Watch in 2018 (January 3, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
While many developments within the church itself would seem to bode well for the future, 2018 finds China’s church potentially on a collision course with the current regime, as China’s leaders tighten their grip on all sectors of society, including religion. How the church weathers the uncertain days ahead will depend on a number of factors.

Society / Life

Festival of Peace (December 29, 2017, LA Times China Channel)
Yet these migrant workers, on the outskirts of Beijing, were not celebrating Christmas. It was not a holiday in China, and they did not want to go home, nor to shutter their shops and lock their doors. The lights were from police cars patrolling the streets, jingling their alarm bells, making it clear there was no other choice than to leave.

The human cost of the Beijing evictions - in pictures (December 29, 2017, The Guardian)
Photographer Nicolas Asfouri visited a migrant village on the outskirts of Beijing where the narrow alleyways were crammed with men cooking on outdoor stoves, women hanging clothes to dry, and young children playing games. He returned later to find the residents gone and the doors to their homes sealed by the authorities.

China probes deeper into the lives of Uyghur minority (December 29, 2017, Globe and Mail)
In China's handling of the Xinjiang region, particularly its largely Muslim Uyghur population, scholars see echoes of North Korea and South African apartheid.

China’s 2017 in Photos (December 31, 2017, Sixth Tone)
These images depict the year’s ups and downs, as well as the individual joys and sorrows in people’s daily lives.

Surrogate motherhood becomes a family industry in poor Chinese villages (December 31, 2017, South China Morning Post)
Investigation finds areas where the majority of women – many of whom were recruited by relatives – rent out their wombs for the equivalent of US$15,000.

The Online Satirists Driving China’s Very Own ‘Youthquake’ (January 2, 2018, Sixth Tone)
If more callow generations seem uninterested in political and social change, it is due to the crushing pressure of college entrance exams, finding work, and buying homes. When they do occur, youthquakes in China tend not to resemble the phenomenon in Europe or the U.S. Instead, one of the most important outlets for rebellion in China is satire.

The Thieves of Yanhe County (January 3, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Every time I see on the news that someone arrested for robbery is a resident of Yanhe County, I feel upset.

Economics / Trade / Business

China Offers Tax Incentives to Persuade U.S. Companies to Stay (December 28, 2017, The New York Times)
China said on Thursday that it would temporarily exempt foreign companies from paying tax on their earnings, a bid to keep American businesses from taking their profits out of China following Washington’s overhaul of the United States tax code.

Bike sharing in China: The complete guide (December 29, 2017, Sapore di Cina)
For getting around the traffic-filled cities of China, which are for the most part flat, at times bike sharing is the quickest and least stressful option.

China to cap overseas withdrawals using domestic bank cards (December 30, 2017, Reuters)
China’s foreign exchange regulator will cap overseas withdrawals using domestic Chinese bank cards at 100,000 yuan ($15,370) per year in an effort to target money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion, it said on Saturday.

China’s Ambitious New ‘Port’: Landlocked Kazakhstan (January 1, 2018, The New York Times)
The state-owned Chinese shipping giant, known as COSCO, became the 49 percent owner this past summer of a patch of frost-covered asphalt bisected by railway tracks and lined with warehouses in landlocked Kazakhstan.

China wants to build an innovation capital by fiat. Can it? (January 2, 2018, The Los Angeles Times)
Shenzhen lit the fuse for decades of rapid economic growth without regard for the legacies of environmental degradation, shoddy construction or gaping inequality. Xiongan is intended to avoid those downsides through a more controlled approach — the world's most modern, sustainable city created by fiat.

China’s economic power is actually a lot smaller than you think (January 3, 2018, China Policy Institute)
China’s economic presence on world markets is actually much smaller than that of the United States of America and smaller than our key three Asia-Pacific allies combined.

U.S. Blocks Chinese Company's $1.2 Billion Takeover Of MoneyGram (January 3, 2018, NPR)
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's yearlong effort to buy U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram is now over, after American regulators objected to the $1.2 billion deal. Ma's Ant Financial Services Group has dropped its bid for the Dallas-based company.

China’s ‘Saxophone Capital,’ a Factory Town Transfixed by Kenny G (January 3, 2018, The New York Times)
Sidangkou, which calls itself China’s “saxophone capital,” produces about 10,000 saxophones per month at more than 70 factories, according to Chinese news media. The village exports nearly 90 percent of them, primarily to the United States, where they are sold for more than $100 each.

Education

China’s Education Boom (December 29, 2017, The Diplomat)
China’s universities are experiencing astonishing growth, and the government hopes for even more.

Teacher shortage hinders Xi Jinping’s dream to make China a great sporting nation (December 31, 2017, South China Morning Post)
As President Xi Jinping dreams of China becoming a great sporting nation, the reality in many schools across the country is that they do not have enough sports teachers because other subjects – and academic results – take priority.

China’s ‘Long Arm’ (January 3, 2018, Inside Higher Ed)
Scholars and political leaders describe increasing concerns about Chinese government influence over teaching and research in the U.S. and Australia.

Health / Environment

China's Crackdown On Polluters (December 30, 2017, NPR)
You've seen the pictures of smog-filled skies over Chinese cities, pedestrians venturing out only in gas masks. But 2017 was the year China finally began to crack down on big polluters.

How is autism treated in China? (January 2, 2018, The World of Chinese)
As with many disabilities, the condition is misunderstood and often feared. But NGOs working with the government are offering new hope.

Made in China: New and Potentially Lifesaving Drugs (January 3, 2018, The New York Times)
The country is now pushing to play a bigger role in the global drug industry. Millions of people in China have cancer or diabetes, and the government has made pharmaceutical innovation a national priority. Officials have promised to speed up drug approvals, and to reverse a brain drain by luring scientists back home. 

Science / Technology

Nine ways Chinese scientists pushed the envelope in 2017 (December 31, 2017, South China Morning Post)
Here are some of the most popular China science stories we covered this year.

The 4 Policies That Most Affected China's Internet In 2017 (January 2, 2018, The Beijinger)
2017 has been an exhilarating year for China, which saw an army of entrepreneurs turn the country into a world leader in fintech, gaming, and the sharing economy. 2017 has also been a tumultuous year for the Middle Kingdom, where a government newly attuned to the power, and threat of the internet sent shockwaves through a range of tech sectors.

China's WeChat denies storing user chats (January 2, 2018, Reuters)
Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, China’s most popular messenger app, on Tuesday denied storing users’ chat histories, after a top businessman was quoted in media reports as saying he believed Tencent was monitoring everyone’s account.

Travel / Food

Beijing's 20 best restaurants (December 27, 2017, CNN)
As recently as the 1980s, Beijing had only a meager portion of privately-owned restaurants. Fast forward three decades and the capital of the world's most food-obsessed country is back on its A-game. Whether you're craving artfully carved Peking duck, esoteric regional Chinese recipes or top notch global gastronomy, the city has got you covered, and then some.

Language / Language Learning

An Awkward, Greasy Year: China’s Top Slang of 2017 (December 28, 2017, Sixth Tone)
At the end of each year, Chinese media outlets and even government ministries publish lists of the top memes and expressions from the previous 12 months. On Dec. 18, a language research center under the Ministry of Education officially released its list of the “Top Online Sayings of 2017.”

Conjunctions in Chinese (December 28, 2017, Sapore di Cina)

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

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... View Full Bio