ZGBriefs | July 14, 2022

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Featured Article

China’s Top 10 Most Livable Cities, According to Chinese Youth (July 9, 2022, Radii China)
Last week, China’s biggest lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu published a study revealing the factors that impact young Chinese people’s decisions on where to live in the country. Changsha, a city in Central China known for its underground scene, tops the list. Kunming, a Southwest city synonymous with mild weather year-round, follows closely behind. The third spot goes to Chengdu, which — despite the local food’s fiery reputation — is very much about chill vibes.

Sponsored Link

Webinar Recording: “Where Are the Churches in China? And Why?” (ChinaSource)
In a country where religion is highly regulated, and in some cases severely restricted, is it possible that there are provinces where Protestant Christianity or Catholic Christianity are the predominant religions? According to research conducted by Professor Fengang Yang, director of The Center for Religion and the Global East, the answer is yes. This is just one of the fascinating pieces of information that Professor Yang presented in his online lecture, “Where Are the Churches in China? And Why?”, co-hosted by ChinaSource, the U.S.-China Catholic Association, and the China Academic Consortium on June 16, 2022. A video recording of the event is now available here and on our YouTube channel.

If you or your company/organization would like to sponsor a link in ZGBriefs, please contact info@chinasource.org for more information.

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Americans in the crosshairs of China’s spy game (July 9, 2022, BBC)
The man on the other end, US authorities believe, was Anthony Ziburis, a 49-year old former Florida correctional officer and bodyguard. His mission: To spy on and discredit Chinese dissidents on behalf of China’s intelligence service. The dissidents reportedly included two American citizens – Mr Liu and Yan Xiong, a retired US Army chaplain and congressional candidate who’d previously been involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

The Impact and Implications of China’s Growing Influence in the Middle East (July 9, 2022, The Diplomat)
China has struck a careful balance between regional rivals, especially Iran and the Gulf. But amid shifting dynamics, staying neutral may not be an option.

Why a Xi Jinping Third Term Looks Secure (July 11, 2022, The Diplomat)
From key personnel appointments to a surge in loyalty displays, all signs point to China’s leader continuing in power.

US destroyer sails past Chinese-held South China Sea islands (July 13, 2022, ABC News)
The U.S. Navy on Wednesday sailed a destroyer close to China-controlled islands in the South China Sea in what Washington said was a patrol aimed at asserting freedom of navigation through the strategic seaway. The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold sailed past the Paracel Islands and continued thereafter with operations in the South China Sea. 

How China Wants to Replace the U.S. Order (July 13, 2022, The Atlantic)
What began as a trade war and a tech war between Beijing and Washington is now an ideas war.


China-Vatican agreement: bishops ordained and dioceses left vacant (July 10, 2022, Asia News)
In a recent interview, Pope Francis expresed his hopes for the renewal of the accord due to expire in October. Since it came into force, six bishops ordained (two appointed previously) and six more have taken possession of their dioceses. But throughout China – despite the Agreement – at least 36 dioceses have no bishop. 

Church in China is growing and flourishing: Interview with Dr. Anthony E. Clark (July 11, 2022, UCA News)
Antony Clark is a professor of Chinese history at Whitworth University in Washington affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. His research revolves around China, the West, individual and religious exchanges. He has published eleven books, most of them focusing on the history of Catholicism in China. In 2020, he published China’s Catholics in an Era of Transformation, which features a collection of short essays on China’s modern Catholic Church, combined with reports on his encounters with contemporary Chinese Catholics. The essays were mostly written in China while he was traveling by train or staying in villages and large cities near the Catholic communities.

To See the Gospel Advancing: Gospel-Centered Legal Practice (July 11, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
As Chinese house churches try to respond to their challenges, knowledge and understanding are in great need. In a 2021 seminar for Chinese Christians, “Gabriel,” a Christian attorney, shared about how and why house churches should adopt a gospel-centered legal framework, and what that means practically for believers and their church communities.

The Problem of Succession (July 12, 2022, Chinese Church Voices)
Developing and retaining the next generation of leadership is a challenge for every organization, including churches—and the churches in China. In this article from China Christian Daily based on an interview with a young pastor in central China, some of the key issues of succession and retention of young workers are identified.

Society / Life

The Best of Beijing in Readers’ Photos: Out and About in the Capital (July 9, 2022, The Beijinger)
In this installment of Best of Beijing in Photos, we took submissions for images of day to day life out and about in Beijing.

India set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023, UN says (July 11, 2022, CNBC)
India is on track to overtake China as the planet’s most populous country next year, according to a U.N. report published on Monday. The report, from the population division of the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said China and India were each home to over 1.4 billion people in 2022.

“Unidentified” Assailants Crush Depositors’ Protest in Henan (July 12, 2022, China Digital Times)
Hundreds of bank depositors clashed with police in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan, in a major escalation of a simmering conflict between rural customers and a consortium of likely insolvent local banks that have suspended withdrawals. The conflict earned national headlines in June when a planned demonstration was thwarted because depositors’ health codes were turned red—with some depositors further flagged as criminals or drug addicts—in a flagrant abuse of the country’s coronavirus prevention tool. Over the weekend, the long-delayed protest took place in Zhengzhou.

Chinese Men Still Get a Pass on Domestic Labor. Even From Their Wives. (July 13, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Men are rarely expected to help with household chores in China — and pitching in doesn’t mean they can slack off in the workplace.

Heat wave, flooding leave over a dozen dead in China (July 13, 2022, AP)
Flooding and extreme high temperatures have caused multiple deaths in eastern China as summer heat descends earlier than usual. Record-high temperatures have been reported in Zhejiang province, just east of the global business hub of Shanghai, topping out above 42 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. 

143 new COVID cases reported: NW China’s Lanzhou enters a 7-day lockdown (July 13, 2022, Global Times)
Lanzhou in Northwest China’s Gansu Province has sealed off its four city districts in downtown area for seven days to curb the spread of the latest COVID-19 flare-up, which started from last Friday. According to the local health authority, Lanzhou has reported a total of 143 locally-transmitted COVID-19cases as of 10 am on Wednesday, and 140 of them came from the districts of Chengguan, Qilihe, Xigu and Anning.

For China’s Anxious Middle Class, Saving Is the New Spending (July 13, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Months of lockdowns have left many consumers feeling financially insecure — and trying to drastically cut their household budgets. The trend may be difficult to reverse.

Economics / Trade / Business

Chinese companies are going global as growth slows at home (July 12, 2022, CNBC)
China’s retail sales have lagged ever since the pandemic began in 2020. Locals’ inclination to save, rather than spend or invest, has climbed to its highest in 20 years, according to People’s Bank of China surveys. Guangdong-based Miniso’s founder and CEO Jack Ye said sales in New York City are growing rapidly, and he plans to open a North America product development center this year.


How Ancient Chinese Scholars Celebrated Graduation (July 7, 2022, The World of Chinese)
In the Tang dynasty, scholars celebrated the end of exams with food, bribes, and cosying up to officials.

Health / Environment

How China’s COVID Quarantine Rules Have Evolved (July 11, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Shorter isolation times, at-home health monitoring, and a definition of at-risk areas are part of the country’s new updated guidelines on coronavirus prevention.

Hong Kong to make COVID-19 app more like mainland China to curb infections (July 11, 2022, Reuters)
Hong Kong will update an app it uses for COVID-19 tracking to bring it more in line with mainland China, by requiring people to register by name and by adopting a traffic light colour code to restrict movement of infected residents and close contacts. Previously, users were not required to register with their personal details, and the app was used to enter venues and display vaccination records.

Science / Technology

Reform and Dialing Up: The Early Days of the Chinese Netizen (July 8, 2022, The World of Chinese)
When was the term “wangmin” coined, and how did China’s cyberspace evolve from the first-generation of netizens to today?

Beijing’s watchful eye on all data flowing in and out of China (July 8, 2022, MERICS)
Data ports concentrate data for cross-border transfer and make oversight easier, says Kai von Carnap. They are already being called data supervision with Chinese characteristics.

China space tourism prospects boosted by cooperation agreement (July 13, 2022, Reuters)
CAS Space signed a strategic cooperation agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based travel industry giant China Tourism Group, pledging to “jointly promote the application of commercial space technology and create a new space economy such as space tourism,” according to a statement published on CAS Space’s official WeChat account.

Travel / Food

Hong Kong suspends flight bans as it eases COVID rules (July 13, 2022, Reuters)
Hong Kong has suspended a rule that banned individual flights for bringing in passengers infected with the COVID-19 virus, as it caused “unnecessary trouble” and inconvenience to residents of the global financial hub, the government said on Thursday.

Living Cross-culturally

A Superlative Sabbath (July 11, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
The brothers and sisters in my expat community met weekly throughout the city. All in homes. I had joined the team mid-year and so followed them to their group’s weekly meeting. The location changed frequently. Some members with larger apartments opened their places more frequently and some just once.


Stranded in Chairman Mao’s China (July 7, 2022, Sixth Tone)
In a remarkable new memoir, Jaime FlorCruz recounts how he became a political exile in China during the Cultural Revolution — and went on to study alongside many of the country’s future leaders.

Pray for China

July 16 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On July 16, 1814, Robert Morrison (马礼逊) baptized the first Chinese Protestant Christian in mainland China, Cai Gao (蔡高弟兄). Cai Gao had been hired to help print the New Testament. In 1812, he asked to be baptized— Morrison not only refused, but fired him, regarding him as too quarrelsome. Cai continued to attend Morrison’s Sunday services for many months and was faithful in prayer and conduct. When Morrison finally baptized Cai, Morrison wrote prophetically in his journal, “May he be the first-fruits of a great harvest, one of millions who shall come and be saved on the day of wrath to come.” Pray with Morrison for millions more to be saved in China. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands…Revelation 7:9

Image credit: Stevie Poppe, 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