ZGBriefs | July 26, 2018

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Featured Article

Airlines comply with demand from China that Taiwan not be referred to as a sovereign nation (July 25, 2018, The Los Angeles Times)
The biggest airlines in the U.S. have begun to comply with a demand from Chinese aviation officials that independent regions such as Taiwan be referred on airline route maps and booking websites as part of China. The demand was made in May by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and so far, at least 20 carriers, including Air Canada, British Airways and Lufthansa, have complied by referring to Taiwan as part of China on their global websites — not as an independent region.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Podcast: Where Does Africa Fit in Xi Jinping's Worldview? (July 21, 2018, China in Africa Podcast)
The New York-based Council on Foreign Relations' Asia Director, Dr. Elizabeth Economy, also author of the new book The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, is one of the world's leading experts on Chinese foreign policy and joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the political backdrop surrounding the upcoming FOCAC summit in Beijing.

Meet the U.S. Officials Now in China’s Sphere of Influence (July 23, 2018, The Daily Beast)
As China’s wealth has grown, so has its sophistication at currying favor in Washington and among the American elite. Both the Chinese government and Chinese companies, often with close state ties, have retained lobbying and public-relations firms in the Beltway, in some cases hiring former U.S. officials as personal lobbyists.

Britain Is Planning to Send an Aircraft Carrier to the South China Sea (July 24, 2018, National Interest)Britain is planning to send an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea to back up Australia as the two countries seek to deal with China’s growing aggressiveness in the region.

Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps  (July 24, 2018, The Conversation)
But the emergence of the re-education camps in Xinjiang raises a number of new questions: Why has the Communist Party come to rely on mass internment to control the Uyghurs? What are the implications for China’s future political development under President Xi Jinping? And how should the international community respond?

China: one in five arrests take place in 'police state' Xinjiang (July 25, 2018, The Guardian)
Analysing publicly available government data, the advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), found 21% of all arrests in China in 2017 were in Xinjiang, which accounts for about 1.5% of China’s population. Indictments in Xinjiang, accounted for 13% of all charges handed down in the country last year.

Chinese state pushes back against widespread outrage over vaccine crisis (July 25, 2018, CNN)
The Chinese government is turning to censorship and appeals for calm, amid mounting public anger following revelations earlier this week that one of the country's largest vaccine makers had violated safety standards.

Does China’s Foreign NGO Law Present a Non-profit Opportunity for Taiwan? (July 25, 2018, China File)
For groups that find themselves unable to work effectively in China, Taiwan may now become a more attractive location. There are certainly good practical reasons that make Taiwan a draw for groups focused on Greater China. Taiwan, like Hong Kong, benefits from a shared language, but at a fraction of the cost—both saving money and offering employees a high quality of life.


Rev. Shen Yiping, Founding Elder of China Gospel Fellowship, Dies at 71 (July 21, 2018, China Christian Daily)
On July 14, 2018, Rev. Shen Yiping, the second leader and one of the founding elders of China Gospel Fellowship,died of cerebral infarction at the age of 71, according to the WeChat account of "Spiritual bread on the pilgrimage".

Video: Interaction through Adaptation? On Christianity in Contemporary Chinese Society (July 23, 2018, UniGregoriana, via YouTube)
Moderator: Prof. Peter Choy – Holy Spirit Seminary College, Hong Kong

Chinese churches get ready for Sinicization (July 23, 2018, UCA News). The Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) issued the Five-Year Plan on Promoting the Chinese Catholic Church's Adherence to Sinicization (2018-22) in June to all dioceses, asking them to formulate and report their own five-year plans to the CCPA and BCCCC before the end of August.

China Will Change The World (July 23, 2018, China Partnership Blog)
Our church visited China not just for the sake of China, but to remind ourselves that we are a part of the church universal.  

Tibetan schoolchildren banned from religious activities, Chinese newspaper says (July 24, 2018, South China Morning Post)
Global Times quoted an education official in the regional capital of Lhasa as saying that pupils were required to sign an agreement to “not take part in any form of religious activity” during the break.

The Testimony of a Pastor’s Wife (July 24, 2018, Chinese Church Voices)
In this article from Gospel Times, a pastor shares his grandmother’s moving testimony as a shimu (pastor’s wife) in a time of war and hardship, and how she impacted his call to ministry.

34 Major House churches in Beijing issued a powerful joint statement on increasing religious persecution and repression in China.(July 24, 2018, Bob Fu, via Twitter) (in Chinese)

An Effective Bridge (July 25, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Today the question foreign organizations are asking (or should be asking) is how to serve with the church in China. How to learn alongside China’s future theologians as they write dissertations in China or abroad, assume faculty position in official or unofficial theological training institutions, launch new online journals, engage with fellow academics on Chinese university campuses, and publish articles for a global audience?

Society / Life

10 State Media Cartoons on China’s Social Credit Implementation  (July 20, 2018, What’s on Weibo)
Chinese state media roughly illustrate the country’s much-discussed Social Credit implementation in two ways; as punishing individuals and bringing harmony to the collective.

4 Years of What’s on Weibo: Discussing Social Credit and Latest Trends on the “China Experience Show” (July 25, 2018, What’s on Weibo)
From the social credit system to the MeToo movement in China, human flesh search engine and the spinster stereotypes, there are many topics we’ve covered on What’s on Weibo over the past four years. This week, as the editor-in-chief of What’s on Weibo, I was invited by Chinese state media outlet China.org.cn to talk to Bryan Michael Galvan about the development of What’s on Weibo and the biggest issues going around Chinese social media over the past few years.

‘WeChat, Alipay, I don’t really know how to use them’: US passenger in China accidentally pays 100 times his taxi fare  (July 25, 2018, South China Morning Post)
A Chinese taxi driver with a strong sense of ethics went out of his way to return almost 6,500 yuan (US$950) to a Chinese-American visitor who accidentally overpaid for his ride using a mobile payment service.

Economics / Trade / Business

The U.S.-China Trade War: What You Need to Do NOW (July 21, 2018, China Law Blog)
The recent imposition of tariffs on China goods coming into the United States (and with more to come) have meant our China lawyers and our international trade lawyers have been receiving an unprecedented onslaught of phone calls and emails from companies asking what to do. 

Shirts, Toilet Paper and Rotten Mangoes. This Chinese App Sells It All. (July 25, 2018, The New York Times)
They live outside the country’s prosperous megacities, in the cities, towns and hamlets that over a billion Chinese call home. They skew older, less internet savvy. And they absolutely cannot resist a bargain, even if the stuff they’re buying isn’t exactly top of the line.

Smiles Won’t Get CEOs Far in China(July 25, 2018, Foreign Policy)
But while guanxi can grease the wheels of getting meetings or getting attention to deals, it can’t halt China’s growing intrusions, under the guise of security, into the supply chains that have been such a crucial part of the U.S.-China trade relationship.


Education or espionage? A Chinese student takes his homework home to China  (July 24, 2018, NBC News)
Ruopeng Liu believes his work at a Duke lab was simply "fundamental research" that he brought back to China. His former professor thinks otherwise.

Health / Environment

A Brief Timeline Of The Vaccine Scandal (July 23, 2018, China Media Project)
This story, with its clear indication of deeper institutional problems, will surely be aggressively curtailed by censors in coming days. But its development is in many ways eerily familiar — not unlike the bursts of coverage, and often decent reporting, that we grew accustomed to seeing in the heyday of the commercial press in China, up through the Hu Jintao era.

Reports Suggest Children Throughout China Likely Injected With Faulty Vaccines  (July 24, 2018, NPR)
We're going to hear now about the outrage in China after reports that hundreds of thousands of children throughout the country have likely been injected with faulty vaccines. As NPR's Rob Schmitz reports, it's the latest in a long line of food and health scandals that has people questioning whether China's government is looking out for their safety.

China's environment ministry approves new plan to tackle rural pollution (July 24, 2018, Reuters)
China’s environment ministry has approved a new plan to tackle growing pollution threats in its vast countryside, and will strive to clean up contaminated rural land and drinking water and improve waste management, it said on Tuesday.

Science / Technology

The mega-machines helping China link the world (July 20, 2018, BBC)
China is creating a network of ambitious land- and sea-based transport links to connect its booming economy with those of Europe and Africa. And it's wasting no time - designing incredible bespoke construction machines to get the job done fast.

Wild About Tech, China Even Loves Robot Waiters That Can’t Serve  (July 21, 2018, The New York Times)
Some in China are building a future that isn’t quite ready. Still, the exuberance may be a good thing, as useful products find their place and bad ones disappear.

History / Culture

A Porous Border: China’s Berlin Wall (July 19, 2018, Sixth Tone)
The draw of Chung Ying Street — which means “China Britain Street” — lies in its past, when it divided the British territory of Hong Kong from the rest of China, and later, when it marked the frontier between capitalism and communism. The lives of locals along the border embody each stage of China’s transformation.

Pu Yi Proceeds To His Enthronement, the so called Emperor of Manchukuo drives through Hsingking(Changchun) for great ceremony at Temple of Heaven, 1934. (July 18, 2018, Tong Bingxue, via Twitter)

Travel / Food

A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture (July 19, 2018, The Atlantic)
The mountainous landscape is lined with terraced farm fields, the valleys dotted with villages made up of traditional wooden structures, and the local festivals burst with color.

China from Above (July 20, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
It’s time for a mid-summer tour of China—from the air. I recently ran across this video on YouTube done by a photographer named Stef Hoffer.

The Story of Chuan’er” Shines a Light on China’s Best-Loved Street Food (July 23, 2018, Radii China)
Though chuan’er is a staple and local favorite no matter where you go in China, it rarely comes up when people talk about “Chinese food.” But if you’ve never had any chuan’er in China, then basically you haven’t eaten Chinese food yet.

Language / Language Learning

A language learner’s guide to reading comics in Chinese (July 18, 2018, Hacking Chinese)
I have read comic books ever since I learned how to read, I came into Chinese-language comics with a broad knowledge of the medium to support me, and even so, I had to learn how to best use the comics in my studies. 


Summer Reading: 5 "Lighter Fare" Books (July 23, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
The books on this list would fall into the “lighter fare” category and are perfect for vacation reading, whether you are sitting on the front porch of a cabin in the mountains or sitting on the beach. At some point, each of these books will make you chuckle, perhaps even guffaw! They are some of my favorites!

Links for Researchers

Locking in Fair Weather Friends: Assessing the Fate of Chinese Communist Elite When Their Patrons Fall from Power (July 15, 2018, SSRN)
A growing literature shows robust evidence that patronage by high level politicians greatly enhanced officials’ chance of promotion in the largest one-party dictatorship in the world, China.

China’s Social Credit Systems and Public Opinion: Explaining High Levels of Approval  (July 23, 2018, SSRN)
Based on a cross-regional survey, the study finds a surprisingly high degree of approval of SCSs across respondent groups. Interestingly, more socially advantaged citizens (wealthier, better-educated and urban residents) show the strongest approval of SCSs, along with older people.

Folk Religion in Contemporary China (July 24, 2018, Oxford Bibliographies)
Some scholars of Chinese religion have often referred to it as “popular religion.” We prefer to use “folk religion,” as it is in contrast to “world religions” or “institutionalized religions,” whereas “popular religion” in Western contexts may be in contrast to the “official religion” of certain Christian churches. 

Resources / Events

Quarterly Update Webinar – July 27 (Justin Long, via Gumroad)
This webinar will be hosted by Justin Long once every quarter, and will cover events and trends impacting mission to the unreached.

WEBINAR TIMES (*may be tweaked, but pretty firm*)

·     1 to 3 PM CST

·     6 to 8 PM CST

This package includes both an invite to the webinar and the recording, so even if you can’t make the webinar you can still watch it, and get the slide deck.

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