ZGBriefs | July 5, 2018

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Featured Article

China’s Belt and Road: Exporting Evangelism? (July 4, 2018, The Diplomat)
Despite Beijing’s own misgivings about religion and proselytization, it appears to have no qualms in supplying the rest of the world with religious literature. One-quarter of all the Bibles printed worldwide are printed in China, and the world’s largest Bible printing factory opened in Nanjing in 2008.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Why Xi Jinping’s China is Legalist, Not Confucian (June 29, 2018, China Channel)
Xi, by this account, is the center of China both administratively and spiritually, at the helm of a monocratic power structure that will carry out his interpretation of law and policy.

The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown (June 29, 2018, The Guardian)
Before Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

China Taps the Brakes on Its Global Push for Influence (June 29, 2018, The New York Times)
Chinese officials themselves are sounding a cautious note, voicing worries that Chinese institutions need to be careful how much they lend under the program — and make sure their international borrowers can pay it back.

The challenge of China’s governance (July 2, 2018, East Asia Forum)
China’s system of government is rooted in its revolutionary past and while it has changed a great deal since reform and opening up forty years ago, it remains a one-party state of which the Chinese Communist Party has unquestionable control. 

Understanding the Chinese Communist Party (July 2, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Understanding the role of the CCP in Chinese society and how it functions is crucial. This is especially true in the era of Xin Jinping, who is working hard to reassert Party control over every aspect of society. With this being the founding anniversary week, I thought it would be a good time to offer some suggested resources for those wanting to learn more about the CCP.

Video Policy Brief No 6: Experiences of German NGOs with China’s Overseas NGO Law (July 2, 2018, Asia Dialogue)
Until around 2012 German NGOs valued a rather open and trustful atmosphere of cooperation with Chinese NGO practitioners based on free speech. When interviewing German NGO leaders this year they told us – and I quote – “the atmosphere of cooperation was poisoned by China’s Overseas NGO Law”.

Video Policy Brief No 7: Experiences of British NGOs with China’s Overseas NGO Law (July 3, 2018, Asia Dialogue)
Several organisations voiced the view that the Chinese authorities still seem to be feeling their way on implementation.

Video Policy Brief No 8: Experiences of French and Dutch NGOs with China’s Overseas NGO Law (July 4, 2018, Asia Dialogue)
The overall findings from our research about how China’s new Law for international NGOs has impacted NGOs from the Netherlands and France is mixed. Basically, some NGOs have managed to register without major issues and experienced no interruption to their work in China, while others are either still waiting for registration or have not been able to register at all.


CP Prayer: This is Wenzhou (video)  (June 28, 2018, China Partnership, via YouTube)

Recognised by the State — if with conditions (June 29, 2018, Church Times)
Now, throngs of students and young elites worship in the New Urban House Churches. Their ministers are as likely to have been trained in the house churches’ own seminaries, or abroad, as they are to have been ordained through the state system.

My Visit to Senior Christians in Mountain Area of Henan, China (July 3, 2018, China Christian Daily)
On Sundays, they go to the church on foot and some have to walk as far as at least three miles. But they never feel tried and bitter.

Listening to Pastors in China, Part 2 (July 3, 2018, Chinese Church Voices)
This is part two of an article from the journal ChurchChina on what it means to be a pastor in China. In this article pastors share about their own past personal struggles, as well as encouragements they have received over the years. 

Triple Espresso Meets the New Normal (July 4, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Anticipating a recent interview for the afternoon drive program on KTIS, a popular Minneapolis AM station, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d not met the host previously, but the bio I received the night before described him as “a magician, comedian, and emcee.”

Society / Life

Outside the Green Bubble of China’s Super-App (June 28, 2018, Sixth Tone)
But as WeChat grows ever more ubiquitous and indispensable in everyday life, there’s a cost to the few who opt not to use it — far beyond the party invites and memes they might miss out on were they to quit one of WeChat’s overseas counterparts, like Facebook. For Chinese, life without WeChat can mean being hamstrung both at work and in daily life.

China Sentences Former Ball State Linebacker Wendell Brown To 4 Years Over Bar Fight (June 28, 2018, NPR)
Former Ball State football player Wendell Brown has been sentenced in China to four years in prison on assault charges stemming from a 2016 bar fight in Chongqing.

Staying on Point in Rural China: A Roundup of China’s Best Photojournalism (June 28, 2018, China File)
In this edition of Depth of Field: aspiring ballerinas, what’s beneath the gilt in a rich Zhejiang town, worn out doctors, disappearing schools, melting snow, data farms, and the powerful appeal of dancing outdoors.

The Old People and the Lake (July 3, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Yushan is among the most aged villages in the region. The youngest of its roughly 40 inhabitants is 65 years old — earning Yushan the local moniker “Old People Island.” 

Economics / Trade / Business

Hiring Employees in China: Verify then Trust* (July 2, 2018, China Law Blog)
China is no different from the US in this regard, and in many ways it is worse because Western companies are unable or unwilling to perform due diligence on job applicants.

Podcast: Made in China 2025 (July 3, 2018, China File)
Paul Haenle sat down with Paul Triolo, practice head of Geo-technology at the Eurasia Group, to discuss how the Chinese government initiative impacts and challenges the U.S. and global economies, and how best to formulate policies in response.

U.S. companies in China think the government is already messing with them (July 4, 2018, The Washington Post)
 Just days before the first 25-percent levy is slated to hit $34 billion in Chinese products, U.S. companies here say they’re already feeling the sting in the form of stalled product approvals, worker visas and licensing applications.


Mao 101: Inside a Chinese Classroom Training the Communists of Tomorrow (June 28, 2018, The New York Times)
While students publicly praise ideological classes like this one, in private many say they find the courses dull and irrelevant, numbing propaganda — and only grudgingly participate.

Why It’s Time to Speak Up for Students With Learning Disabilities (June 29, 2018, Sixth Tone)
My classroom observations and conversations with other staff members convinced me to make raising awareness of the educational needs of children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders my personal mission.

Science / Technology

Dreaming of a Silicon Desert (July 3, 2018, Sixth Tone)
After being reconstituted in 2004 as a prefecture-level municipality of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwestern China, it has been touted in recent years as a rising star in China’s emerging big data industry — a Chinese “Silicon Desert.”

China’s biggest cellphone company censors content — even in the United States (July 4, 2018, The Washington Post)
According to several interviews with frequent Chinese travelers to the United States, those with China Mobile as their carrier are often unable to access American websites and apps that are banned in China.

History / Culture

Buddhist Stupas in Xinjiang | “A Tale of Two Towers” (June 29, 2018, Far West China)
Thousands of years of history can be found scattered throughout China’s remote, western region of Xinjiang. Traveling along these old routes, you’ll run across ancient cities, painted caves, stone men and mysterious, crumbling…Buddhist stupas. This is the fascinating story detailing my discovery of two of these Buddhist stupas in Xinjiang.

How Britain Went to War With China Over Opium (July 3, 2018, The New York Times)
In 1840, Britain went to war with China over questions of trade, diplomacy, national dignity and, most importantly, drug trafficking. While British officials tried to play down the illicit origins of the conflict, opponents gave it a name that made the link quite clear: the Opium War.

Proud to be Red - The symbolism of China's favorite color  (July 4, 2018, The World of Chinese)
Originally in Chinese culture, though, red carries a variety of of positive connotations. Take a look at all the meaning of the color that, in spite politics, still plays an important role in the history, and culture of the Chinese.

Video: Life in Shanghai, 1947 (Tong Bingxue, via Twitter)

Travel / Food

China Warns Its Citizens About Traveling to the US (July 2, 2018, The Points Guy)
The Chinese Embassy in Washington has issued a travel alert to Chinese citizens detailing the dangers of summer travel in the US, warning that “Law and order are not well-enforced in America.”

New direct flight from Gatwick to Chengdu promises panda encounters (July 4, 2018, The Telegraph)
Air China has announced that it will begin offering a non-stop service between Gatwick and what is China's fourth biggest city at the end of next week (July 3). 

Best Nature Reserves in China (July 4, 2018, Wild China Blog)
These reserves protect incredible cultures and biodiversity and are well worth a visit with WildChina. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Dialing down the hype (July 3, 2018, China Media Project)
But China seems in any case to be trying — wary perhaps of the unease self-aggrandizing discourse can generate internationally, and of the dangerous somnolence it can induce at home.

The evolution of regulation around China’s burgeoning art scene (July 4, 2018, Asia Dialogue)
This Guiding Opinions document was designed to strengthen the regulation of the artwork finance market in China.


Outsourced Children: A Book Review (June 29, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Reading along it was easy to see myself, recognize comparable experiences, and remember saying similar things in moments of frustration. I found myself nodding along to her explanations of the maddeningly common cultural clashes that occur in all care programs. 

Links for Researchers

Introduction: The “Singapore model” and China's Neo-Authoritarian Dream (May 28, 2018, China Quarterly)
This special section deals with China's longstanding fascination with Singapore's development experience that has preoccupied post-Maoist leaders from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping despite the obvious differences between the tiny Southeast Asian city-state and the most populous country on earth.

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