ZGBriefs | June 1, 2023

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

Connecting a City: A Journey in Pictures (May 31, 2023, Sixth Tone)
Archival photographs offer a vivid glimpse into the Shanghai Metro’s past, showcasing the stories and scenes that helped shape a city.

Sponsored Link

Job Opportunity: Content Manager 
ChinaSource is looking for a seasoned and passionate Content Manager to join our team. Do you have a heart for connecting Chinese Christians both in and outside of China by publishing reliable, up-to-date, unbiased information? Do you want to serve China with your editorial background and writing experience? If you are, we welcome you to apply for this rare opportunity. This is an exciting time to join ChinaSource as we are expanding and growing!
Job Type:  Full-time fully remote
Salary expectations: $50,000-$59,000 per year
Length of Commitment: Minimum 2 years
Start Date: Summer 2023
To apply, please send your updated resume to hr@chinasource.org

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

Amended anti-espionage law aims to curate China’s own narrative (May 25, 2023, MERICS)
In July, a series of revisions to China‘s anti-espionage law are set to officially take effect. Vincent Brussee and Kai von Carnap argue the amendments’ essence is to give Beijing more control over the country’s global image.

Xi Jinping tells China’s national security chiefs to prepare for ‘worst case’ scenarios (May 31, 2023, CNN)
The latest stern instructions from Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, comes as Beijing faces a host of challenges, from a struggling economy to what it sees as an increasingly hostile international environment. In face of what he called a “complex and grave” situation, Xi said China must speed up the modernization of its national security system and capabilities, with a focus on making them more effective in “actual combat and practical use.”

US military complains of unsafe, aggressive move by Chinese fighter jet (May 31, 2023, AP News)
The U.S. military said Tuesday that a Chinese fighter jet flew aggressively close to a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, forcing the American pilot to fly through the turbulent wake. The Chinese J-16 fighter pilot “flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135,” which was conducting routine operations in international airspace last Friday, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. It called the Chinese move an “ unnecessarily aggressive maneuver.”

China takes ‘appropriate’ action in row with India over journalists (May 31, 2023, Reuters)
China said on Wednesday it had taken “appropriate” action in response to India’s unfair treatment of Chinese journalists, in the latest episode to highlight tense relations between the big Asian neighbours. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that China and India had ejected nearly all of each other’s journalists in recent weeks.

China rejects US proposal for defense chiefs to meet in Singapore this week (May 31, 2023, CNN)
China has rejected a United States proposal for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu at the Shangri-La Dialogue Security Forum in Singapore this week, according to a Pentagon statement. […]  In the statement, the Pentagon said China had declined an invitation extended in early May for a meeting, but said the refusal would not deter the US from seeking better lines of communication. 


《亲子共成长》Growing through Parenting: A New Resource for Chinese Parents (May 26, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
With the pressure and stress of today’s world, we thought it was time to write another book emphasizing the importance of the parents’ own growth as they raise their children. This time we wrote from a Christian perspective to help parents realize that one of the important purposes of parenting is that they also grow and become more like Jesus.

Chinese Muslims and police clash over partial demolition of historic mosque (May 30, 2023, The China Project)
Protesters clashed with police in Nagu, Yunnan Province, on Saturday, as the mostly Hui Muslim residents of this town feared that authorities were commencing with plans to remove the dome and minarets of the historic Najiaying Mosque.

Expecting Great Things from God: A Chinese Couple’s Testimony (May 31, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
The following testimony was penned by Chinese Christians who came to faith in China but now reside in the US. This husband-and-wife team had ministered for many years in China. Although they are currently blacklisted and unable to enter the land of their birth, they continue to serve the Chinese church through their preaching and teaching ministry.

The Oldest Christian Church in Changchun: Century-old history of Church in Xiwuma Road (May 31, 2023, China Christian Daily)
During the May Day tourism season, I visited Changchun Christian Church with a sister, which is said to be the oldest Christian church in Changchun. Changchun Christian Church, commonly known as Nanguan Christian Church, also known as Xiwuma Road Church, is one of the most important and largest Christian churches in Changchun.

Pope Francis praises Matteo Ricci for proclaiming the Gospel in China (May 31, 2023, Catholic News Agency)
Pope Francis dedicated his entire general audience on Wednesday to sharing the life of Venerable Matteo Ricci, a 16th-century Jesuit missionary in China. The pope, who has mentioned China at every Wednesday general audience in the past three weeks, praised Ricci’s “missionary spirit” in witnessing to the Gospel in the heart of the Imperial City of Beijing.

Society / Life

Searching for Belonging Between China and Europe (May 27, 2023, Sixth Tone)
The author, host of a Chinese-language podcast about living abroad, on the false dichotomy between integrating into local life and maintaining one’s Chinese identity.

Economics / Trade / Business

China’s factory activity falls faster than expected as recovery stumbles (May 30, 2023, Reuters)
China’s factory activity shrank faster than expected in May on weakening demand, heaping pressure on policymakers to shore up a patchy economic recovery and knocking Asian financial markets lower.

COVID-19 Casualties Among Foreign Companies in China (June 1, 2023, The Diplomat)
After three years, foreign managers are now returning to China – only to find that their businesses are no longer run according to the founding principles and practices.


China Is Getting Seriously Worried About Student Anxiety (May 25, 2023, Sixth Tone)
In 2021, China made reducing the academic pressure on students a top policy priority. But anxiety disorders in schools are still a severe problem — and appear to be affecting more children at younger ages.

Xi Jinping targets education in China’s drive for tech self-reliance (May 30, 2023, South China Morning Post)
China needs to upgrade its education system to support the country’s drive for technological self-reliance, as well as attract more international students. President Xi Jinping delivered the assessment at a study session of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Health / Environment

Covid: Top Chinese scientist says don’t rule out lab leak (May 30, 2023, BBC)
In a possible sign that the Chinese government may have taken the lab leak theory more seriously than its official statements suggest, Prof Gao also tells the BBC some kind of formal investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was carried out. “The government organised something,” he says, but adds that it did not involve his own department, the China CDC.

Unprecedented Rain in Central China Wreaks Havoc on Wheat Fields (May 31, 2023, Sixth Tone)
China’s central Henan province has been hit by what local media are calling “the worst pre-harvest rainfall in more than a decade.” The torrential downpour has wreaked havoc on wheat fields, leaving farmers grappling with significant damage from both germination issues and blight. 

Science / Technology

China Is Drilling a 10,000-Meter-Deep Hole Into Earth’s Crust (May 30, 2023, Yahoo! News)
Drilling for what is set to be China’s deepest ever borehole began in the country’s oil-rich Xinjiang region on Tuesday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. […]  The narrow shaft into the ground will penetrate more than 10 continental strata, or layers of rock, according to the report, and reach the cretaceous system in the Earth’s crust, which features rock dating back some 145 million years. 

China sends first civilian astronaut to space as Shenzhou-16 blasts off (May 31, 2023, CNN)
China sent its first civilian astronaut into orbit on Tuesday, as it launched the Shenzhou-16 mission to its space station for its second in-orbit crew rotation, marking another step forward for the country’s ambitious space program. The three Shenzhou-16 astronauts blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the desert of China’s Gansu province at 9:31 a.m. on Tuesday morning, headed for the Tiangong space station orbiting earth.

Travel / Food

The New Rules for Business Travel to China (May 27, 2023, Wall Street Journal) (subscription required)
China is open for business, but the rules have changed for executives planning to travel to the country. Security advisers say the risk for foreign executives traveling to China is on the rise, following Beijing’s new anti-espionage law, raids on consulting firms that work with foreign companies and a tightening of the flow of information to the outside world. 


7 Women Who Braved a Chaotic China: Through the Valley of the Shadow: Australian Women in War-torn China: A Book Review (May 29, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
The book is an important contribution to Chinese mission history. It is also an eye-opening read for today’s would-be missionaries and supporters of mission efforts. The stories are not mere stories of political unrest but of undeterred service by women caught up in China’s unrest. The Bankses have honored seven brave women who left an enduring gospel impact in China. Their lives still speak and inspire us to follow Christ’s call no matter the cost.

Pray for China

June 3 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On June 3, 1905, pioneer English missionary James Hudson Taylor (戴德生) died in Changsha after 50 years of service. Taylor founded the China Inland Mission with the vision of taking the gospel beyond the coastal ports into China’s interior provinces. Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette wrote that, “Hudson Taylor was…one of the greatest missionaries of all time, and…one of the four or five most influential foreigners who came to China in the nineteenth century for any purpose….” Pray for Chinese and foreign missionaries to remember that the Lord will provide for them. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” Genesis 22:14

Image credit:  Xingye Jiang, via Unsplash
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