ZGBriefs

ZGBriefs | June 29, 2017

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Featured Article

Is a Buddhist Group Changing China? Or Is China Changing It? (June 24, 2017, The New York Times)
Across China, millions of people like Ms. Shen have begun participating in faith-based organizations like Fo Guang Shan. They aim to fill what they see as a moral vacuum left by attacks on traditional values over the past century, especially under Mao, and the nation’s embrace of a cutthroat form of capitalism.


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Special Section: 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong Handover

Hong Kong: the 20th anniversary of the handover – Q&A (June 26, 2017, The Guardian)
All you need to know about the the 20th anniversary of Britain handing Hong Kong to China.

China makes its military more visible in Hong Kong (June 27, 2017, CNN)
But, 20 years after the handover, the Chinese military garrison here is taking on a more active role, according to a recent article in a Communist Party journal, with the PLA conducting drills and war games in the territory.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at 20: Celebrating Decline? (June 27, 2017, National Bureau of Asian Research)
On July 1, President Xi Jinping will come into town to “celebrate” the twentieth anniversary of a Hong Kong SAR that is facing a much cloudier outlook after two decades under Chinese rule.

Hong Kong State of Mind: Xinhua Raps Handover Anniversary (June 27, 2017, Sixth Tone)
China’s state news agency Xinhua has released an animated music video celebrating the upcoming 20th anniversary of the British ceding control of Hong Kong to the mainland.

How China changed Hong Kong: views from the city (June 28, 2017, The Guardian)
Here the Guardian asks six Hong Kong residents about their memories of 1997 and their thoughts on the city’s future.

After 20 years of Chinese rule, Hong Kong hype marred by pro-democracy tensions  (June 28, 2017, Christian Science Monitor)
Hong Kong is planning a big party as it marks 20 years under Chinese rule. But many people in the former British colony are not in the mood to celebrate.

Struggle for Control Underlies Xi Jinping’s Visit to Hong Kong (June 28, 2017, The New York Times)
On Thursday, when Mr. Xi arrives in the city for the first time as China’s leader, he is unlikely to mention the 2014 upheaval that challenged his young administration, but it will lie behind his message of Beijing’s firm control.

The last Hong Kong governor: Chris Patten on 20 years after the handover – video (June 28, 2017, The Guardian)
Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last governor, handed the former colony back to China on 1 July 1997 to be ruled with a degree of autonomy under a system called “one country, two systems”. […] Here he reflects on leaving Hong Kong and what the game plan should be going forward.

Revisiting My Hong Kong, 20 Years After the British Left (June 28, 2017, The New York Times)
So much had happened in the 20 years of Chinese rule — the SARS epidemic, creeping authoritarianism, the protest movement — I did not expect to recognize Hong Kong.

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Nobel Laureate, Leaves Prison for Cancer Care (June 26, 2017, The New York Times)
Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his writings promoting democracy, has been given medical parole to be treated for late-stage cancer, his lawyers and the prison authorities said on Monday.

I’m sad for my friend Liu Xiaobo, and for a China that can’t cherish its finest (June 26, 2017, Quartz)
A voice so free and capable of such sharp analysis should have been cherished by a developing country that, after becoming in the shortest imaginable time the second-largest economy in the world, has been trying to increase its “soft power” and improve its image among people both near and far.

US lists China as among worst human trafficking offenders (June 27, 2017, CNN)
A new US State Department report lists China as among the worst offenders for human trafficking, joining countries including Russia, Syria and Iran on the lowest rung of the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

13 Chinese sentenced to death for drugs offences as thousands look on in public trial (June 27, 2017, South China Morning Post)
Two courts in southern China’s Guangdong province sentenced 13 people to death for producing and selling drugs at a public trial in a stadium in the city of Shanwei watched by some 10,000 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s New Cybersecurity Law: The 101 (June 24, 2017, China Law Blog)
The CSL regulates cybersecurity from different aspects, including network operation security, network information security, as well as monitoring, early warning, and emergency responses.

China's newest destroyer seen as challenge to Asia rivals (June 28, 2017, CNN)
China launched its newest warship on Wednesday, a large guided-missile destroyer touted as the latest in naval technology and seen as a challenge to naval rivals in Asia. The ship, dubbed the Type 055 class, represents a big step in the country's military modernization, Chinese government websites pointed out.

Religion

Urban Urgency and the Great Commission (June 19, 2017, ChinaSource Quarterly)
As a new urban generation arises, China’s churches are experiencing an “urban urgency” to carry out the Great Commission in its global cities. They are wrestling with some of the same questions Christians in other countries are also facing: What does the city mean for the church? What does urbanization bring?

Chinese Church Attends the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Observed in Germany (June 22, 2017, China Christian Daily)
On the invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany(EKD), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and the Lutheran World Federation, a delegation of the Chinese Christian Council (CCC) headed by President Rev. Gao Feng joined the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation held in Europe.

When China meets the Catholic Church (June 23, 2017, Straits Times)
Under the first non-European pope in centuries, the Vatican has embarked on the delicate mission of shoring up ties with Beijing.

Toward an Urban Church Theology (June 26, 2017, ChinaSource Quarterly)
For China’s Christians, urbanization has become a two-edged sword, bringing both new temptations and unprecedented opportunities. The summer 2017 issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, “Christian Living in the City,” looks at both sides of the church’s ongoing urban transformation. 

Vatican concerns over bishop detained in China (June 26, 2017, BBC)
Chinese Catholic bishop Peter Shao Zhumin was seized by authorities in May, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said. The cleric's family has been given no information on the reasons for his removal or his current whereabouts.

How to get Bibles to Chinese Christians (June 27, 2017, Mission News Network)
If you want to get Bibles to local believers in China, don’t bother smuggling them in. Roger Weaver of Bibles for China says many Christians are still surprised at how open China is to ministry.

Catholic Church in China launches patriotic drive as Sino-Vatican talks proceed on and off (June 27, 2017, Global Times)
Dialogue between China and the Vatican over the establishment of diplomatic relations seems to have slowed down, and experts say difference in priorities and the treatment of existing bishops have caused the delay. In the meantime, Catholics are debating whether the Catholic Church in China should embrace signification to reach a larger Chinese audience.

Society / Life

In China's far west the 'perfect police state' is emerging (June 22, 2017, The Guardian)
Since he became Xinjiang’s party chief last August thousands of security operatives, ranging from elite special forces to poorly trained rookies, have been deployed onto the streets of villages, towns and cities.

Chinese Netizens on World Refugee Day: “Don’t Come to China” (June 23, 2017, What’s on Weibo)
A heightened focus on China’s role in solving the refugee crises on World Refugee Day has triggered waves of criticism on Chinese social media. The general sentiment: “Refugees are not welcome in China.”

China's Government Tightens Its Grip On Golf, Shuts Down Courses (June 23, 2017, NPR)
Most golf clubs were private, exclusive to businessmen who often invited local government officials. As a result, the government has shut down 111 courses — a fifth of all golf courses in China — and it's banned construction of new courses.

At Least 10 Dead, More Than 90 Missing After Landslide In Southwest China (June 24, 2017, NPR)
More than 90 people remain missing after rescuers found 10 bodies among the debris of a landslide in the town of Xinmo in southwest China's Sichuan province that happened Saturday. Local officials had first estimated more than 120 people and 62 homes were buried under tons of rubble.

Why Are So Many Tibetans Moving to Chinese Cities? (June 26, 2017, China File)
In cities, Tibetans find themselves connected to resources that enable them to mobilize around topics of common concern and to build coalitions for cultural preservation and development.

Turn Off, Drop Out: Why Young Chinese Are Abandoning Ambition (April 27, 2017, Sixth Tone)
In recent years, an increasing number of urban, middle-class Chinese young people have begun to identify with sang culture. Simply put, sang refers to a reduced work ethic, a lack of self-motivation, and an apathetic demeanor. “I’m just a waste of space,” “I don’t care all that much for life,” and “I’m listless to the point of despair” are typical phrases uttered by sang youths.

2nd landslide hits site in southwestern China (June 27, 2017, ABC News)
A second landslide struck a village in southwestern China where rescue workers have been looking for nearly 100 people buried over the weekend by a massive wave of rocks and debris. Chinese state radio said the latest landslide struck the village of Xinmo in Sichuan province at around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Flight Delayed After Woman Throws Coin Into Engine for Good Luck (June 27, 2017, Sixth Tone)
A flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou was delayed over five hours on Tuesday after an elderly passenger threw a handful of coins at one of its engines to bestow luck upon the passengers.

Urbanization Visualized (January 28, 2017, From the West Courtyard)
But what does urbanization look like from a distance—from space? Today’s video clip is a bit different. Produced by Tech Insider,  it is a collection of satellite images taken of various cities over the course of decades. You can watch the cities grow before your eyes!

Economics / Trade / Business

Setting Up a WFOE in China: a Step-by-Step Guide (June 22, 2017, China Briefing)

Why the great malls of China are starting to crumble (June 28, 2017, CBS News)
China, which for years has been goading consumers to spend their hard-earned yuan as the country seeks to modernize its economy, faces an all-too-American problem: too many shopping malls, and not enough people to shop there.

Amazon has quietly released a customized Kindle just for China—where nobody uses Amazon (June 28, 2017, Quartz)
Available only in China, the new device works much like any other Kindle, with one key customization: In addition to holding titles from Amazon, it also lets users shop at Migu, a popular e-book store run by state-owned China Mobile, the nation’s largest telco. Like Amazon, Migu offers over 400,000 titles.

Health / Environment

China's informal army of recyclers keep plastic bottles out of landfill (June 28, 2017, The Guardian)
Almost a decade later, recycling plastic bottles has become her main source of income, and together with her husband, who works as a janitor and brings home bottles from the building he cleans, the pair make about 3,000 yuan (£340) a month on recycling alone. It is enough to rent a small room, feed themselves and pay for basic necessities.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like China’s Public Health Care? (January 28, 2017, Sixth Tone)
China’s latest round of medical reform, announced in April, aims to address some of the major challenges to providing health care to the world’s most populous nation — especially as economic growth slows.

Science / Technology

China's authorities tighten noose around online video content (June 23, 2017, Reuters)
Beijing has shut down online video services of three popular Chinese media sites in a swift action that unleashed financial shockwaves and posed a firm warning to the country's online video industry: clean up, or close down.

China orders mobile app stores to remove VPN apps (June 27, 2017, Boing Boing)
Starting July 1, the official Android and Apple App stores will no longer allow Chinese users to download the VPN apps that Chinese people rely upon in order to get around the Great Firewall of China, which censors information in China and surveils Chinese peoples' use of the net.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Stephon Marbury Stars as Himself in Chinese Hoops Biopic (June 22, 2017, The New York Times)
It could be any Hollywood basketball movie. But it’s “My Other Home,” the Stephon Marbury story. And it stars Stephon Marbury as Stephon Marbury.

The Six Trailer (June 25, 2017, YouTube)
The Untold story of six Chinese survivors of the Titanic

History / Culture

Asia Abridged Podcast: The Period of 'Maximum Danger' for the U.S. and China (June 26, 2017, Asia Society)
In this episode of the Asia Abridged podcast, Howard French, former New York Times China correspondent and author of the new book Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power, discusses China's territorial ambitions, and how they harbor potential for conflict with the United States — especially in a "very dangerous period" over the next 10 to 15 years.

300-Foot-Wide Ancient Altar Excavated in China (June 27, 2017, National Geographic)
In a remote corner of northwest China, a recently excavated 3,000-year-old sun altar offers clues to how the region's tribal cultures practiced religion thousands of years ago. The ruins were first discovered in 1993, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, but were not excavated until last year. 

Travel / Food

Homeland of Tea (The Big Picture)
According to a legend, tea was first discovered by the legendary Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 BC. Today, China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea.

19 of The Best Things to do in Hong Kong (Planet D)

Scenes From Hong Kong, 'Pearl of the Orient' (June 22, 2017, The Atlantic)
Gathered here are recent images of the vertical cityscape, street scenes, monuments, people, and natural landscapes of Hong Kong.

Your Ultimate 24-Hour Tianjin Travel Itinerary and Guide (June 23, 2017, The Beijinger)
Where East has met West in the past, Tianjin’s history as a former foreign concessions port has resulted in a mix of European architecture, delicious food, and a relaxed vibe.

The 10 Best Apps for Traveling in China (June 23, 2017, Sapore di Cina)
In a country where language is a huge barrier, it certainly doesn’t hurt to load up your smartphone with a few megabytes that will help you deal with typical situations of all types, and namely where to stay, how to get around and how to access key information.

Xiahe, China's Tibetan monastery town – in pictures (June 27, 2017, The Guardian)
Xiahe is famous for its Labrang monastery, the largest edifice of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and home to the largest number of monks outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. The monastery was founded in 1709.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lhasa, Tibet (June 28, 2017, Wild China Blog)
In the center of the breathtaking Tibetan Plateau sits Lhasa; a city blessed with all the mystery, spirituality and majesty of an ancient tale. Whether you traverse its resplendent landscape, reflect on ancient philosophies or spend your time seeking out a new favorite dish, Lhasa will provide you with a remarkable experience.

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