ZGBriefs | June 9, 2022

ZGBriefs is for those who want and need to keep up on what is happening in China, but don’t have the time to monitor and track it all. We monitor more than 50 different news sources and curate the most relevant and interesting stories out of China each week. Topics include government, religion, society, economics, education, travel, and language, and books.


Featured Article

Why the sparsely-populated South Pacific islands have become the next US-China contest (June 6, 2022, CNN)
The island nations that stretch across the South Pacific – sparsely populated atolls and volcanic archipelagos, known more for tourism than lucrative natural resources – may not seem, at first glance, to be a major geopolitical prize. Yet, Pacific Island countries have become the latest arena for a great power contest between the United States and China.

Sponsored Link

Free Online Lecture: Where are the Churches in China? And Why? Geographical Patterns of Church Development, by Dr. Fenggang Yang (ChinaSource)
Why are there so many Catholic churches in Hebei Province? And why so many Protestant Churches in Anhui? On Thursday, June 16, 2022, Dr. Fenggang Yang will give a lecture entitled, “Where Are the Churches in China? And Why? Geographical Patterns of Church Development.” In it, he will present the geographical distribution of Catholic and Protestant churches in China, discuss several distinctive characteristics of the churches and their locations, and trace some of the historical and social patterns of church development.
Date: Thursday, June 16, 7PM US (CDT)
Register on Eventbrite

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

Forging a new path for Pakistan–China relations (June 3, 2022, East Asia Forum)
The persistence of these attacks may suggest to some that Beijing’s economic and strategic expansion overseas can be deterred by violence. And Beijing’s perceived inability to secure its nationals abroad is likely an affront to domestic nationalist constituencies.

China accuses Australia and Canada of ‘disinformation’ over jet encounters (June 7, 2022, The Guardian)
Beijing has accused Australia and Canada of “spreading disinformation” over allegedly dangerous manoeuvres by Chinese military pilots in international airspace. China also warned Australia to stop “provocations” or face “serious consequences” after the Albanese government said a Chinese jet intercepted an RAAF plane in a dangerous manoeuvre in late May.

Xinhua’s Innovative Party Man (June 8, 2022, China Media Project)
Not surprisingly, Fu has emphasized the fundamental “Party nature” of the media in China, stressing the principle, tracing back to Mao Zedong, of “politicians running the newspapers” (政治家办报) – which under Xi Jinping’s reasserted controls has been iterated as “Party newspapers are surnamed Party” (党报姓党).

China offers citizens cash and ‘spiritual rewards’ for spying tipoffs (June 8, 2022, The Guardian)
Rewards for exposing foreign espionage activities or other security violations have existed for years in China. The new measures, according to a state media outlet, are aimed at standardising rewards and motivating the public at a time of intensifying “threats” from foreign intelligence agencies and other quarters.

Xi Won’t Yield Over Zero-COVID Pressures (June 8, 2022, Foreign Policy)
Xi is politically boxed in. He knows that the zero-COVID policy comes at a very high price. Unfortunately, having tied his own legacy, leadership, and even legitimacy to the policy’s success, he believes he cannot abandon it without admitting failure and running an unacceptable reputational risk. 

China, Cambodia break ground on port, dismiss US concerns (June 8, 2022, Fox News)
Chinese and Cambodian officials broke ground Wednesday on a contentious naval port expansion project, dismissing American concerns it could provide Beijing with a strategically important military outpost on the Gulf of Thailand.


What ‘Pro-Life’ Means in Communist China (June 1, 2022, Christianity Today)
While the church in China encourages Christians not to have abortions, it seems to lack the commitment to take on the responsibility of raising the child together, says Hu Yue, who pastors a church in Shanghai.

US report on international religious freedom cites genocides in China and Myanmar (June 2, 2022, Radio Free Asia)
China and Myanmar feature prominently in the U.S.’s latest report on global restrictions on religious rights and practices, which singles out the two countries for their repression of mostly Muslim Uyghurs and Rohingya.

The Faith of One Who Grew up at Peking University (June 7, 2022, Chinese Church Voices)
Like most people born in China during the 70s, I was brought up with an atheistic education. However, I was never really a strong believer in atheism; I always felt that there are things that we can’t see or touch, but they truly exist. 

Letters from Lockdown: A Shanghai Pastor on Pandemics and Persecutions (June 7, 2022, The Gospel Coalition)
In a region where both pandemics and persecutions can make gathering a challenge for churches, pastors here face a unique pressure to grapple with a question many Christians in other countries have already left behind: Over the long term, how should we think about virtual services?

Society / Life

Hard work is a point of pride in China. But a culture of slacking off is now in vogue (June 3, 2022, NPR)
“Sang culture” is a popular shorthand for both a melancholic listlessness at the futility of one’s current state of affairs and a bleak acceptance that life will be no better.

They Left Shanghai. Now What? (June 7, 2022, The World of Chinese)
Departing Shanghai for their hometowns or other cities, many young people are rethinking their life plans after exiting lockdown.

Economics / Trade / Business

Under Biden, China has widened trade lead in much of Latin America (June 8, 2022, Reuters)
An exclusive Reuters analysis of U.N. trade data from 2015-2021 shows that outside of Mexico, the top U.S. trade partner, China has overtaken the United States in Latin America and widened the gap last year.


Photos: ‘Gaokao’ in the Shadow of COVID (June 7, 2022, Sixth Tone)

Science / Technology

Chinese astronauts enter space station on six-month Shenzhou 14 mission (June 5, 2022, South China Morning Post) (subscription required)
The crew includes Liu Yang, the first Chinese woman in space, along with experienced astronaut Chen Dong and pilot Cai Xuzhe, who is on his first trip to space.

Liu Yang, The First Chinese Woman in Space, Wins Netizens Hearts Again (June 8, 2022, Radii China)
Liu Yang’s latest space mission sees her come full circle: After visiting the Tiangong space station’s prototype a decade ago, she will now help oversee the final stages of its construction.

Chinese hackers breach ‘major’ telecoms firms, US says (June 8, 2022, CNN)
Chinese government-backed hackers have breached “major telecommunications companies,” among a range of targets worldwide, by exploiting known software flaws in routers and other popular network networking gear, US security agencies warned Tuesday.

Travel / Food

How “Sour Stuff” Helps Guangxi Locals Beat the Summer Heat (June 2, 2022, The World of Chinese) (registration required)
Guangxi’s pickled “sour stuff (酸野)” is the perfect summer snack that comes in almost any flavor.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Documenting Life Inside a ‘China-Africa Factory’ (June 4, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Director Zhang Yong on his documentary “Bobby’s Factory” and challenging stereotypes about Chinese-African relations.

Living Cross-culturally

FieldPartner Helps Workers and Sending Churches to Cross Culture (June 3, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Reaching the sending churches with training in how to care for the ones they send, especially in the current sensitive times, as well as valuing them when they return—these remain critical burdens for us.

How Are Your TCKs Doing? (June 6, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
As we continue to wait, unsure of what is next, people ask me at least once a week “How are the girls doing?” (my daughters are nearly 10 and 12). I don’t know how to answer that question. From outward appearances, they are doing pretty well. We have created a semblance of normal life in the most recent borrowed home as best we can. But then there are questions like these:

The 7 Stages of Home Assignment Grief (June 7, 2022, A Life Overseas)
So, what are these emotions in the seven stages of grief, and how do they relate to a home assignment?

Skills No Longer Needed (June 8, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Now we are back in a culture which has echoes of familiarity—but we have changed. We need to unlearn ways of behaving which have become like clothing we wore to adapt well in our environment overseas.

Links for Researchers

2021 Report on International Religious Freedom (June 2, 2022, U.S. Department of State)
The annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom – the International Religious Freedom Report – describes the status of religious freedom in every country. The report covers government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. 

China Aid’s Annual Persecution Report 2021 (China Aid Association)

Pray for China

June 14 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On June 14, 1978, Guangzhou house church pastor Lin Xiangao (林献羔牧师-Samuel Lamb) was released after serving 23 years in prison. His congregation quickly grew to several thousand. When he died in 2013, thirty thousand mourners attended the service. Pray for Christians in Guangzhou to persevere in preaching the Word. Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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