ZGBriefs | March 14, 2024

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Featured Article

Two Sessions: China says it’s open for business – do we buy it? (March 11, 2024, BBC)
As China’s annual parliamentary sitting came to a close after a hectic week of meetings, a glaring void loomed on Monday’s final agenda. The National People’s Congress is usually capped off by the premier’s press conference. But this year, and for the rest of the term, the tradition was mysteriously nixed.

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New ChinaSource Quarterly: The Global Chinese Diaspora
The dispersion of Chinese populations will continue to grow in the near future and the missional implications of this are enormous. The recent growth of Christianity in China and the country’s political upheavals are pushing a record number to migrate overseas. Many have…embraced the Christian faith in foreign lands and cultures.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Talking at Cross-Straits (March 8, 2024, China Media Project)
Media reports in recent days have focussed concern over China’s plans for Taiwan, drawing on apparent changes in the political language used by senior PRC officials. But a more cool-headed look at the history of Taiwan talk suggests these changes are more of the same obscurity.

Xi Sticks to His Vision for China’s Rise Even as Growth Slows (March 9, 2024, The New York  Times) (subscription required)
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, believes his vision for technological dominance will keep powering the country’s ascent while the West recedes.

Rare glimpse inside China’s halls of power as Beijing hosts major political event amid high security (March 9, 2024, The Guardian)
Across Beijing, security guards stand shivering. Residents of the heavily monitored capital city are used to encountering security guards, members of an urban management force called chengguan, and police officers every few blocks. But this week, as China hosts its biggest political meetings of the year, even more muscle has turned up in Beijing.

What’s in Hong Kong’s New National Security Bill? (March 9, 2024, The Diplomat)
The proposed law, which is expected to pass easily, includes stiff penalties and more power to suppress dissent, building on the 2020 National Security Law imposed by Beijing.

China passes law granting Communist Party more control over cabinet (March 11, 2024, Reuters)
China’s parliament on Monday revised a law to effectively grant the Communist Party more executive control over China’s cabinet, the State Council, after cancelling the premier’s post-parliament news conference for the first time in three decades.

Xi Jinping didn’t speak at China’s Two Sessions, but it’s clear who is in charge (March 12, 2024, The Guardian)
The meetings showed China’s leader is steering China along a path that is dictated by national security and party control, at the expense of everything else

Five key takeaways from China’s annual meeting of parliament (March 12, 2024, Al Jazeera)
China’s week-long meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which gathered some 3,000 delegates from the political, business and cultural elite in Beijing, has closed without the customary press conference by the country’s premier.


More than Just “Good” (March 5, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Regardless of whether the saying “Cangjie (倉頡) invented the words that contained mysteries only known to heaven” is true or not, at least the word “good” (好) is worthy of our repeated scrutiny. After all, in a culture that has emphasized men over women for thousands of years, it is indeed not a simple coincidence that the word “woman” (女) and “man” (子) together are stated to be “good” (好).

Pray for Hui during Ramadan (March 6, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Each year, Pray for the Hui invites believers around the world to pray daily for Chinese Muslims during Ramadan. This annual prayer initiative provides an opportunity to join with thousands of others who have a heart for Chinese Muslims, including missionaries and church planters who are working to share the gospel with these people groups.

Called and Faithful: Embracing Identity in God’s Service (March 8, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Forty years ago, I found my faith and was baptized in a house church in Guangzhou, a community that was conservative, where women were expected to be obedient and not assume leadership roles. Yet my drive to serve was strong, which somewhat troubled the church leaders.

“I Always Knew He Was There”: Discovering Faith Across Cultures (March 11, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Shortly after we married, we hosted a party for new university students from China who had come to Hong Kong to study. At that party, Zhang Er Xiao made a beeline for Beth and me. He asked us if we were Christians. He said he had never met a Christian before. He had lots of questions.

The Global Chinese Diaspora Today: Overview and Mission Trends (March 11, 2024, ChinaSource Quarterly)
When studying the Chinese diaspora, we cannot overlook their relationship with their “homeland”—China. Political and economic conditions have made Chinese people move to other countries over the past several centuries. Traditionally, the Chinese diaspora was seen primarily as traders. 

Partnership to Welcome Hong Kong Newcomers (March 11, 2024, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Chinese churches and local churches in the UK are working hard to welcome and shepherd the vast number of Christians from Hong Kong as soon as possible, giving them opportunities to serve, and mobilizing them to reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ to non-believing Hong Kong newcomers and others in the Chinese diaspora.

Recent Chinese Migration Trends in Australia (March 11, 2024, ChinaSource Quarterly)
[There] is also an opportunity for reconciliation as Christians from the PRC and Hong Kong often worship alongside one another and serve in ministry teams together. These are great challenges but also God-given opportunities for us to embrace so we can learn, grow, and unite in serving his purposes in the world.

Economics / Trade / Business

Busting 6 ‘Peak China’ Myths (March 9, 2024, The Diplomat)
In search of a more nuanced understanding of China’s economic dynamics, let’s examine six of the most misguided myths that make up the “Peak China” narrative.

For many in China, the economy feels like it is in recession (March 10, 2024, Reuters)
“We were born in the wrong era,” said the 24-year-old graduate from China’s top Renmin University.”No one cares about their dreams and ambitions anymore in an economic downturn. The endless job-hunting is a torture.” A crisis of confidence in the economy is deterring consumers from spending and businesses from hiring and investing, in what could become a self-feeding mechanism that erodes China’s long-term economic potential.

Science / Technology

China Intensifies Push to ‘Delete America’ From Its Technology (March 7, 2024, The Wall Street Journal) (subscription required)
A directive known as Document 79 ramps up Beijing’s effort to replace U.S. tech with homegrown alternatives

Travel / Food

How Women in China Are Tapping Into a Craft Beer Revolution (March 8, 2024, Sixth Tone)
In China’s billion-dollar craft beer market, more women are now stepping into pivotal roles including brewing, management, and bar operations.

The Surprisingly Complex History of Shanghainese Cooking (March 11, 2024, Sixth Tone)
But the search for authentic Shanghai cooking is complicated by a lack of consensus. What exactly is Shanghai culinary culture, if such a thing even exists? 

Language / Language Learning

Tibet boarding schools: China accused of trying to silence language (March 11, 2024, BBC)
China has expanded the use of boarding schools – for children as young as four – and replaced Tibetan as the main language of tuition with Chinese. Beijing says these reforms give Tibetan children the best possible preparation for their adult lives, in a country where the main language of communication is Mandarin Chinese.


公开研讨会: “福音,浸礼,男与女:圣经权威与充足性如何影响现代的教会”
(圣约浸信会Covenant Baptist Church (Reformed Baptist), Singapore)
讲员:Dr Scott Callaham简思德博士 (将以中文带领研讨会)



  1. 福音(上半:福音的信息,下半:宣教)
  2. 浸礼(上半:圣经涉及浸礼的教导,下半:教会应如何用此教导)
  3.  男和女(上半:圣经涉及男与女的教导,下半:教会应如何用此教导)

Pray for China

March 14 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
As a child, Gu Ren’en (顾仁恩先生) attended missionary schools in Shanghai but had no love for the missionaries or their gospel. However, though he had become a famous movie star in Shanghai, after hearing Song Shangjie (宋尚节博士-John Sung) preach, Gu gave his life to the Lord. Without attending seminary, he became a well-known independent evangelist with a ministry of prayer and healing. In Mar. 1951, he was one of the first church leaders to be arrested at the instigation of the new Three Self Movement and was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor in Qinghai. Pray for the oppressed in Shanghai and Qinghai. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Psalm 37:7

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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