ZGBriefs | March 28, 2024

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Featured Article

Book Review – The History of Christian Missions in Guangxi, China (March 23, 2024, Global China Center)
Written in a lively but concise style, this book contains hundreds of quotations from eyewitness observers, both Chinese and foreign, that add immense descriptive value to the narrative. The author deploys these descriptions copiously and brilliantly both to illustrate his points and to provide academic depth to his study, making it extremely valuable as a resource for understanding foreign missions not only in this province but all over China.

Sponsored Link

Free Public Lecture | Human Flourishing in Confucian Thought: A Christian Response, by I’Ching Thomas(ChinaSource)
I’Ching Thomas will explore the notion of human flourishing in Chinese thought, focusing especially on Confucius’ teaching on self-cultivation and benevolence as keys to achieving the ideal of the Noble Man. Then, drawing on parallels with the biblical faith, she proposes that the Christian Gospel holds relevance to the aspirations of Cultural Chinese concerning human flourishing as defined by Confucian ideals. 
Date: April 5, 2024
Nazareth Hall, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, 3003, N. Snelling Ave, Roseville, MN 55113
Time: 6:15 pm – light refreshments
           7:00 pm – lecture

This event is part of our ongoing collaborative lecture series cohosted by ChinaSource, the US-China Catholic Association, and the China Academic Consortium
It is co-sponsored by the 
University of Northwestern-St. Paul.

Go here to register. (Or just SHOW UP!)

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

China Increasing Its Regional Power (March 19, 2024, NPR)
We go to two places where China has been exerting control. In Hong Kong, the government finally passed national security laws that are seen by critics as eroding civil liberties. In the Philippines, China’s attempts to expand its territorial waters are being met with increasingly fiery rhetoric from senior officials.

Words Of The Week: Xi Jinping’s Penchant For “Pointing The Way Forward” (March 23, 2024, China Digital Times)
The use of the standard Party formulation of Xi Jinping “pointing the way forward” on various policy issues has become so commonplace that the phrase has become an object of satire, a way of mocking Xi’s cult of personality and penchant for claiming personal leadership over any number of policy spheres. It has also given rise to some of Xi’s many nicknames, including “the immortal compass” and “Compass-in-Chief.”

Article 23: What is Hong Kong’s tough new security law? (March 25, 2024, BBC)
Hong Kong has introduced a new security law that the government says is necessary for stability, but has raised fears that civil liberties will be further eroded. The law, called Article 23, covers treason, sedition and state secrets, and allows for trials to be held behind closed doors.

Threats, fear and surveillance: how Beijing targets students in the UK who criticise regime (March 25, 2024, The Guardian)
Liying is one of several students and recent graduates from China that the Guardian has spoken to who say they have been subjected to surveillance, harassment and other forms of intimidation by Chinese authorities for criticising the Chinese Communist party while on British soil.

US and UK go after Chinese hackers accused of state-backed operation against politicians, dissidents (March 25, 2024, AP)
Hackers linked to the Chinese government launched a sweeping, state-backed operation that targeted U.S. officials, journalists, corporations, pro-democracy activists and the U.K.’s election watchdog, American and British authorities said Monday in announcing a set of criminal charges and sanctions.

Chinese workers killed in suicide bomb blast as Pakistan grapples with attacks on Beijing’s interests (March 27, 2024, CNN)
Five Chinese workers and their local driver were killed in a suicide bomb blast in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, authorities said, the latest in a string of terror attacks that the South Asian country’s military and government say aims to disrupt Islamabad’s close ties with Beijing.


Shenyang in a Word: Worry (March 18, 2024, China Partnership Blog)
If you used one word to describe people, I think that word is worry. They are so insecure. People worry about themselves, their future, their career, their health. They worry about their children.

Praying for Urban Red-Light Outreach: Exploitation and Restoration (March 22, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Her boyfriend treated her like a princess at first, just as she had imagined. He was handsome, he was caring, and he paid for every meal and took her to beauty treatments. A few weeks passed, and her boyfriend looked downcast—he had spent all his money on her, and it was time to pay rent. Unbeknownst to Ding Ding, this had been the plan all along; her “boyfriend” was merely grooming her to be a money-making machine. He actually had plenty of other girls under his control, so there was no shortage of money.

Where is the Church in China? (March 25, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Who speaks for the church in China? This has been a perennial question ever since the late 1970s, when China reopened to the outside world and Christians overseas began seeking to understand and to relate to China’s church.

A Chinese pastor is released after 7 years in prison, only to find himself unable to get an ID (March 25, 2024, AP)
The Rev. John Sanqiang Cao was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison while coming back from a missionary trip in Myanmar. Now back in his hometown of Changsha in southern Hunan province, he is without any legal documentation in his country, unable to access even the most basic services without a Chinese identification. 

Women in China: A Look through the ChinaSource Archives (March 26, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
Today, we’re looking back at other blog posts, book reviews, and Quarterly articles published over the years that focus on the experiences of women in China.

Dragons: Friend or Foe?: Reflections on the Year of the Dragon (March 27, 2024,  ChinaSource Blog)
For in Chinese culture, dragons are benevolent beings that represent prosperity and power. They control rivers and seas and bring rain upon the earth. In fact, they are so revered that for thousands of years they have symbolized the emperor himself—the very mediator between man and Shangdi, the “Emperor on High.” They adorned the emperor’s robes, surrounded his throne, and guarded his palace walls.

Society / Life

In China, Dating Apps for Elites Are All About Class (March 25, 2024, Sixth Tone)
A new generation of dating services is promising to match singles based on their educational background. Does it really work?

Starved of Affection at Home, Young Chinese Seek Out ‘Digital Parents’ (March 25, 2024, Sixth Tone)
There has been an increase in the number of parenting influencers on Chinese social media in recent months, but the audience for this content often isn’t parents looking for advice; it’s children captivated by the influencers’ open, caring attitudes.

Economics / Trade / Business

Video: Where Will China’s Economy Go in 2024? (March 23, National Committee on U.S-China Relations)
Economists are split on whether the Chinese economy is stable or on the edge of a debt crisis. In this program on March 14, 2024, National Committee President Stephen Orlins joins Amy Celico and Barry Naughton to help make sense of different economic and policy projections for China’s economy in 2024 (and beyond).

Chinese leader Xi issues a positive message at a meeting with US business leaders as ties improve (March 27, 2024, AP)
China’s nationalist leader, Xi Jinping, called for closer trade ties with the U.S. during a meeting on Wednesday with top American business leaders in Beijing that came amid a steady improvement in relations that had sunk to the lowest level in years.

Health / Environment

‘Obstetric winter’: Why are China’s hospitals shutting delivery wards? (March 24, 2024, Al Jazeera)
Medical experts and Chinese media are reporting on the closure of obstetric departments across this country of 1.4 billion people, which has suffered a population decline for two consecutive years – China’s first experience of a diminishing birthrate in several decades. The closures of delivery wards has been likened to an “obstetric winter” in China, while public concern around the shutdowns has prompted authorities to remove search topics related to the issue from Chinese social media.

Travel / Food

China is trying to connect Southeast Asia by high-speed rail. Here’s how that’s going (March 26, 2024, CNN)
Imagine jumping on a train in southwestern China, traveling some 2,000 miles and arriving in Singapore – less than 30 hours later. That’s the scenario China is envisioning for Southeast Asia as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a vast overseas infrastructure development program that launched more than a decade ago.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

For Chinese Nationalists, Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’ Is a Problem (March 25, 2024, VOA News)
Even before streaming platform Netflix aired “3 Body Problem” last week, Chinese nationalists were upset about the adaptation of the Chinese science fiction novel series and its international popularity. On social media sites in China, where Netflix is blocked, some criticized the platform’s cast and changes to the story while others accused it of deliberately using a tragic moment in the country’s past to belittle the world’s second-largest economy.

Life in the Background: The Chinese Extras Who Became Viral Stars (March 27, 2024, Sixth Tone)
For years, thousands of extras lived and worked in the background of China’s biggest TV and film production base. Then short video platforms turned them into celebrities.

Living Cross-culturally

Being a Foreign Woman in China: Challenges and Blessings (March 20, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
I love being a woman and I loved being in China, but on rare occasions, I didn’t love everything about being a woman in China. Here are a few of the challenges that are specific to being a woman in China.

Pray for China

March 29 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On Mar. 29, 2010, Moses Yu (于力工牧师) died at age 89 in Hawaii. Yu was born into a devout Christian family and trusted the Lord in 1931 during the Shandong Revival. After working with InterVarsity, he took his young family to the United States in 1949. During his long life, he planted several churches, wrote prolifically, and founded the Christian Witness Theological Seminary. Pray for children in Christian families to learn at an early age that real joy is found only through loving the Lord. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

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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