ZGBriefs | May 26, 2022

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Featured Article

Video: From Matteo Ricci to Pope Francis: Jesuits and Christian Dialogue in China (May 16, US-China Catholic Association)
In his reflections, Dr. Anthony Clark examined how Jesuits have maintained Christian dialogue with China from 1582 until the present. As representatives of this uniquely Jesuit approach, Matteo Ricci and Pope Francis frame that exchange.

Sponsored Link

Zoom Webinar: Raising a Resilient Generation in a Fragile World (Family First Global
Our upcoming Zoom webinar “Raising a Resilient Generation in a Fragile World” – happening this May 27, 10 PM EST (US) / May 28, 10 AM (Singapore) – will be a great platform to get insights on how we can emerge victorious over personal and societal issues, all while keeping the family intact. One of our esteemed speakers is Dr. Sandra Tsang, an Associate Professor from The University of Hong Kong’s Department of Social Work and Social Administration.

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

Biden says the U.S. would be willing to intervene militarily to defend Taiwan (May 23, 2022, NPR)
Biden, asked at a press conference in Tokyo if the U.S. would intervene military to defend Taiwan, said, “that’s the commitment we made.” Speaking alongside Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, he added that the U.S. maintains a “one China policy,” recognizing Beijing as the government of China, but said that the idea that Taiwan can be “just taken by force … is just not appropriate.”

Xinjiang leak sheds new light on China’s ‘re-education’ camps (May 24, 2022, France 24)
A leak of thousands of photos and official documents from China’s Xinjiang has shed new light on the violent methods used to enforce mass internment in the region, researchers said Tuesday.  The files, obtained by academic Adrian Zenz, were published as UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet begins a long-awaited and controversial trip to Xinjiang.

Russian and Chinese jets deliver pointed send-off on last day of Biden Asia trip (May 24, 2022, Reuters)
The patrols came hours after Biden angered China by saying he would be willing to respond militarily to defend Taiwan if it came under Chinese attack, and as he discussed responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with leaders of the Quad, which groups the United States with Australia, India and Japan.

China is pursuing a Pacific-wide pact with 10 island nations on security, policing and data – report (May 25, 2022, The Guardian)
A draft communique and five-year action plan sent by Beijing to 10 Pacific islands ahead of a foreign ministers meeting on 30 May has prompted pushback from at least one of the invited nations, which said it showed China’s intent to control the region and “threatens regional stability”.

‘No need for preachers,’ Chinese leader Xi Jinping tells UN human rights chief (May 25, 2022, CNN)
Chinese President Xi Jinping defended his country’s human rights record on Wednesday, telling a visiting UN official there is “no need for ‘preachers’ to boss around other countries.” Xi’s remarks, made in a video call with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, are likely to add to the controversy surrounding a trip that critics say risks becoming a propaganda tool for Beijing.


Boundaries and Filial Piety (May 23, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
In this selection, a Chinese house church pastor and his wife discuss their struggles to respect their parents while also maintaining the boundaries of their own distinct nuclear family. They also talk about the importance of repentance and confession within the family as they deal with conflict and disagreement.

Learning from a Grain of Wheat (May 24, 2022, Chinese Church Voices)
A Chinese Christian serving overseas shares her experiences of learning to look to God and depending on him when faced with cultural and spiritual challenges. China Christian Daily provides an account of an online meeting where this missionary shared her struggles and victories and other Christians responded to her testimony.

Society / Life

The Volunteer Movement Enraging China (May 21, 2022, The Atlantic)
An informal, online network is translating publicly available articles and social-media posts. That has been enough to rile Beijing.

Shanghai Reopening Diary: View From a Pudong Mall (May 24, 2022, Sixth Tone)
This week, many residential compounds in Pudong have been gradually relaxing restrictions and allowing people to step outside for a limited time — though days and duration vary from one community to another. They can walk, bike, or use their moped — not their cars though.

‘The Last Generation’: The Disillusionment of Young Chinese (May 24, 2022, The New York Times) (subscription required)
Many believe that they’re the most unlucky generation since the 1980s as Beijing’s persistent pursuit of the zero Covid policy wreaks havoc.

Economics / Trade / Business

The Evolution of Factory Life in China’s Industrial Northeast (May 25, 2022, The World of Chinese)
A look back at the past of one of Jilin’s most important industries shows just how far the province has come.

Beijing organizes emergency meeting to stabilize faltering economy (May 25, 2022, Sup China)
The State Council hosted a video conference with top government officials today, in hopes of drafting new measures to boost its struggling, COVID-hit economy.


Is Studying Overseas Losing Its Allure for Chinese Students? (May 19, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Some Chinese students have spent years preparing to apply for international universities. Two years into a global pandemic, they’re asking if it’s still worth it.

Health / Environment

Scientists discover an ancient forest inside a giant sinkhole in China (May 20, 2022, NPR)
Cave explorers stumbled upon a prehistoric forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole in South China earlier this month. Sinkholes such as these are also known in Chinese as Tiankeng, or “Heavenly pit.” At 630 feet deep, the sinkhole would hide the Washington Monument and then some. 

Science / Technology

Canada to ban China’s Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks (May 20, 2022, BBC)
Canada says it will ban two of China’s biggest telecoms equipment makers from working on its 5G phone networks. The restrictions against Huawei and ZTE were announced by the country’s industry minister on Thursday. Francois-Philippe Champagne says the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet services and “protect the safety and security of Canadians”.

Travel / Food

How airline ticket scalpers took over the Chinese travel market (May 24, 2022, CNN)
Air ticketing agents in China used to sell deeply discounted tickets from airlines. But as China essentially seals itself off from the outside world and cuts down on the number of incoming travelers, international flights have dwindled to a miniscule 2% of the pre-pandemic level, said the state aviation administration.

Airbnb to quit China as lockdowns restrict tourism (May 24, 2022, BBC)
Airbnb is shutting down its domestic rentals in China, where a “zero-Covid” policy has meant lockdowns are ongoing. All listings for homes and experiences in the country will be removed from the company’s website by summer, a source familiar with the matter told the BBC. Stays within China made up only 1% of Airbnb’s revenue over the last few years.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Review: Inside China’s Venus de Milo Industry (May 19, 2022, Sixth Tone)
A new documentary by Beijing-based director Sean Wang follows a luxury stone from Greece to Guangdong and back again.

Language / Language Learning

Beijing’s Outbreak Spawns Even More Covid Slang (May 20, 2022, The World of Chinese) (registration required)
More than two years after Covid-19 first emerged, China’s netizens are still getting a kick out creating new slang and memes related to the pandemic. Recently, Shanghai netizens talked of “group buying chiefs” and “food storing guides”; but now it’s Beijing’s turn to endure another outbreak—and create the language to describe it.

Living Cross-culturally

Nothing New under the Sun (May 25, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
There have been seasons in China’s history when the sky seemed the limit. The possibilities for believers seemed endless to the point that the Western church dared to wonder, “Is there a possibility of a Christian China?” Yet, there have also been seasons when China was closed, seasons when nothing seemed possible. And usually these followed a very open season, such as was not too long ago. We should not be surprised but neither should we be too depressed. 


Essential Information for Understanding: Eurasian Crossroads—A Book Review (May 23, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Writing a comprehensive history of Xinjiang is precisely what James A. Millward has attempted and accomplished in this revised and updated version of Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. For those desiring to understand the current simmering cauldron on the northwestern border of China, Millward’s book provides a detailed, but panoramic, picture of this ancient, but still very robust, Turkic civilization and its homeland.

Xi by Kerry Brown review – the man who became China’s president (May 25, 2022, The Guardian)
His personal life remains an enigma, but this is a valuable primer for anyone looking to get up to speed on Xi Jinping’s rise to global power.

Links for Researchers

Global Chinese Catholicism (Initiative for the Study of Asian Catholics)
This research project explores the lived realities of Chinese Catholics established around the world as well as interactions among them and with Chinese Catholics in China.

Pray for China

May 31 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
Dr. James L. Maxwell (马雅各医生) arrived in Taiwan on May 28, 1865. Maxwell was the first Protestant missionary to live in Taiwan after the end of the Dutch Occupation. He stayed for twenty years, and one of his sons later served as a medical missionary in Taiwan for over 23 years. Pray for Christian doctors and nurses to mature in their faith and to reach their patients with the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Pray for “Waiting Families”
Since the borders of China closed in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, there have been many families who’s adoption process was stopped. Join a group to pray that China will open its doors for these families to be able to complete the adoption process. This prayer time will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, June 1 at 7:00PM (MST). For more information, please contact gregcathygotmail@gmail.com.

Image credit: Joann Pittman
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