ZGBriefs | May 9, 2024

ZGBriefs is a compilation of links to news items from published online sources. Clicking a link will direct you to a website other than ChinaSource. ChinaSource is not responsible for the content or other features on that site. An article’s inclusion in ZGBriefs does not equal endorsement by ChinaSource. Please go here to support ZGBriefs.

Featured Article

Red Renaissance (May 6, 2024, China Media Project)
In early February, Chinese media teemed with stories of cultural festivities in rural villages countrywide. In a “rural bookroom” in Xinjiang’s Ha’ermodun Village, a series of events “enriched the spiritual lives of villagers,” according to a local news release. More than 4,000 kilometers away, in Fujian’s Shuqiao Village, residents held a “Rural Spring Festival Gala” featuring song and dance performances. These and thousands of similar events across China’s vast rural hinterland are part of a concerted push to achieve what the Chinese Communist Party leadership has called the “revitalization of rural culture.”

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Xi’s European Tour: Where Is Chinese Leader Going and What Are Visit’s Aims? (May 6, 2024, The Guardian)
China’s president, Xi Jinping, has begun a three-country tour of Europe – his first state visit to the continent in five years – at a time when China-EU ties are under strain from trade disputes and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

As China and Iran Hunt for Dissidents in the US, the FBI Is Racing to Counter the Threat (May 6, 2024, AP News)
After a student leader of the historic Tiananmen Square protests entered a 2022 congressional race in New York, a Chinese intelligence operative wasted little time enlisting a private investigator to hunt for any mistresses or tax problems that could upend the candidate’s bid, prosecutors say.

China’s Amended Secrets Law Sparks Fears Over Widening State Powers (May 1, 2024, Radio Free Asia)
Recent changes to the way the Chinese government will investigate cases involving “state secrets” and sensitive information have sparked concerns that foreign nationals and companies could be a target of a renewed focus on security under ruling Communist Party leader Xi Jinping

China Says Its Military Took Necessary Steps to Warn Australia in Jet Incident (May 7, 2024, Reuters)
China said on Tuesday its military took steps to warn and alert an Australian aircraft after Australia blamed a Chinese fighter jet for endangering one of its military helicopters during an “unsafe” confrontation over the Yellow Sea.


Loving Gen Z with the Truth of the Gospel (May 6, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
As parents, relatives, friends, and mentors to young people, we are striving to teach the next generation about the love of Christ and to help them grow and mature as Christians. However, though our intentions are good, we can sometimes struggle with the best way of reaching younger people, especially the super technological Gen Z. Last year, our friends at Ambassadors for Christ International (AFC) hosted an online symposium on the topic.

A Black Hole or a House of Gold? (May 7, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
In the post COVID-19 era, economic and social upheaval has led to a significant increase in migration. A surprising influx of refugees at the southern US border include a group of Chinese individuals who have passed through 10 to 20 countries to reach the US. They’ve been named “走线客” (translated as “smuggling route travelers” or “path travelers”) in the Chinese-speaking world.

From Andrew Gih to Hudson: Documenting a Legacy of Adoption and Faith (May 3, 2024, ChinaSource Blog)
“I saw your family on television last night!” I was not expecting to hear these words from a coworker who had just come to breakfast at our hotel in Hong Kong where we were attending a conference. It was June 2011. How did my family end up on television in Hong Kong?

Christian Education: “Everywhere You Go, You Find Chinese” (April 29, 2024, China Partnership Blog)
“China leads the world in the number of immigrants to other countries. Everywhere you go, you can find Chinese immigrants. We began to think that we need to find these immigrants and share the gospel with them.”

Chinese Christians Have Conflicted Feelings about ‘Saving Face’ (May 3, 2024, Christianity Today)
In 1997, I moved from America to China to teach English and study Mandarin. I ended up working there for 15 years. While in the country, I ran an organization with team members of diverse ages, cultures, and ethnicities. Just like in the United States, I discovered that many interpersonal conflicts in China are left unaddressed and unresolved.

Society / Life

“People Are Working ‘996’ Schedules for 12 Days Straight in Exchange for a Five-Day Holiday Celebrating the Advent of an ‘Eight-Hour’ Work Day”(May 3, 2024, China Digital Times)
A recent essay from WeChat account 冰川思想库 (Glacier Think Tank) discussed the disconnect between the Chinese government’s rosy plan to stimulate consumption by extending holiday periods on one hand, and the increasing burdens being placed on an already overworked labor force on the other.

People Mountain, People Sea: Labor Day Holiday in Photos  (May 7, 2024, Sixth Tone)
A selection of photos capturing the recent holiday’s booming, and crowded, tourism sector.

Chinese Women Are Partnering with Strangers to Save Money (April 30, 2024, BBC News)
During the pandemic, Kathy Zhuo and her husband were forced to take a 50% pay cut. It was a huge blow because she also had to take care of her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. The shock to her family’s finances prompted Ms. Zhuo to join the trend of young Chinese people seeking partners – or da zi – with similar interests online.

Two Dead, 21 Injured In Hospital Knife Attack in China (May 7, 2024 CNN)
At least two people were killed and another 21 injured in a knife attack in a hospital in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan on Tuesday, local authorities said.

In China, Ruled by Men, Women Quietly Find a Powerful Voice (May 5, 2024, New York Times)
Women in Shanghai gather in bars, salons, and bookstores to reclaim their identities as the country’s leader calls for China to adopt a “childbearing culture.”

Economics / Trade / Business

China Makes Cheap Electric Vehicles. Why Can’t American Shoppers Buy Them? (May 6, 2024, NPR News)
New EVs aren’t cheap. At least, not in the United States. In other parts of the world, bargain electric vehicles from China abound, but a 27.5% tariff has kept those cars out of the United States.

China’s Beleaguered Economy Pushing Young People Towards Public Service (May 2, 2024, East Asia Forum)
In post-pandemic China, many young people are choosing to pursue government jobs over private sector positions. This is due to a number of factors, including job stability, prestige and the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and trade tensions between the United States and China. This trend is concerning for the Chinese government, as it could lead to a decline in productivity and innovation in the long-term.

China’s Economic Recovery Maintains Momentum, but Risks Remain: 4 Takeaways From April’s Manufacturing, Services Data (May 7, 2024, South China Morning Post)
China’s manufacturing production activity expanded in April, but analysts pointed to supply-demand imbalances and lingering deflationary pressures.

Politburo Proposals Spark Optimism in China’s Troubled Property Market (May 6, 2024, The Diplomat)
Amid eroding market confidence and an escalating surplus of housing inventories, Beijing has reaffirmed its dedication to revitalizing its faltering property sector. A pivotal Politburo meeting recently outlined new strategies aimed at reducing the oversupply of existing homes and promoting new housing developments.


China Recruits Mandarin-Speaking Teachers to Move to Inner Mongolia (May 6, 2024, Radio Free Asia)
Chinese authorities in the northern part of Inner Mongolia are hiring teachers from across China, offering attractive packages to encourage fresh graduates who are native Mandarin speakers to settle in the region, according to recent recruitment notices. The move appears to be part of a nationwide move to eradicate the use of Mongolian in primary and secondary education, overseas activists said.

Chinese Student Jailed in US for Threatening Pro-Democracy Activist (April 29, 2024, Radio Free Asia)
A court in the United States has jailed a Chinese student at Berklee College of Music for nine months for “initiating a stalking and threat campaign against an individual who promoted freedom and democracy in China,” the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Health / Environment

China’s Health Body Probes Hospital after Surrogacy Claims (May 6, 2024, Reuters)
China’s National Health Commission said it was investigating a hospital in the southwest megacity of Chongqing for its alleged involvement in surrogacy, which is illegal in China, after wide circulation of the issue on social media.

Science / Technology

China Signals a Loosening of Data and AI Governance (May 3, 2024, The Diplomat)
Against the backdrop of a slowing economy, recent events indicate that regulators now appear to be shifting the scales in favor of development in their approach to data and AI governance.

The New ‘Space Race’: What Are China’s Ambitions and Why Is the US So Concerned? (May 4, 2024, The Guardian)
The worsening rivalry between the world’s two most powerful countries that has in recent years spread across the world, has now extended beyond the terrestrial, into the realms of the celestial.

History / Culture

Erhu Made in Melodic Meicun Still Producing Wuxi’s Greatest Hits (May 6, 2024, China Daily)
At Guyue Qinfang, a time-honored erhu workshop in Meicun town of Wuxi, Jiangsu province, workers’ making and playing of the traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument resonates with both superb craftsmanship and enchanting musical artistry.

Travel / Food

Pride and Peril in China’s Internet-Famous Cities (May 6, 2024, Sixth Tone)
Non-traditional tourism destinations like the old industrial city of Zibo have become viral sensations in China. But what happens after their 15 minutes are up?

Low-Budget Chinese Travellers Highlight Shift in Hong Kong Tourism (May 6, 2024, Reuters)
HONG KONG, May 6 (Reuters) – Cost-conscious Chinese tourists have replaced many of the cash-rich mainland travellers who once flocked to Hong Kong, with some only interested in free walking tours of the city and staying across the border in Shenzhen overnight to save money.

Tourism in China Surges During May Day Holiday but Travelers Turn Frugal (May 6, 2024, CNN)
Tourists made a total of 295 million trips within mainland China during the five-day-long holiday, which ended on Sunday, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Monday.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

A Chinese Flavor of Rap Music Is Flourishing as Emerging Musicians Find Their Voices (May 3, 2024, AP News)
In 2018, the censors who oversee Chinese media issued a directive to the nation’s entertainment industry: Don’t feature artists with tattoos and those who represent hip-hop or any other subculture. What had looked like the end for Chinese hip-hop was just the beginning. Since then, hip-hop’s explosive growth in China has only continued.

China’s Labor Day Box Office Hits Near-Record Highs (May 6, 2024, Sixth Tone)
Increased ticket sales in smaller cities and an uptick in older audience attendance underscored a growing demand for family-oriented films during the five-day holiday.

Beijing Tightens Grip on China Social Media Giants (May 1, 2024, BBC News)
New rules that tighten Chinese government restrictions on the country’s internet companies have come into effect today, raising concerns about how they will be applied.

Pray for China

May 6, (Pray For China: A Walk Through History)
On May 6, 1963, Ambassadors for Christ (基督使者协会-AFC) was formed by Rev. Moses Chow (周主培牧师) and husband and wife Ted (蔡锡惠先生) and Leona (蔡司麗安女士) Choy. After beginning with campus Bible studies, the ministry added a magazine and bookstore, plus triennial mission conventions. AFC also had a Mainland Literature Department that has significantly influenced countless Chinese with resources like The Song of the Wanderer (游子吟). Pray for many to follow the Lord’s call. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Share to Social Media
Image credit: Sheila C via UnSplash.

Jon Kuert

After his first trip to China in 2001, Jon Kuert served as the director of AFC Global for seven years and was responsible for sending teams of students and volunteers to China and other parts of Asia. After that, he and his wife Elissa moved to Yunnan province where they …View Full Bio