ZGBriefs

ZGBriefs | November 16, 2017

ZGBriefs is a compilation of news items gathered from published online sources. ChinaSource is not responsible for the content, and inclusion in ZGBriefs does not equal endorsement.


Featured Article

Chinese Grads Return Home With Degrees and Disillusionment (November 10, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Once associated with world-class education and experience, foreign degrees have become so common among Chinese job applicants that they are no longer the deciding factor for landing a position. […] “Unlike 10 years ago, employers now don’t care much whether a candidate has studied abroad.”


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Overseas NGO Law

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—November 3-13, 2017 (November 14, 2017, China File)
 

After Ten Months, What Do We Still Not Know? (November 14, 2017, China File)
The questions run the gamut from practical to existential. Some of the questions are new, as the foreign NGO community’s collective experience working under the law brings to light additional issues, but some still remain unanswered from earlier in the year.

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Trump in Beijing: Smiles mask growing tensions (November 10, 2017, Axios)
Pomp and flattery aside, it is not so clear that Xi played Trump. The administration has a good team of China people. Trump may return to the U.S. and, barring a real breakthrough over the North Korea issue, begin rolling out a tougher policy towards China, especially on trade.

China’s all-powerful leader should heed the lessons from history, former official says (November 11, Washington Post)
Twice Bao Tong rose within the Chinese Communist Party’s hierarchy, and twice he was dramatically cut down. He has endured long spells in jail and “re-education” for failing to fall into line behind the hard-liners holding power.

Their Sons Sought a More Democratic Hong Kong, and Got Prison (November 7, 2017, The New York Times)
But they are also a burden for their parents, who have endured the anguish of seeing their sons taken away in handcuffs. In rare interviews, they shared the heartbreak and pride of watching their children come of age as leaders of a protest movement for free elections.

Defiant Hong Kong football fans boo China's national anthem (November 9, 2017, The Guardian)
Hong Kong football fans loudly booed and jeered China’s national anthem at a match on Thursday, defying Beijing days after Communist leaders tightened penalties for disrespecting the song.

‘Uncle Trump’ Finds Fans in China (November 9, 2017, The New York Times)
But in China, where Mr. Trump arrived Wednesday, he has acquired a legion of admirers who hail him as a straight-talking politician and business mogul with a knack for deal-making.

One Country, Three Systems and the Limits on Freedom in Today’s PRC (November 10, 2017, China Policy Institute)
In many ways, though, I actually feel that it is a “One Country, Three Systems” state. Xinjiang, home of the majority-Muslim Uyghur ethnic group, and Tibet have long been subjected to an especially strict form of control, which has recently become tighter than ever. 

China’s Charm Offensive on South Korea Is Starting to Work (November 13, 2017, Foreign Policy)
What appears to be a classic diplomatic fudge — let’s agree to disagree and move on — actually represents a course correction in Chinese foreign policy and raises questions for international efforts to arrest North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Book Cancelation Stokes Fears of China’s Influence (November 14, 2017, China Digital Times)
As Western academic publishers contend with attempts to censor their content in China, Australian academic Clive Hamilton recently had the publication of his book canceled in response to fears of legal action from the Chinese government.

Was the Trump-Xi Summit in Beijing a Hit or a Miss?: A ChinaFile Conversation (November 14, 2017, China File)
How successful was the visit for Trump, Xi, and the interests of their two nations?

U.S. Congress urged to require Chinese journalists to register as agents (November 14, 2017, Reuters)
A report to the U.S. Congress released on Wednesday accused Chinese state media entities of involvement in spying and propaganda and said their staff in the United States should be required to register as foreign agents.

Podcast: China is Challenging the West’s Dominance in Foreign Aid (November 14, 2017, China File)
Although China’s international development budgets remain a tightly guarded state secret, new data indicates Beijing is spending a lot more money on aid programs than almost anyone had imagined.

North Korea and China announce visit by Xi Jinping envoy (November 15, 2017, The Guardian)
A senior Chinese diplomat will visit North Korea from Friday as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has said, without revealing whether it is about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Has Xi Jinping Become “Emperor for Life”? (November 15, 2017, Real Clear Defense)
In a startling parallel to French King Louis XIV’s famous pronouncement that “I am the state” (“l’etat, c’est mois”), Xi’s near-total command of the levers of power is his way of telling all Chinese that “The Party? It is me!”

Chinese Nationalism Jostles With Academic Freedom in Australia (November 15, 2017, The New York Times)
Like their counterparts in the United States, Australia’s universities have opened their doors to well-heeled Chinese students as a source of much-needed tuition revenue. But as the number of Chinese students has grown, so has the willingness of some like Mr. Gao to speak out against what they see as slights against China, and to push back at offending classes and instructors.

Religion

Two Reformation Videos (November 10, 2017, ChinaSource Blog)
Earlier this year, Back to God Ministries International held a conference on the Reformation in Grand Rapids, MI. During the conference, several Chinese pastors and scholars (most of them from mainland China) shared their views on the significance of the Protestant Reformation to Chinese churches today. 

Returnees and the Church in China (November 13, 2017, ChinaSource Blog)
As more Chinese living abroad are coming to faith, the question of how to prepare them for integrating into the church when they return to China becomes ever more urgent.

Want to escape poverty? Replace pictures of Jesus with Xi Jinping, Christian villagers urged (November 14, 2017, South China Morning Post)
Thousands of Christians in an impoverished county in rural southeast China have swapped their posters of Jesus for portraits of President Xi Jinping as part of a local government poverty-relief programme that seeks to “transform believers in religion into believers in the party”.

New Church Dedicated in Hunan (November 14, 2017, China Christian Daily)
A new church was dedicated in Nan County, Hunan, on October 24, 2017, with over 900 people in attendance.

30 and Independent: Young Chinese Christians Dealing with Age-Related Expectations (November 14, 2017, ChinaSource Blog)
In an increasingly competitive society, the pressure to meet such expectations can be daunting. In this article from Territory, five Chinese Christians reflect on how they cope with the expectations that come with turning thirty.

Majority World Missions and Chinese Missions (November 15, 2017, ChinaSource Blog)
Where will the Chinese missions effort fall on the spectrum of long-term missions-sending success? At this point, it is very hard to say. But I’m praying that the Spirit is strengthening their efforts—in the selection of candidates, the structures of sending organizations, finances, the shepherding of the missionaries, which will result in the effectiveness of those on the field reaching locals.

Mazu On Tour: Religious Tourism and Cross-Strait Relations (November 15, 2017, China Policy Institute)
The revival of Mazu belief began in the late 1970s. When religious community leaders sensed the changing political atmosphere, they endeavored to reconstruct the destroyed Mazu Ancestral Temple on Meizhou Island. 

Society / Life

Americans Have Misconceptions About China, Chinese Man Says (November 9, 2017, NPR)
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese come to the U.S. to study and work. Those who return to China are nicknamed sea turtles. We hear from a returnee to China who's trying to adjust to life in Beijing.

Chinese Village Keeps Alive a Tradition of Indigo Dyeing (November 12, 2017, The New York Times)
Ever since she was a young girl, Ms. Yang, 74, has been weaving and dyeing indigo textiles using techniques that the ethnic Dong in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou have passed down from mother to daughter over generations.

Why Fewer Chinese Grads Go East to Prosper (November 14, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Youngsters are cold-shouldering expensive metropolises to cash in on incentives in smaller inland cities.

The Rise of Overseas Voluntourism in China (November 14, 2017, China Policy Institute)
The current wave of youth volunteering in China emerges from the confluence of a revived state discourse encouraging the Mao-era ‘Lei Feng’ spirit of selflessness; the desire of urban youth to ‘do good;’ and the increasing expectation of employers that job applicants show evidence of meaningful social engagement.

Economics / Trade / Business

What the world's largest shopping day says about China (November 11, 2017, BBC)
It was originally a non-commercial festival started by male college students who didn't have a girlfriend. They created a day to get together to celebrate bachelorhood. But the Chinese retailer Alibaba caught on to it and has turned it into the largest online shopping day in the world.

How to Form a China WFOE: Choosing Your Chinese Company Name (November 14, 2017, China Law Blog)
It is necessary to select a Chinese language name for your WFOE. In choosing the name, please note the following:

Education

Changing Rural Education One Girl At a Time (November 13, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Every year, 3 million children in rural China drop out before reaching middle school; two-thirds of them are girls. Many families can’t afford tuition fees, says Tien, and those who can often prioritize their sons’ education.

Chinese students still drawn to US universities, but growth rate slowing (November 14, 2017, South China Morning Post)
More than 350,000 Chinese enrolled at seats of learning in America in 2016-17, but safety fears are making some people think twice.

Sichuan School Investigated for Demanding ‘Donations’ (November 15, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Parents wonder how a PTA-imposed ‘appreciation fee’ with mandatory minimum can be considered voluntary.

Science / Technology

High-Speed Rail Contractors Slammed for Shoddy Construction (November 14, 2017, Sixth Tone)
Less than a year into operation, the high-speed rail route connecting Shanghai to Kunming in southwestern Yunnan province has been found to have safety issues that could have endangered the lives of passengers, media reported Tuesday.

History / Culture

How Chinese Youth Enable the Revival of Confucian Culture (November 9, 2017, Sixth Tone)
College students today judge Confucian values by two criteria: Is it needed in society, and can it reasonably be put into practice?

Travel / Food

Transforming Pingyao's historic courtyard homes (November 7, 2017, CNN)
A visit to Pingyao, in Shanxi province, feels like walking through a time capsule. The 2,700-year-old city was once the renowned banking capital of China, as important in the latter part of the Qing dynasty (1644 to 1912) as Wall Street is in the United States today.

How to Fly Mainland China’s Top Airlines With Points and Miles (November 14, 2017, The Points Guy)
With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to create a brief comparison of some of Mainland China’s major airlines — their fleets, hubs and partnerships — and how you might be able to use your miles to fly them.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

The Tea Leaves of Xi-Era Discourse (November 14, 2017, China Media Project)
Understanding the textual history of discourse evolution is helpful in analyzing the political report from the 19th Congress. 

Here’s Xi the Cartoon – Online Animations Are China’s New ‘Propaganda Posters’ (November 15, 2017, What’s on Weibo)
In an era where China’s young generations are practically glued to their smartphone screens, China’s propaganda departments are stepping up their game. Online animated videos and gifs use bright colors, simple design, and a very likable Xi to deliver strong political messages.

Living Cross-culturally

I’m Not Called to Keep My Kids from Danger (November 13, 2017, Christianity Today)
Christ calls all of us outside the camp to serve and love others, and we often do that alongside our children. Why risk it? Because we are citizens of another far-off country. As it says in Hebrews 13, “here we do not have a lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

50 Smells You Can’t Forget if You’ve Lived in China (November 14, 2017, Small Town Laowai)
If I could make your screen scratch-n-sniff, I would, and you’d be instantly transported back to the Middle Kingdom.

Books

Shanghai Faithful (November 14, 2017, Global China Center)
Shanghai Faithful traces the lives of five generations of Christians in the Lin family. At the same time, the author sets their story within the context of the growth of Christianity in China, which cannot be understood apart from the larger framework of the political, social, and religious events of the past two hundred years. Jennifer Lin has woven a tapestry that artfully combines all these threads, resulting in a book, as reviewers have said, that tells the story both of Protestant Chinese Christianity and of modern Chinese history.

Links for Researchers

Decomposing Immigrants’ Religious Mobility: Structural Shifts and Inter-religion Exchanges Among Chinese Overseas Students (November 8, 2017, Review of Religious Research)
Chinese overseas students constitute the largest foreign student body in the US whose religious mobility pattern remains unexplored and may differ significantly from other types of immigrants in earlier generations, especially regarding the assumed growth of Christianity and changes within other religions and non-religions.

Resources

Tasty Mantou: Yummy Morsels of Chinese

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Senior Vice President of ChinaSource. She is the editor of ZGBriefs and Chinese Church Voices, as well as a regular contributor to ChinaSource publications. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and most recently,... View Full Bio