ZGBriefs | October 13, 2016

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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. Please go here to support ZGBriefs.

Featured Article

Discoveries May Rewrite History of China's Terra-Cotta Warriors (October 12, 2016, National Geographic)
In the four decades since mysterious terra-cotta statues first came to light in northern China, archaeologists have uncovered a whole lifelike army. But that wasn’t the only secret hidden underground there. Stunning revelations are now rewriting the history of the great ruler who created this army as part of his final resting place. And a radical new theory even suggests that foreign artists trained his craftsmen.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

How Does the American Election Look to Chinese? (October 4, 2016, ChinaFile)
During the first presidential debate on September 26, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump mentioned China a dozen times. They spoke about China and jobs, currency, exports, infrastructure, cyberhacking, nuclear non-proliferation, trade, and North Korea. How do Chinese around the world perceive these two very different candidates?

Taiwan’s President Calls for New Talks With Beijing (October 10, 2016, The New York Times)
In her first National Day speech, President Tsai Ing-wen called for talks between Taiwan and the mainland government, but she emphasized that Beijing should acknowledge Taiwan’s choice to become a democracy.

Protests outside Chinese defence ministry at army cuts (October 11, 2016, The Guardian)
More than 1,000 protesters have walked and chanted in front of China’s defence ministry, in the latest apparent demonstration by soldiers as the world’s largest standing military modernises and downsizes. The protesters stood for several hours in front of the Bayi building in central Beijing, home of the Chinese ministry of national defence. Many wore green fatigues bearing the hammer-and-sickle logo of China’s ruling Communist party.

At Hong Kong Swearing-In, Some Lawmakers Pepper Their Oath With Jabs (October 12, 2016, The New York Times)
One new legislator, Sixtus Leung, known as Baggio, took his oath with a banner draped across his shoulders that read “Hong Kong is not China.” And instead of swearing allegiance to the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” he pledged allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation.”

US Reserves Right to Punish China Firms Working With NKorea (October 12, 2016, ABC News)
The United States reserves the right to punish Chinese companies that violate U.N. sanctions on North Korea if Chinese authorities don't take action, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. Top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Russel, said that since most of North Korea's illegal activities are conducted through neighboring China, companies are "going to have to tighten up and shut down operations."


China Seeks Tighter Grip in Wake of a Religious Revival (October 7, 2016, The New York Times)
The finances of religious groups will come under greater scrutiny. Theology students who go overseas could be monitored more closely. And people who rent or provide space to illegal churches may face heavy fines. These are among the measures expected to be adopted when the Chinese government enacts regulations tightening its oversight of religion in the coming days, the latest move by President Xi Jinping to strengthen the Communist Party’s control over society and combat foreign influences it considers subversive.

Regulating Religion (October 10, 2016, From the West Courtyard)
With the publication for comment of a draft revision to the Regulations on Religious Affairs, now would be a great time to take a second look at the 2013 winter issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly, in which we took an in-depth look at religious policies in China and their impact on the church.

China targets parents with religion rules in Xinjiang (October 11, 2016, Al Jazeera)
Parents and guardians in China's heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang who encourage or force their children into religious activities will be reported to the police, the government said on Wednesday while unveiling new education rules.

Beyond Politics (October 12, 2016, From the West Courtyard)
Given the growing disillusionment in the West over the church’s own efforts to work for change using political means, the China context could provide valuable lessons for Christians in the United States and elsewhere who are faced with living out their faith in increasingly hostile cultural and political environments.

Society / Life

Chabuduo! Close enough (October 4, 2016, Aeon)
Chabuduo is the corrosive opposite of the impulse towards craftmanship, the desire, as the sociologist Richard Sennett writes in The Craftsman (2008), ‘to reject muddling through, to reject the job just good enough’. Chabuduo implies that to put any more time or effort into a piece of work would be the act of a fool. China is the land of the cut corner, of ‘good enough for government work’.

China building collapse kills at least 22 (October 11, 2016, BBC)
Twenty two people have been confirmed dead after a group of residential buildings collapsed in eastern China, state media reports. The incident on Monday saw four buildings in Wenzhou in Zhejiang province reduced to rubble, reported the Xinhua news agency. The buildings were reportedly built by villagers in the 1970s and were in a poor condition.

Finding Gobi – Story of Gobi The Dog Turned Into (Children’s) Book (October 12, 2016, Whats on Weibo)
Gobi became the most famous dog of the summer of 2016 when marathon runner Dion Leonard moved heaven and earth to find the stray dog who had joined him on his marathon journey. The story of Dion and Gobi will now be turned into a book, including a version for children.

500,000 elderly people go missing in China every year (October 12, 2016, CNN)
Senior citizens aged 65 or over account for up to 80% of missing elderly person cases, according to the Zhongmin Social Assistance Institute under the Ministry of Civil Affairs. "This is obviously a huge number and a social issue we cannot afford to ignore," Wang Zhikun, president of the Zhongmin institute, said on Sunday. Around 25% of those missing had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia, while 72% suffered some sort of memory impairment, according to the report.

Chinese authorities hunt for 50 cobras after mass escape (October 12, 2016, BBC)
Authorities in eastern China are searching for about 50 venomous snakes after a mass escape from an unlicensed breeding farm. About 200 monocled baby cobras escaped from the farm in Nanjing in August. So far about 150 of them have been caught or killed.

Economics / Trade / Business

China Employment Laws: Get Them Right or Face PUBLIC Consequences (October 6, 2016, China Law Blog)
Beginning January 1, 2017, if a China employer commits a serious violation of Chinese labor and employment laws, it may be made public by the labor authorities. Make sure you are in compliance and you stay in compliance. And if you do not know whether you are in compliance, figure it out. NOW.

China Imposes Restrictions To Try To Cool Real Estate Bubble (October 11, 2016, NPR)
Many Chinese returned from a weeklong national holiday to discover that they could no longer purchase real estate, as local governments imposed restrictions intended to control massive asset bubbles. And in China, homebuyers in 21 cities are now barred from purchasing as many new homes as they want. The Chinese cities have issued rules limiting real estate purchases as the central government struggles to avoid a housing bubble. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing.

China Cities Face End of Fairy Tale as Default Risks Rise (October 11, 2016, Bloomberg)
Finance firms that help keep cash flowing to China’s towns, cities and provinces face rising risks of landmark bond defaults just as they turn to global markets for funds.

Local Regulations Slam a Brake on China’s Ride-Hailing Services (October 12, 2016, VOA)
Since Saturday, local governments from Beijing to Chongqing have unveiled their draft regulations, ensuring drivers of online ride-hailing platforms and their private cars be locally registered.


Controversial Shandong School Told to Cease Militaristic Practices (October 12, 2016, Sixth Tone)
A Shandong school accused of abusing students has been told by provincial authorities to put a stop to its militaristic style of education. Shandong’s provincial education department posted a Weibo microblog on Tuesday in which it said that an investigation had found the school illegally used corporal punishment. In accordance with the law, the statement said, the authorities had ordered the school to immediately cease its “military-style, completely closed-off educational training.”

Is China’s gaokao the world’s toughest school exam? (October 12, 2016, The Guardian)
Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam. The students who do best can look forward to glittering careers and even good marriage prospects. But for the less successful, the system is brutal.

Science / Technology

Apple says it will open a second research facility in China (October 12, 2016, Los Angeles Times)
The Cupertino, Calif., company said Wednesday it would open a facility next year in the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. In a statement, Apple said the center would allow the company’s engineering team to “work even more closely and collaboratively” with its manufacturing partners.

History / Culture

China’s Population Concentration, 1926 (October 11, 2016, China Rhyming)

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Anger on streets in China as football team suffer shock defeat by war-torn Syria (October 7, 2016, The Guardian)
Chinese sports fans have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the president of China’s football association after the national side crashed to a shock defeat to Syria in a major blow to president Xi Jinping’s football revolution. Xi, who Communist party propagandists promote as a dedicated football fan, has vowed to turn China into a footballing superpower.

Knife In the Clear Water- Hui Muslim Story at Busan International Film Festival (October 10, 2016, What’s on Weibo)
The movie Knife In the Clear Water (清水里的刀子) premiered at the Busan International Film Festival on October 7. Director Wang Xuebo spent nearly a decade realizing this film, that offers a rare glimpse into the world of China’s Hui Muslims. For the pre-filming research, Wang spent 10 months in one of China’s most difficult regions to live.

NBA star’s graffiti on China’s Great Wall draws fire on social media (October 12, 2016, South China Morning Post)
“Had a blast at the Great Wall of China today,” the 32-year-old point guard for the Houston Rockets wrote on his Weibo microblog on Monday afternoon, adding four photos, including one with his initials and uniform number, “BB #6”, on bricks at the wall, news portal sina.com reports. His post soon provoked outrage on China’s social media, as many Internet users criticised Brown for defacing China’s most famous cultural heritage.

Travel / Food

The REAL Scoop On The Shanghai Disney Grand Opening – Complete Review & Tips (October 4, 2016, Peanuts and Pretzels)
So check out this complete review of our visit to Shanghai Disney Resort during the grand opening, and take note of some tips if you plan to make a visit in the future.

China's Golden Week tourists 'shed inhibitions' and hit the road (October 7, 2016, Reuters)
When Ines Chou was planning her "Golden Week" holiday, it was Britain's history and heritage rather than its high street shops that lured her to the country. Chou was among a record six million Chinese expected to have traveled overseas for the holiday, which ends on Saturday, and offers insights into the changing travel tastes of a key group of holidaymakers for the retail and travel sectors in top destination countries.

China's sweet tooth for chocolate melts with economic slowdown (October 7, 2016, CNBC)
Chocolate demand is souring amid China's economic slowdown as consumers lose their appetite for paying high prices for the treats, according to a recent Euromonitor report.

McDonald’s Celebrates 26th Birthday in China (October 8, 2016, What’s on Weibo)
McDonald’s celebrates its 26th birthday in China this weekend. Despite its rocky journey, the American fast food chain is still popular amongst Chinese, with many sharing fond memories of their first McDonald’s experience.

Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans: An Adaptable Dish for Veggies and Non-Veggies (October 10, 2016, The Beijinger)
For me, no meal at a Sichuan restaurant (or most home-style Chinese restaurants for that matter) would be complete without a plate of dry-fried green beans (ganbian sijidou, 干煸四季豆). A classic trap for vegetarians, the beans are usually seasoned with a small amount of ground pork. However, the pork is easily left out (or even substituted for beef if you eat meat but not pork), making this adaptable dish a great one to have in your repertoire.

Tourists Behaving Badly: Name-and-Shame Effort Fails to Fix China’s Image (October 10, 2016, The New York Times)
Over all, the blacklist appears to have had a slow start, suggesting the difficulty even in an authoritarian nation of policing human behavior. The list is unavailable on the website of the China National Tourism Administration. But according to the Shenzhen Metropolis newspaper, only 24 people are on it.

6 Sinful Things You’ll Get Addicted To If You Live In Beijing (October 11, 2016, Matador Network)

Language / Language Learning

Language and Culture Learning—in Kindergarten (October 7, 2016, From the West Courtyard)
When our daughter interacts well with the people in our neighborhood, it opens up many doors for us to more easily gain the trust of the people in our community. And our daughter is happy as she walks around chatting with neighborhood kids, parents, and grandparents. Everyone is excited to see her acting like one of the neighborhood girls. Indeed, the reason our daughter feels so comfortable interacting with our neighbors is because she has been going to the local Chinese school. If she weren’t going every day to the kindergarten, I think it quite unlikely that she’d feel so at home with the people around us.

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource 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 of Northwestern-St. Paul …View Full Bio