ZGBriefs | October 13, 2022

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Featured Article

How Xi Will Consolidate Power at China’s Twentieth Party Congress (October 5October 5, 2022, Council on Foreign Relations)
At the Chinese Communist Party meeting, leader Xi Jinping will likely receive a third term. Here’s what that could mean for his control of China and the party.

Sponsored Link

Fall Public Lecture

As part of the ongoing joint lecture series co-sponsored by China Academic Consortium (CAC) and the US-China Catholic Association (USCCA), and ChinaSource, CAC will be hosting the autumn lecture on Sunday, November 13. Dr. Richard Cook will present the lecture, entitled “Out of the Darkness and into the Light of the Global Stage: Protestant Churches in China after 1979.” Dr. Cook is Associate Professor of Church History and Missions at Logos Evangelical Seminary in El Monte, California. His most recent book is Darkest Before the Dawn: A Brief History of the Rise of Christianity in China. Those of you in the Bay Area can attend the lecture in-person at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. The rest of us can register to participate online via Zoom.
Find more details and register to attend on the CAC website.

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

Podcast: Introducing the Prince (The Economist)
Our China correspondent Sue-Lin Wong hunts for the real story of China’s leader Xi Jinping in our new eight-part podcast.

20th Party Congress: The view from Beijing (October 10, 2022, The China Project)
Beijing is getting ready for a party this week, only without any fanfare. In fact, whatever the opposite of fanfare is, considering the tightened travel restrictions amid omnipresent fears of COVID and the suspension of large gatherings. Only one Party is allowed.

China is exerting greater power across Asia—and beyond (October 10, 2022, The Economist) (subscription required)
Chinese leaders have made welcome commitments to tackle global challenges, from climate change to biodiversity, the official says. Often, though, they offer a minimum of concrete assistance, and always on their own terms. It is impressive to watch how China applies many levers of statecraft and economic power as it patiently piles up economic and political capital, he concludes. To what precise end is unknown.

Podcast: China’s 20th National Party Congress, With Ian Johnson (October 11, 2022, Council on Foreign Relations)
Ian Johnson, Stephen A. Schwarzman senior fellow for China studies at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss what the Chinese Communist Party’s upcoming 20th National Congress means for China and its approach to the world.

One Nation Under Xi: How China’s Leader Is Remaking Its Identity (October 11, 2022, The New York Times) (subscription required)
The leader’s nationalist effort to meld ethnic groups, an agenda increasingly central to his rule, is seen as a bulwark against internal divisions and threats from the West.

Solomon Island police officers head to China for training (October 12, 2022, Reuters)
China has provided public order management training to police in the Solomon Islands since the two countries signed a security pact in April, an agreement that alarmed the United States and its allies including Australia, which traditionally provided policing support.


First Study of Chinese Churches in Britain Examines Boom and Possible Bust (October 8, 2022, Christianity Today)
Pastors and theologians respond to opportunities and challenges in new study on explosive growth from Hong Kong immigration.

When “the Golden Age” Is Over: A Call for Missiological Reflection on China Missions of the Past Four Decades(October 10, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
As the mission community tries to cope with China’s new reality and to adjust accordingly, a legitimate question to ask is whether any valuable missiological reflection will be done, and valuable lessons drawn such as what happened in the 1950s and afterwards?

The Goal is Salvation, Not Victory: Gospel-Centered Legal Practice (October 10, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
In a 2021 seminar for Chinese Christians, “Gabriel,” a Christian attorney, shared about how and why house churches should adopt a gospel-centered legal framework, and what that means practically for believers and their church communities.

Challenges to Spiritual Maturity in a Connected World (October 12, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
Secularization affects the church everywhere and China is no exception. This article from Christian Times points out that the connectedness of our current age contributes to the challenges of secularization. In this conversation, a pastor from East China, with a wealth of pastoral experience, shares how spiritual growth is hampered by secularization. 

Society / Life

Best of Beijing in Readers’ Photos: National Holiday Edition (October 11, 2022, The Beijinger)

Shanghai Quietly Shuts Down Schools, Gyms, Bars as Covid Returns (October 12, 2022, Bloomberg)
Several schools dotted throughout the city have suspended in-person classes as the fear of infection spread grows, according to parents and social media posts. At least five districts have closed entertainment venues, including cinemas, bars and gyms, in an effort to stamp out transmission, according to statements issued by Covid prevention offices.

Economics / Trade / Business

On the Eve of the Party Congress, What’s Ahead for China’s Economy? – A ChinaFile Conversation (October 11, 2022, China File)
What are the prospects for an economic turnaround in the coming months? And if it doesn’t come to pass, what will a slowing economy spell for the Party’s longer-term ambitions?


China visas for more than 1,300 Indian students after two-year Covid-19 travel ban (October 12, 2022, South China Morning Post)
More than 1,300 Indian students have received visas to return to China to resume their courses, after being unable to do so for over two years due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. This was revealed as the Chinese foreign ministry updated the Indian ambassador to Beijing on recent progress in people-to-people exchanges, since China halted direct flights between the two countries when the pandemic started in early 2020.

Health / Environment

As a Rural Doctor, I Don’t Want to Pass the Baton (October 11, 2022, The World of Chinese)
A second-generation rural physician reflects on the decline of her profession and its uncertain future over a 20-year career.

Beijing doubles down on COVID zero ahead of Party Congress (October 11, 2022, The China Project)
The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s house newspaper, has this week published two commentaries pledging support of COVID zero, ending hopes that China will relax its pandemic policy at the Party Congress.

Science / Technology

China’s electric car market is booming but can it last? (October 11, 2022, BBC)
In July, the China Passenger Car Association predicted that 6 million new EVs would be registered in the country in 2022 – a revision of its previous forecast of 5.5 million EVs to be sold this year.

Travel / Food

The last Covid holdouts in Asia are throwing open their doors for travel — except for China (October 12, 2022, CNN)
After having their economies battered by nearly three years of halted travel, several countries in the region have reopened their doors in the past few months — bringing relief not only to their tourism industries, but to millions of residents who struggled with job insecurity and family separations during the pandemic.

8 unmissable day trips from Hong Kong (October 12, 2022, Lonely Planet)
Hong Kong is one of the world’s great urban playgrounds, but this place has another side to its personality beyond the gleaming skyscrapers and shopping malls.

Language / Language Learning

Learning the neutral tone in Mandarin (October 12, 2022, Hacking Chinese)
How many tones are there in Mandarin? Most textbooks will tell you that there are four tones, but then you learn that there is also a neutral tone. Maybe you then see someone online claiming that this means that there are actually five tones. So what is this neutral tone and is it a fifth tone or not?

Living Cross-culturally

Prayer of Examen for the Ways We Define “Success” in Cross-Cultural Work (October 6, 2022, Global Trellis)
I share this because often we define success in cross-cultural Great Commission Work by the amount we do, busyness, how many people we are reaching, or being constantly burnt out for the cause. If we aren’t tired, then we must be doing something wrong, right? 


The hidden story behind Xi Jinping | Live with Lizzi Lee (October 4, 2022, The China Project)
Stefan Aust and Adrian Geiges, authors of the new biography Xi Jinping: The Most Powerful Man in the World, discuss previously unknown details behind the rise of Xí Jìnpíng 习近平, and what we might expect if — or, more likely, when — he secures an unprecedented third term as the nation’s leader at the 20th Party Congress.

It only looks like ideology from the outside (October 11, 2022, Andrew Batson’s Blog)
(Review of Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion: Elite Power Struggles in the Soviet Union and China After Stalin and Mao, by Joseph Torigian. ) Torigian suggests that what in standard historical accounts appear as epic struggles over the direction of the nation were in fact narrow arguments over specific political issues, that were driven less by differences of ideas than by maneuverings to gain personal power.

Links for Researchers

Hong Kong’s Civil Society: From an Open City to a City of Fear (October 3, 2022, Congressional-Executive Committee on China)
This report examines how a once vibrant civil society in Hong Kong changed dramatically in the two years after the imposition of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“National Security Law”), which became effective in 2020. It provides the equivalent of an oral history. The interviews excerpted in this report provide insight into how the crackdown has transformed Hong Kong, including measures the authorities have taken to silence dissent; challenges faced by people detained for speaking out against political persecution; the condition of civil society after the forced closure of the most influential independent media outlets and the largest civic organizations; and the implications of this repression for Hong Kong people who have left and for those who have stayed.

Pray for China

October 13
On Oct. 13, 2010, Christian author Yu Jie (余杰先生) was placed under house arrest shortly after writing a candid biography of former premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝). Yu wrote that he nearly lost his life due to the severe torture inflicted upon him. Following more than a year of house arrest, Yu moved to the U.S. with his family in Jan. 2012. Pray for China’s exiles to be like Ezra and to return home one day to deliver the truth of God’s Word. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. Nehemiah 8:2

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