ZGBriefs | October 20, 2022

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Featured Article

How Xi Jinping is reshaping China, in five charts (October 17, 2022, Christian Science Monitor)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to win a rare third term in this week’s 20th Communist Party Congress. Understanding how Mr. Xi has transformed China over the past decade can offer clues for what comes next.

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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.

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Special Section: 20th Party Congress

How Xi Jinping made himself unchallengeable (October 17, 2022, BBC)
A decade ago little was known about Mr Xi – apart from the fact that he was a “princeling” because his father was one of the country’s revolutionary leaders. His lineage helped him win the support of party elders, which was crucial to ascending power within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as these leaders often wielded political influence even after retirement.

China’s ideology tsar Wang Huning tipped to head the National People’s Congress (October 18, 2022, South China Morning Post) (subscription required)
China’s bespectacled, studious ideology tsar Wang Huning could rise further after the Communist Party’s five-yearly leadership reshuffle, sources say. With party chief Xi Jinping set to shake up the top team for his unprecedented third term, Wang, the soft-speaking former academic, is tipped to stay and transition to the new leadership. 

What these buzzwords say about Xi’s China (October 18, 2022, BBC)
But party propaganda, despite its dry words, can offer clues about the goals of China’s most powerful leader in decades. He is now set for a third term in office, which no leader since Mao Zedong has served. The BBC mined the People’s Daily, the biggest state-run newspaper, to identify buzzwords that define Mr Xi’s time at the helm.

Puzzling Through Xi’s Political Report (October 18, 2022, China Media Project)
Xi Jinping’s political report, delivered at the opening of the 20th National Congress of the CCP last Sunday, is a monster of a text to grapple with. You might think of it as an edifice of little snap-together blocks, all specialized terms and slogans molded within a century-long history of CCP political discourse, much of it drawing also on Marxist, Leninist, and Stalinist prose.

Key Issues Highlighted in China’s 20th Party Congress (October 19, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Topics presented include carbon emissions, food security, and anti-corruption, among others.

One Congress, Five Years of Change in Infographics (October 19, 2022, The World of Chinese)
Here, we visualize some of the ways Chinese society has evolved over the last five years.

Explainer: Ten Key Terms and Concepts of the 20th CPC National Congress (October 19, 2022, Whats on Weibo)
What are the key terms and concepts mentioned in Xi Jinping’s speech that are propagated all over Chinese social media this week? Here, we explain ten important concepts and keywords that you are probably going to see much more of in the coming five years.

The 20th Party Congress is Underway: Will Xi’s Men Dominate the Next Politburo? (October 19, 2022, China Brief)
Within the Politburo, those who have reached the age of 68 are required to retire from their positions and duties. With several PBSC and Politburo members headed for retirement, many are wondering who will take their place.

The pomp, pageantry and paranoia of China’s Communist Party Congress (October 19, 2022, The Washington Post) (subscription required)
Characterized by pomp, pageantry and paranoia, the event is often more about optics — a time for the Chinese leadership to impress upon the public the legitimacy of the CCP’s rule.

Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Hong Kong leader aims to attract talent but vows further crackdown (October 19, 2022, The Guardian)
Hong Kong’s new leader has pledged to enact an anti-subversion law, tighten up cybersecurity and crack down on false information and crowdfunding activities, after China’s Xi Jinping issued calls to reinforce national security.

UK summons Chinese diplomat over Manchester consulate violence (October 19, 2022, Al Jazeera)
Envoy told the right to peaceful protest must be respected after Hong Kong protest was attacked and one man assaulted.


Podcast: China and the Catholic Church (August 13, Lacivilta Cathtolica)
This conversation reveals the contours and the shape of Chinese engagement with Christianity. We hear about the themes and topics of Jiang’s research and the central message of this body of work.

Are You Ready for the Diaspora? (October 14, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
For many ministries this time of increased religious restriction in the Chinese mainland has sparked a heightened interest in the Chinese diaspora. Here are four questions for your sending group that have been an important part of our NextMove learning curve.

5 Theological Truths and Church-State Relations (1): Lessons from China (October 17, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
These truths will be challenged by the CCP, and probably with increasing intensity over the next few years, and the faithfulness or lack thereof of Christians living and serving in China will hinge on their response to these challenges.

See Transformation of the Chinese Mission From Mission Strategy of Lottie Moon (October 18, 2022, China Christian Daily)
Dr. Evan Liu, director of the Chicago Chinese Servant Leadership Center, gave a lecture titled “See Transformation of the Chinese Mission from Recalling of Mission Strategy of Lottie Moon” on September 24, sharing his thoughts and views of the mission.

Podcast: Hope from the Chinese Wilderness (October 18, 2022, The Gospel Coalition)
Hannah is managing director for the Center for House Church Theology and content director for China Partnership. She joined me on Gospelbound to discuss persecution, pestilence, judgment, and justification.

Society / Life

China protest: Mystery Beijing demonstrator sparks online hunt and tributes (October 14, 2022, BBC)
A rare and dramatic protest in Beijing that criticised President Xi Jinping has sparked an online hunt for the mystery protester’s identity, as well as praise for the action. The protester had mounted Sitong bridge in the Haidian district of Beijing, and draped two large banners calling for an end to China’s harsh zero-Covid policy and the overthrow of Mr Xi.

Chinese President Promises New Policies to Boost Birth Rate (October 18, 2022, Sixth Tone)
The new policies seek to reduce the cost of childbirth, parenting, and education, which many couples have blamed for either delaying childbirth or not having children.

Camping Is a Fad in China. Now Authorities Seek to Regulate It. (October 19, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Local authorities across China are rolling out new rules for camping amid growing safety and environmental concerns, as the outdoor activity has attracted a new wave of holidaymakers amid tight coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

The ‘green code’ app: How China’s Zero COVID policy is turning cities, parks, restaurants and shops into digitised fortresses (October 19, 2022, Sky News)
In order to board one train in Shanghai, Sky’s correspondent Helen-Ann Smith needed three so-called ‘green codes’ from three separate apps. People are frustrated, but criticising the agenda is seen as criticising the government.

Economics / Trade / Business

What do US curbs on selling microchips to China mean for the global economy? (October 18, 2022, The Guardian)
Washington’s ban on hi-tech exports to China marks a huge gambit for economic supremacy for the next decades.

Science / Technology

Key tech policies from China’s 20th Communist Party Congress (October 17, 2022, Technode)
He reminded delegates that the next five years will be crucial for China to make breakthroughs in “high-quality economic development, achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology, and make major progress in creating a new pattern of development.” 


The Coming Chinese Church: How Rising Faith In China Is Spilling Over Its Boundaries – Book Review(Revisited) (October 18, 2022, Global China Center)
He believes that the Chinese house churches have been given two main weapons: praise and worship, and prayer. Grateful for the contribution made by Western missionaries in the past, he believes that their sacrifices have left a model for Chinese believers to aspire to, and hopes that this book will “link the Chinese and Western churches in the pursuit of the ‘Back to Jerusalem’ vision” (12).

Links for Researchers

20th Party Congress Political Report  (Chinese) (NPC Observer)


Online Symposium: The State of Religions in Hong Kong 2022 (Center for Religion and the Global East)
During the session, we will launch the Online Spiritual Atlas of the Global East—Hong Kong. Afterwards, renowned experts will discuss the current state of religions in Hong Kong. 

Pray for China

October 24 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On Oct. 24, 1928, Yang Xinfei (杨心斐姊妹) was born into a Christian family in Xiamen, Fujian. She became a Christ-follower in 1943 at age 15 and regularly shared her faith with others. However, she was also a very talented musician, graduating with honors from conservatories in Fuzhou and Shanghai. Yang wrestled with the Lord about whether to pursue music and marriage or answer a call to full-time ministry; at age 26 she resigned a teaching position and returned to Xiamen to be a full-time worker. Yang Xinfei was arrested in 1958 after refusing to join the Three Self Church and spent the next 15 years in prison and labor camp. In spite of severe torture, she never denied her faith and drew great strength and spiritual nourishment from her pocket Bible that the Lord had protected thoughout this entire period. In 1974 Yang returned to Xiamen, where her home became a haven for house church Christians and seekers from nearby universities, as well as a training site; in the 1990s, in cooperation with the Overseas Christian Mission, she systematically trained hundreds of workers there. Even as her health failed severely in later years, she used all her energy to motivate God’s children—speaking at China Gospel Conferences in Chicago and Hong Kong—before she met her Lord on July 23, 2011. Pray for Christians in Fujian to draw strength from God’s promise that “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

How to Pray for the Chinese Church (October 17, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
Last month, Muzi shared how God’s words sustained her during a stint in jail early in her Christian walk. Today, she shares some specific areas in which Chinese churches are struggling, and asks for global believers to come alongside the Chinese church in prayer.

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