ZGBriefs | September 29, 2022

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Featured Article

Some Americans’ views of China turned more negative after 2020, but others became more positive (September 28, 2022, Pew Research)
When looking at individual Americans, roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (26%) became more negative toward China between 2020 and 2022. Around one-in-five (17%) became more positive toward it, while 53% did not change their views in one direction or the other, according to the analysis.

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ChinaSource Quarterly: Member Care for Chinese Missionaries 
(September 12, 2022, ChinaSource)
The sending of missionaries from China and the high attrition rate among those sent have highlighted the need for better member care. Standing in the way of providing this needed ministry are deep-seated theological convictions and cultural values that make it difficult for Chinese workers to even consider or understand what member care is. Unless these barriers are addressed from a solid biblical foundation it will not be easy to convince Chinese workers that member care is a necessary part of fulfilling the great commission. This issue of ChinaSource Quarterly speaks to these barriers and to the areas that have suffered so much due to the lack of attention to the needs of workers from China.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Fu Zhenghua: China’s ex-justice minister jailed for corruption (September 22, 2022, BBC)
China’s former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, who spearheaded several corruption-fighting campaigns, has been jailed for bribery. Fu pleaded guilty in July to accepting 117 million yuan ($14.7m; $16.5m) in gifts and money for personal gain. On Thursday, a court in Changchun gave him a death sentence to be commuted to life in prison after two years.

Pakistan attack: Chinese national shot dead at Karachi dental clinic (September 28, 2022, BBC)
An armed attacker posing as a dental patient has killed a man and injured two other people at a clinic in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi. All three were Chinese-Pakistani dual nationals and had operated the dental clinic in the area for 40 years. Detectives say the attacker, who was in his early 30s, “didn’t hurt Pakistanis” in Wednesday’s incident.

China’s Xi reemerges after trip abroad quashing unfounded ‘coup’ rumors (September 28, 2022, CNN)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has made his first public appearance since returning from a trip to Central Asia, quashing unfounded rumors of a “coup” that sparked a frenzy of speculation ahead of a key Communist Party meeting. Xi on Tuesday visited an exhibition in Beijing showcasing China’s achievements over his decade in power, according to state broadcaster CCTV.


Do Chinese Worship Songs Sound Too Much Like Pop Hits? (September 27, 2022, Christianity Today)
These young Chinese praise songwriters—all of whom are in their 30s and 40s, years below the average Chinese church leader—recently spoke with CT about why they felt compelled to write new Chinese worship songs and how they handle commentary that their music is too inspired by pop.

Enduring Friendship (September 28, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
When our friendship storyline is out of step with the larger cultural narrative, whether in China or in the West, how do we as the body of Christ continue to build bridges of understanding? 

Society / Life

Empty Shelves, Long Lines as Wangfujing Foreign Bookstore Set to Close (September 22, 2022, The Beijinger)
Xiaohongshu, aka RED, China’s answer to Instagram, was alight this week with photos of a massive sale in Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore in Wangfujing ahead of a potentially fast approaching closure in order for the building the store resides in to be renovated.

Here to stay? China’s cityscapes transformed by thousands of COVID test booths (September 24, 2022, Reuters)
Tens of thousands of kerbside sampling booths where people can be tested day and night have become a permanent feature of Chinese cityscapes. Proof of a negative PCR test once every few days is required to guarantee access to public venues, places of work and mass transit – even when there is no outbreak.

In China’s Hinterlands, Young Women Can’t Find a Man. Literally. (September 27, 2022, Sixth Tone)
China often blames the country’s plunging marriage rate on women choosing to stay single. But the word “choose” can be misleading in a country where the urban-rural divide is also turning into a male-female divide.

Protecting the Rice Bowl: China’s Relentless Quest for Food Security (September 27, 2022, The World of Chinese)
With Covid-19 affecting domestic farming and global food supplies, can China ever reach its goal of food security?

Dating Apps Thrive in China, but Not Just for Romance (September 28, 2022, The New York Times)
China has cracked down on many tech companies, but has allowed dating apps that provide social connections to flourish.

Economics / Trade / Business

Apple shifts some iPhone 14 production from China to India (September 27, 2022, The Guardian)
A production line in Chennai has begun operation, assembling the iPhone 14 for the domestic Indian market. The move, which marks the first time the company has assembled iPhones outside of China in the same year they were released, is part of a plan to disentangle its manufacturing operations from the Chinese state.

Chinese yuan: Currency hits record lows against US dollar (September 28, 2022, BBC)
The internationally-traded yuan fell to its lowest level since data first became available in 2011. China’s domestic currency also reached its weakest point since the 2008 global financial crisis. It comes as the dollar continues to rise in value against other major currencies, after the US central bank increased interest rates again earlier this month.


What China Offers (September 23, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
China is a huge country with a diverse population and a wide variety of situations and circumstances. Making summaries of any kind can easily be misleading. Mr. J wrote this post to give a general idea of the options that might be available in China to parents of children with special needs.

The Students Who Taught the Teacher (September 26, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
This is the final post in a three-part series on special education in China.

Science / Technology

China’s iPhone production hub of Henan bets its future on the metaverse (September 28, 2022, South China Morning Post)
China’s central Henan province, which has positioned itself as a key node in the global supply chain in the past decade by housing the world’s largest iPhone manufacturing compound, has zeroed in on the metaverse as its next central industry. According to a recently released draft plan, the provincial government aims to develop a hundred billion yuan metaverse industry by 2025, in the latest rush by local Chinese authorities to tie up their developmental blueprint with the loosely defined concept.

History / Culture

Video: CNBC news report on Deng Xiaoping’s death in 1997 (Everyday Life in Maoist China)

The origins of Peking Opera (September 28, 2022, The China Project)
Ironically for a form that takes a specific location as its name, Peking Opera is best understood as a blend of many different regional styles, with influences from both low and high culture on its development.

Language / Language Learning

English and Chinese Telephone Phrasebook (September 22, 2022, Carl Gene)
I prepared this phrasebook to help anyone who is preparing to work as a telephone interpreter. There are two versions — one in English and one in Mandarin.

Living Cross-culturally

What I Learned: God Used the Chinese to Shape Me (September 28, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
It has been six years since I returned to the States from my time in China. Though it feels like it was a different lifetime ago, the time I spent there has profoundly impacted me in ways that affect the way I pastor the church today. When I went to China in 2007, my focus was on doing God’s kingdom work. Little did I realize just how much God would use the Chinese to shape and influence me over the nine years I spent there. Here are a few ways I was profoundly moved and shaped in my life and ministry.


Video: Power and Restraint in China’s Rise (September 28, 2022, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations)
In Power and Restraint in China’s Rise (Columbia University Press), Chin-Hao Huang argues that China’s aspirations for legitimacy and acceptance provide a rationale for refraining from coercive measures. His findings show why paying attention to the targets of Chinese power matters and what the future of engagement with China might look like. In a conversation with Carl Minzner conducted on September 16, 2022, Chin-Hao Huang explains why China considers the views and interests of small states, and how collective action can induce change in its behavior.

Links for Researchers

Hearing–Control of Religion in China through Digital Authoritarianism (Congressional-Executive Commission on China)

1 Key for 1 Lock: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Targeted Propaganda (September 28, 2022, recordedfuture.com)
This report assesses concepts related to the Chinese Communist Party’s international propaganda and information influence strategy. Topics covered include the party’s intent to segment audiences for targeted propaganda, theories about the selection of target countries, audience data collection, and the dissemination of tailored propaganda.


Habits of a Global Christian (Global Frontier Missions)
Whether you’re new to the whole missions thing, or whether you’ve been intentionally pursuing the lifestyle of a Global Christian for a while now, we invite you to explore the five habits that we’ve identified and outlined as foundational building blocks in this journey.

Pray for China

September 29 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
The first Mission China 2030 Conference was convened in Hong Kong from Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2015. House church leaders presided over this conference, which had 900 participants from the mainland. The Mission China 2030 vision is for China’s churches to send out 20,000 missionaries by the year 2030. One worker estimates that the major church networks in China have already sent out over a thousand cross-cultural workers. Pray for missionaries now being sent from China to make the Lord their refuge, so that they may tell of all His works. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:2

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
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