ZGBriefs

ZGBriefs | September 9, 2021

ZGBriefs is for those who want and need to keep up on what is happening in China, but don’t have the time to monitor and track it all. We monitor more than 50 different news sources and curate the most relevant and interesting stories out of China each week. Topics include government, religion, society, economics, education, travel, and language, and books.

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Featured Article

Beijing 2022 Olympics presents opportunities & challenges for China (September 7, 2021, Dao Insights)
Now there is a new event on the horizon for China – another Olympic Games that promises to be just as spectacular as the last. The 2022 Winter Olympics is being held in Beijing, the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games, making this event one that will truly go down in history. But what will these Games mean for China, and China’s image in the eyes of the world?

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Taiwan says 19 Chinese warplanes entered air defence zone (September 6, 2021, BBC)
Taiwan’s defence ministry said Sunday’s mission by the Chinese air force involved four H-6 bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons, as well as an anti-submarine aircraft. 

China: The Ground Shakes, Is An Earthquake Coming? (September 7, 2021, Institut Montaigne)
China’s domestic situation must be watched very closely in the year to come, before Xi is elevated to Mao status by the next Party congress. 

Hong Kong Police Arrest Defiant Leaders Of The Tiananmen Square Vigils (September 8, 2021, NPR)
Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested four leaders of the group that organized the city’s annual Tiananmen Square commemorations after they refused to cooperate in a national security investigation, the group said. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China had openly challenged the enforcement of a 14-month-old national security law, saying police were arbitrarily labeling pro-democracy organizations as foreign agents.

China’s Maoists Mark Death of Great Helmsman With Tributes, Street Events (September 8, 2021, Radio Free Asia)
State-run mainstream media in China appeared to have ignored the 45th anniversary of the death of late supreme leader Mao Zedong this week, although leftist websites ran tributes to the “Great Helmsman.” The Red Song Network posted an article listing rousing tributes to Mao, as well as reports of “spontaneous” events marking his death, on its front page.

Religion

Welcoming the Liuxuesheng (September 3, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
With travel restrictions being relaxed—at least in some countries—the Chinese liuxesheng are once again making their way onto university campuses around the world. It is our hope that this issue of CSQ will motivate and equip us to reach out to them in love.

From the Middle East to the Middle Kingdom (4) (September 6, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
Why do Hui and other predominantly Muslim minzu (民族, people groups) practice endogamy? If it is to prevent religious syncretism, it doesn’t appear to have worked.

Isolation and Loneliness: We Know It’s Unhealthy (September 6, 2021, China Partnership Blog)
The questions we ask are oftentimes more revealing than any answers we provide. Here, we have excerpted part of a frank discussion on pastoral ministry and leadership between several Chinese house church pastors and Paul Tripp, an American pastor and author. The house church pastors lead the conversation as they question Tripp about isolation in ministry and changing the leadership culture within the church.

A Historic Church in Fujian Province Restored (September 7, 2021, Chinese Church Voices)
Christianity in Fujian Province has a rich history of proclaiming the gospel and serving the community. In 2018 the Mingdao Church building was designated a historic building by the Fuzhou Municipal Government and restoration began in 2019. This article from China Christian Daily provides an update on that restoration and relates a bit of its history. 

New Bishop ordained in China (September 8, 2021, Vatican News)
Father Francis Cui Qingqi, O.F.M., is the sixth bishop nominated by Pope Francis under the terms of the 2018 Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and China.

Society / Life

China Is Imposing Strict Lockdowns To Contain New COVID Outbreaks. But There’s A Cost (September 2, 2021, NPR)
Tom and his family are among hundreds of thousands of people stuck outside China, sometimes separated from loved ones or their livelihoods. Most of the people in this story, like Tom, asked us to use only their first name because they do not want to jeopardize their chances of getting back into China.

China bans men it sees as not masculine enough from TV (September 2, 2021, AP)
Broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” the National Radio and TV Administration said, using an insulting slang term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” or literally, “girlie guns.”

China created more billionaires than the U.S. Now it is cracking down. (September 5, 2021, NBC News)
Communist China has relentlessly pursued economic growth for decades, creating more billionaires than the U.S. and lifting 800 million people out of poverty but leaving 600 million more to live on $150 a month. Now, President Xi Jinping is planning what some experts say would be a dramatic about-face, trying to restructure Chinese society by cracking down on the country’s newly minted super-rich and redistributing wealth more evenly among the population of 1.4 billion.

Forget Tiger Moms. Now China’s ‘Chicken Blood’ Parents Are Pushing Kids To Succeed (September 6, 2021, NPR)
Forget tiger moms. These are China’s jiwa, or “chicken” parents, who are known for their attentive — some say obsessive — parenting style. The term is used to describe aggressive helicopter parenting and comes from an unproven Chinese-medicine treatment dating back to the 1950s in which a person is injected with fresh chicken blood to stimulate energy.

Under Xi Jinping, the private life of Chinese citizens isn’t so private anymore (September 8, 2021, CNN)
Even for a powerful authoritarian state, the speed and extent to which the Communist Party is expanding its reach into private lives in China has caught many off guard. Since celebrating its centennial with great fanfare in July, the party has imposed a flurry of regulations telling Chinese people, especially the younger generation, how to live their everyday lives.

Chinese celebrities warned over morality in cultural crackdown(September 8, 2021, The Guardian)
Attendees of a Chinese entertainment industry symposium have been told to ensure they act with morality in both public and private, amid an intensive government crackdown on cultural sectors. The meeting on Tuesday in Beijing, with the theme of “Love the party, love the country, advocate morality and art”, was attended by senior Communist party officials, who laid out new regulations on industry practice and the behaviour of celebrities, state media reported.

Economics / Trade / Business

Reality check: How welcome are foreign investors in China? (September 3, 2021, MERICS)
Revisions to China’s Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) are generally presented as an indication of how far the market is opening up to foreigner investors. However, this list alone gives only a partial picture. Other negative lists can render any opening up practically meaningless. The coming round of FINL revisions will be no different, argues MERICS Senior Analyst Jacob Gunter.

Hong Kong: international companies reconsider future in wake of security law (September 6, 2021, The Guardian)
With businesses already facing restrictions because of the pandemic, the introduction of the national security law last year and the government shutdown of the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper have sparked its biggest-ever exodus of people and rocked confidence in a city once synonymous with vibrant economic activity.

Why Is China Setting Up a Third Major Stock Exchange in Beijing? (September 7, 2021, Sixth Tone)
Beijing’s new bourse is designed to provide smaller Chinese companies with easier access to funding at home, as economic tensions with the U.S. continue to rise.

Education

China bans private tutors from giving online classes (September 8, 2021, Reuters)
China on Wednesday banned private tutors from giving classes online or in unregistered venues such as residential buildings, hotels and coffee shops, ramping up its effort to stamp out all for-profit tutoring.

Video: China’s Crackdown on After-School Tutoring and its Implications (September 8, 2021, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, via  YouTube)
In an interview conducted on September 1, 2021, Ms. Wenchi Yu discusses the recent crackdown on private tutoring in China.

Health / Environment

China not ready to ease strict Covid-19 controls, says senior health official (September 4, 2021, South China Morning Post) (subscription required)
China’s zero-tolerance Covid-19  strategy will not change until the authorities are confident that its vaccination campaign has been effective enough to ease restrictions, a senior health official said on Friday. Zheng Zhongwei, head of medical science development at the National Health Commission, said those strict measures – including quarantine , rigorous testing and large-scale contact tracing – would not be changed easily.

Inside the Wuhan lab: French engineering, deadly viruses and a big mystery (September 8, 2021, The Washington Post)
This account of the WIV’s 65-year history, its coronavirus research and its P4 lab is based on interviews with visiting scientists, lab audit reports, satellite images, archival records and other documentation.

Science / Technology

China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is heading back to the moon (September 6, 2021, Space News)
The Chang’e-5 orbiter module which facilitated China’s complex lunar sample return last year is on its way to the moon following deep space tests. The orbiter, one of four distinct Chang’e-5 mission spacecraft, delivered a return module containing 1.731 kilograms of lunar samples to Earth Dec. 16 before firing its engines to deep space for an extended mission.

History / Culture

Podcast: The Taiping Rebellion (Part 3) (September 5, 2021, Teacup Media)
After seizing the all-important city of Nanjing in March 1853 and basking in the afterglow of this victory, the Taiping leadership launches two military expeditions, one to the north to capture the capital, Beijing, and the other to the west.  In this episode, we’ll see how those two ventures pan out.

Travel / Food

China’s Tourists Are ‘Going Country,’ But Is Sustainability a Priority? (September 3, 2021, Radii China)
What are the core elements of rural tourism in China, and is sustainability a priority? Also, who are the folks behind the rise of the industry?

KFC’s snail noodles campaign strikes a chord with Chinese young consumers (September 8, 2021, Dao Insights)
KFC teamed up with the logistics company Cainiao to launch a very popular traditional Chinese dish known as ‘stinky’ snail noodles. Due to KFC’s localisation efforts, the campaign was able to further build its brand strength within the Chinese community. The creative campaign captured the attention of young consumers, as it tapped into their work culture, by offering late night dinners for consumers working overtime

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Beijing 2022: China readies for Winter Olympics as pressure grows (September 4, 2021, BBC)
Entry and exit to the Olympic city can be controlled if needed. Transport links from high-risk areas can be suspended and travellers coming to the capital Beijing from medium risk locations could be required to have negative coronavirus tests. With these tools, officials are hoping to have zero domestic Covid infections when the Winter Games begin.

Books

‘Red Roulette’ Reveals The Inside Of China’s Wealth-Making Machine (September 6, 2021, NPR)
In his new book Red Roulette: An Insider’s Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today’s China, Desmond Shum writes about the disappearance of his ex-wife in China.

Connecting with Chinese International Students: A Book Review (September 8, 2021, ChinaSource Blog)
It often does take many people to bring a Chinese student to faith in Christ, disciple them in the faith, and help establish them in a Christian community when they return to China. A new resource is now available that will help prepare those many people to minister effectively among those arriving from China today.

Links for Researchers

China Leadership Monitor, Fall 2021 (September 1, 2021)

How Much Does Beijing Control the Ethnic Makeup of Tibet?(September 2, 2021, China File)
Over the past year, government and non-governmental bodies around the world have focused attention on the ethnic demography of China’s far-western region of Tibet, often lumping it together with Xinjiang.

Pray for China

September 15 (Pray for China: A Walk through History)
On Sept. 15, 2017, Kevin Garratt (高凯文), owner of a small coffee shop in Dandong, Jilin, was released by the People’s Republic after 2.5 years in jail on charges of spying. At the time of their arrest, Garratt and his wife Julia had been providing humanitarian aid in China for 30 years; she was released on bail after six months, but he was not even allowed to see a lawyer for 11 months. Pray for Christians working in the business world to pray morning, noon, and night—always knowing that the Lord will hear and save them. But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:16-17

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