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July 24, 2014

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Partnering in Education (July 23, 2014, ChinaSource Quarterly)

As guest editor of this summer issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly, I am excited to share perspectives from people working among Chinese students in varying capacities. This issue includes advice on how to nurture and care for these young students. From a Chinese student who recently attended a U.S. private high school to a Chinese university professor we learn about the needs of students and the challenges Chinese parents face in finding a holistic education for their child. We also hear some cross-cultural observations from a director of a recruiting organization as well as how to care for these students from the perspective of a mentor and high school admissions director. The diverse group of authors in this issue will help us understand how we can better nurture, teach and support Chinese high school age students coming to the U.S. at younger and younger ages.


Inside a Beijing Interrogation Room (July 17, 2014, The New York Times)

I began to talk about Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience, but quickly felt like a ridiculous pedant. What’s the point of talking about the virtues of civil disobedience in a Beijing police station?

How to Read China’s New Press Restrictions (July 17, 2014, China File)

We’ve asked media watchers and journalists to tell us how they read the new restrictions and to gauge their likely impact.

Video: Zambia’s dynamic relationship with China (July 18, 2014, BBC)

China is digging deep into Africa’s copper giant, and is heavily involved in infrastructure development and trade in Zambia. But its relationship with the southern African country has not been without controversy. Allegations of Chinese exploitation of low-paid Zambian workers have dogged the romance.

China warns officials against aping Western morality (July 20, 2014, Reuters)

China’s ruling Communist Party will step up ideological education of officials to prevent them from aping Western moral standards and strengthen their faith in communism to help in the fight against pervasive corruption, state media said.

To No End: Why China’s Corruption Crackdown Won’t Be Stopping Soon (July 21, 2014, China Real Time)

One major question hovering over China’s anti-corruption campaign – already the longest the country has ever seen — is when it’s going to wind down. According to anti-corruption czar Wang Qishan, who briefed fellow officials on the campaign last week (in Chinese), it won’t be any time soon. And the major reason for that may well be that Beijing hasn’t yet figured out how to end it.

Oh No Xi Didn’t: Conflicting Views of China’s Leader (July 20, 2014, China Digital Time)

In an extract from his book The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China at Inside Story, Kerry Brown argues against the portrayal of Xi Jinping as an all-powerful strongman. Brown singles out Yu Jie’s Xi Jinping: China’s Godfather, whose Hong Kong-based publisher was detained in Shenzhen last October.

China stays quiet on MH17 disaster (July 21, 2014, The Guardian)

Closer Sino-Russian relations mean Chinese leaders are loth to apportion blame for downing of Malaysia Airlines plane.

China ‘spy ship’ at US-led navy exercise off Hawaii (July 21, 2014, BBC)

China says it has the right to send a surveillance ship to monitor a US-led naval exercise, after US media reported the vessel’s presence off Hawaii over the weekend. Navy ships had the right under international law to operate in “waters outside of other countries’ territorial waters”, the defence ministry said. China is also taking part in the drill. It has sent four ships with an estimated 1,000 sailors onboard to the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) operation.

Senior Japan, China diplomats hold secret meeting amid frayed ties (July 23, 2014, Kyodo News)

A senior Japanese official responsible for Asian affairs secretly visited China in mid-July to explore the possibility of arranging a meeting of the top leaders of the two countries later this year on the sidelines of a regional summit, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

Run Like Hell: China Releases New Anti-Terror Handbook (July 23, 2014, China Real Time)

What do you do when someone in a skull-and-bones sweatshirt and ski mask lunges at you with a knife while carrying a bomb under his arm? Don’t panic. China’s anti-terrorism office has you covered.

Chinese man admits US military sensor smuggling (July 24, 2014, BBC)

A Chinese man has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle sensors made for the US military to China. Bo Cai, who works for a Chinese technology firm, was arrested last year as he tried to board a flight home with a sensor hidden in a computer. His cousin, Wentong Cai, has pleaded not guilty to the same offence and will stand trial next month. The two men obtained the sensor from an undercover security agent in a sting operation. Bo Cai now faces a lengthy prison sentence.


Christians Battle Cops Outside Church Over China Cross Crackdown (July 21, 2014, NBC News)

Poice clashed with Christian protesters massed around their church early Monday, but failed to carry out a Chinese government order to remove a cross from the building, according to witnesses and online accounts. Several people were injured in the two-hour melee.

When influence and wariness meet (July 22, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

A big part of observing China is trying to figure out what is really going on. For those following recent events regarding the church in China, this has been especially true. Has the government really launched a nationwide crackdown on Christianity or is it just in Zhejiang? Is it all just a problem of “illegal structures, or is “belief” the problem?

A book on drums and worship (July 22, 2014, Chinese Church Voices)

As the Church in China continues to grow and mature, one of the issues that is coming to the fore is that of music. Until recently, much of the music played and sung in Chinese churches has been on the traditional side – translated western hymns or indigenous folk-style music (popular in rural churches). Only in the past few years have we seen the emergence of what might be described as “Christian Contemporary Music,” popular, as one might expect, among the younger generation, particularly in the cities.

Religion and Control in Chinese History (July 22, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

The rigid control structures comprising the “box” within which China’s church currently operates are often assumed to be merely a function of China’s Leninist political system. Were this system to be dismantled, one might argue, the “box” would come apart and China’s Christians would enjoy genuine freedom of religion. Yet is important to note that control over religion has been a feature of Chinese society for nearly the past 1400 years.

Christians in Wenzhou Fight to Keep Church’s Cross (July 24, 2014, Sinosphere)

As rain brought by Tropical Storm Matmo poured down around them on Thursday, several dozen Christians, weary after a bloody confrontation with the police earlier in the week, stood guard at Salvation Church in Wenzhou, determined that the authorities would not take down their cross.

To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo? (July 24, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

But this begs a bigger question: while tattoos may have become an acceptable part of the mainstream culture in the West, many cultures where Christians serve they are not (and may never be). If someone is preparing for overseas service, shouldn’t that matter?


MacDonald’s Marriages (July 17, 2014, The World of Chinese)

If you don’t really have any sort of spiritual persuasion as such, then the business of getting married can be a little bit complicated. For religious types like myself, of course, there’s often a pretty well laid-out path to tread. Things are also perhaps easier for atheists in Western countries, where a Christian legacy and heritage still renders a Church wedding the go-to option for many an irreligious couple. Things are slightly different in Hong Kong, however.

In Defense of China’s Dancing Grannies: Shanghai Residents Speak Out (July 18, 2014, China Real Time)

Let our grannies dance in peace! That’s the message of a new survey conducted by Shanghai’s statistics bureau, which attempted to collect the views of residents on the problem of local noise pollution.

China on the Move (July 19, 2014, The World of Chinese)

China is a nation transformed: urban landscapes swell to the brim with rural citizens hoping to make their fortune, the newly rich run from the chaos of the metropolitan rat race, and many of the truly wealthy look for solace outside of China’s borders. This change has had its ups and downs, but it cannot be denied that the people of China are migrating en masse and that the consequences of this mass migration are being felt everywhere—even though the true costs may not be felt for decades to come. The key revolution of China this decade has been economic, one in which a society mills freely about the nation and abroad to seek a fortune or future unthought-of in previous generations.

Guizhou’s giant duck disappears just as a giant toad appears in Beijing (July 19, 2014, Nanfang Insider)

The Big Orange Toad can currently be seen in Yuyuan Spring Park in Beijing. Not many details have been released yet, but then for an enormously oversized inflated object of cuteness, we’re not sure it needs any. We can’t say for sure if there’s a connection between the lost duck and the toad. But, toads have been known to change their shape (at least when princesses are involved).

Typhoon Rammasun kills 18 in China (July 20, 2014, The Guardian)

The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in four decades has killed 18 people, according to the government, while in the Philippines the death toll from the storm rose to 94. Typhoon Rammasun killed nine people and left five missing after hitting Hainan island off China’s southern coast on Friday, the civil affairs ministry said in a statement. Nine others died later in the Guangxi region as the storm plowed into the mainland on its way towards Vietnam.

‘Transformers’ Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists (July 20, 2014, NPR)

Some Chinese farmers have left their plows and taken to welding giant robot replicas in public spaces. The craze follows release of the new Transformers movie, China’s biggest-ever box office hit.

Heard in the Hutong: Will China’s Rise Lead to Conflict? (July 22, 2014, China Real Time)

Many people in Asia fear that China’s territorial ambitions could spark a war in the region, the Pew Research Center discovered in a recent survey. The survey also found that people in many parts of the globe had little confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping to do the right thing in global affairs. With Mr. Xi currently finishing up a trip to South America following a meeting of BRICS leaders in Brazil, China Real Time hit the streets of Beijing to find out what residents think about China’s place in the world.

Caixin Slide show: Yunnan Mudslides (July 22, 2014, Caixin Online)

China flight delays to mount through August (July 23, 2014, Reuters)

Eastern China is expected to face widespread flight delays until mid-August, state-run media said Wednesday, with military use of the nation’s airspace suspected as the culprit. Some 12 airports — including Shanghai’s two main facilities, Pudong and Hongqiao — will experience delays to August 15, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

5 Things to know about Taiwan’s deadly plane crash (July 24, 2014, Wall Street Journal)

On Wednesday, a plane crashed in Taiwan, marking Taiwan’s deadliest plane accident in more than a decade. The flight crashed in the Penghu islands after a failed attempt to land, just as Typhoon Matmo moved away from Taiwan, which had been fiercely lashed by the storm. The crash claimed 48 lives, with 10 injured.


China’s (Unfinished) Education Explosion (July 21, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)

Real education reform does not appear to be on the horizon currently. However, given the growing dissatisfaction both with the current system and with the results it is producing, it is likely that during the next decade China’s leaders will need to address a system that most everyone agrees needs fixing. If and when that should occur, the church will have an opportunity to play a role. Fledgling schools being pioneered today by Christian intellectuals could potentially become models for tomorrow.

Summer edition of the ChinaSource Quarterly: Partnering with Chinese families to educate students in Christian US High Schools (July 23, 2014, ChinaSource Quarterly)

The current issue of our core publication examining critical issues that affect the church in China and those who serve the church – including two-three articles on a specific theme, A View from the Wall (written by a mainland Chinese or someone who has lived and worked long-term in China), Peoples of China (dealing with a distinct group in China), a book review, and a pertinent resource related to the theme. Articles from past issues are accessible in the Library section.


Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death (July 22, 2014, The Guardian)

A Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said. The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said. A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday, the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported. CCTV said officials were not allowing anyone to leave. The China Daily newspaper said four quarantine sectors had been set up in the city.

Bad taste lingers over China’s latest food scandal (July 23, 2014, BBC)

Wang Fang didn’t work for the Shanghai Husi Food Company for long. Just two days into her new job packing pork products, she found herself caught up in the latest stomach-turning scandal to hit the Chinese headlines. An investigation, broadcast by state-run TV, had shown her fellow workers mincing up piles of old greying meat and then repackaging it as new. So the authorities moved in, closing down production and sending the workers home. In the latest development, five staff members, including the company’s quality manager, are reported to have been arrested.


Forbes Media sold to Hong Kong’s Integrated Whale (July 18, 2014, BBC)

After 97 years of family ownership, Forbes Media has announced it has sold a majority stake in the company to a Hong Kong-based group of international investors. Forbes Media – which includes Forbes magazine – was sold to Integrated Whale Media Investments for an undisclosed sum.

The Forbes family said it would still have a “significant” stake. Steve Forbes will remain as chairman and editor-in-chief.

China’s Pink Women-Only Parking Spots Spark a Backlash (July 21, 2014, China Real Time)

A shopping mall in China has sparked accusations of sexism after it recently unveiled 10 parking spots designed for women only. Painted in pink, the spots at the World Metropolis Center in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian say “Respectfully reserved for women” and are about 30 centimeters wider than other parking places.

China Tensions Choke Off Tourism to Vietnam (July 21, 2014, The New York Times)

Chinese accounted for about a quarter of the nearly 4.3 million foreign visitors to Vietnam in the first six months of 2014. But in June, arrivals from the Chinese mainland fell about 30 percent and those from Hong Kong fell 72 percent, compared with May.

China’s debt soars to 250% of GDP (July 21, 2014, CNBC)

China’s debt has soared to two and a half times its economy, Standard Chartered estimates, highlighting the difficulties Beijing faces in balancing growth with the risk of bubbles forming in its economy. Total financial credit has surged to 251 percent of gross domestic product from 147 percent at the end of 2008, the bank said.

China Chases the American Property Dream (July 23, 2014, The World of Chinese)

On, a website that facilitates Chinese people’s real estate dream the world over, the “America” section largely features what you would expect: grand looking piles in places such as LA, Hawaii, New York and San Francisco that we common folk can only look and drool at. Is this an accurate reflection of what Chinese buyers generally go for, and if not where exactly in the US are the Chinese investing all that money, and why?

China manufacturing activity at 18-month high (July 23, 2014, BBC)

China’s manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in 18 months in July, an initial survey by HSBC showed, the latest in a series of signs that the country’s economy may be stabilising. The bank’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of the sector’s health, rose to 52 in July, from 50.7 in June. A reading above 50 shows expansion. It is the second successive month in which HSBC’s PMI has been above that level.

China’s red furniture craze fuelling illegal logging in Guinea-Bissau (July 23, 2014, The Guardian)

Environmental activists have been denouncing illegal logging in Guinea-Bissau for years, but now it may be too late, “as we risk not having [the African rosewood] in the coming years”, Said warned. “It is a type of wood in extremely high demand in the Chinese market.” Worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, Bissau-Guinean rosewood is used, among other things, to make hongmu furniture, red luxury Chinese pieces replicating the styles of the Qing period.


China has more people going online with a mobile device than a PC (July 21, 2014, Reuters)

The number of China’s internet users going online with a mobile device – such as a smartphone or tablet – has overtaken those doing so with a personal computer (PC) for the first time, said the official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Monday. China’s total number of internet users crept up 2.3 percent to 632 million by the end of June, from 618 million at the end of 2013, said CNNIC’s internet development statistics report. Of those, 527 million – or 83 percent – went online via mobile. Those doing so with a PC made up 81 percent the total.

China plans railway to India, Nepal borders by 2020 (July 24, 2014, Reuters)

China plans to extend a railway line linking Tibet with the rest of the country to the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan by 2020 once an extension to a key site in Tibetan Buddhism opens, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.


Top 10 most beautiful islands in China (July 19, 2014, China Daily)

Chinese Art Collector Stirs Pot With Sip of Tea from $36-Million Cup (July 21, 2014, China Real Time)

Shanghai-based art collector Liu Yiqian recently spent $36.3 million on a tiny porcelain cup with a humble chicken painted on its surface. But for many in China, the most shocking thing wasn’t the amount he paid, or the fact that he paid with an American Express card. No, it was the fact that Mr. Liu decided to celebrate his Ming-dynasty purchase by sipping some tea from it.

No Harassing Animals in Public: Chinese City Gives Lessons On How to Behave Abroad (July 21, 2014, China Real Time)

It may take three generations to make a gentleman, as the time-worn adage says, but China moves fast and the southern city of Shenzhen is hoping to do it in a month. The city recently launched an international etiquette campaign aimed at turning its 10 million residents into global politeness ambassadors. The Shenzhen campaign, which concludes tomorrow, includes lectures, posters and a scroll of vignettes about the faux pas of Wu Li, an imaginary Chinese traveling abroad whose name sounds like “no manners” in Mandarin.


Top 10 Chinese Vocabulary Words for the Ghost Month (July 24, Fluent U)

To learn more about the Chinese culture and the traditions held during the ghost month, here are ten Chinese vocabulary words associated with the period. Each vocabulary word is followed by a sample sentence, its pinyin, the English translation and a short description about how the word relates to the ghost month.


From the Tsar’s Railway to the Red Army – The latest in the Penguin China World War One E-book series (July 22, 2014, China Rhyming)

Mark O’Neill’s From the Tsar’s Railway to the Red Army is now available as part of the Penguin China World War One e-book series…Following his book on the Chinese “Coolie Corps” who worked on Europe’s WW1 battlefields, this short book follows those Chinese who worked in Russia and found themselves caught up in the Bolshevik Revolution…

The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China (July 23, 2014, China File)

In The New Emperors, the noted China expert Kerry Brown journeys deep into the heart of the Communist Party. China’s system might have its roots in peasant rebellion but it is now firmly under the control of a power-conscious Beijing elite, almost half of whose members are related directly to former senior Party leaders.


Hsu Shih-chang (Xu Shichang) 徐世昌 (The China Story)

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.

Village democracy shrugs in rural China (July 22, 2014, East Asia Forum)

There is no definite conclusion on the extent to which grassroots democratisation has brought about better governance, despite revisions made to the organic law to improve the ‘technical’ aspects of VC management.

ZGBriefs is a free weekly compilation of the news in China, condensed from published online sources. Highlighting articles and commentary from major news sites, and blogs and other new media sites, ZGBriefs brings you not only the most important stories of the week in order to help deepen your understanding of what is happening in China today. Coverage includes domestic and international politics, economics, culture, and social trends, among other areas. Seeking to explore all facets of life in China, ZGBriefs also includes coverage of spiritual movements and the role of religious believers and faith-based groups in China. ZGBriefs is a reader-supported service. If you find this resource useful, please consider making a donation.

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