5 Questions About Xinjiang and the Kunming Terror Attacks (March 4, 2014, Far West China)
This is an incredibly difficult time for both China and Xinjiang following the horrible terrorist attack at the Kunming rail station on March 1, 2014. Problems that were once thought distant and segregated are now hitting home with every Chinese citizen, regardless of ethnicity. It breaks my heart to see innocent people lose their lives in a meaningless fit of rage and likewise it pains me to see how this incident has further polarized feelings toward the Uyghur and Xinjiang in general.
GOVERNMENT / POLITICS / FOREIGN AFFAIRS
China’s President Will Lead a New Effort on Cybersecurity (February 27, 2014, The New York Times)
President Xi Jinping is presiding over a new working group on cybersecurity and information security, China announced on Thursday, a sign that the Communist Party views the issue as one of the country’s most pressing strategic concerns.
China: Mass stabbing attack in Kunming shows depth of Uighur conflict (March 2, 2014, Los Angeles Times)
Deng Wei, his wife and 8-month-old baby were having dinner in a little restaurant in an alleyway next to this city’s main train station Saturday night when a man and a woman, both in black, came striding by, clutching large knives. “They were headed toward the station, and I decided to follow them, at a distance. They began slashing people, and when they passed the police kiosk on the corner of the square, the officers did nothing to stop them,” Deng, 26, recalled Sunday in front of the station. “People began screaming. It was chaos.”
3 more arrested in China knife attack in Kunming (March 3, 2014, Los Angeles Times)
Three more suspects were arrested in connection with the weekend knife attacks in southern China that left 29 people dead, and the assailants’ leader has been identified, authorities said late Monday.
After 3/1: The Dangers of China’s Ethnic Divide (March 3, 2014, The New Yorker)
In China today, the ties between ethnic groups are rooted not in Communism but, for lack of a better word, in “G.D.P.-ism”—faith in economic growth and the push for prosperity. But that is a fragile bargain. Militant Uighurs are motivated largely by resentment of their relationship to Han Chinese. Xinjiang’s Uighur population has dropped from ninety-five per cent, in the early twentieth century, to forty per cent, in 2008, thanks to an explicit migration policy intended to bind the country more tightly.
Zhou Yongkang, the Chinese ex-official not on everyone’s lips (March 4, 2014, Los Angeles Times)
In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, few dare to speak the name of the evil Lord Voldemort. Lately, Chinese politics has had its own “He Who Must Not Be Named” or “You Know Who”: the former domestic security czar, Zhou Yongkang.
Chinese Officials Seek to Shift Attention From Rampage (March 4, 2014,
After knife-wielding assailants dressed in black killed 29 people and injured 143 at the train station here on Saturday, shocking the nation with an act of unfathomable terror, Chinese authorities appeared eager to change the subject.
China’s parliament: Opening day (March 5, 2014, Analects)
China has opened the annual full session of its parliament, the National People’s Congress, in Beijing. If the past is any guide, the proceedings will be tightly controlled and will not feature any dramatic legislative votes during the ten-day session. But the March 5th opening day included announcements of several important planning targets and budgeting decisions, and a promise from the prime minister, Li Keqiang, to do more to solve the nation’s pressing air pollution problems.
How Committed Is China to Reform? A Tip From ‘The Old Perfessor’ (March 5, 2014, China Real Time)
One of the most important questions in the global economy is the commitment to reform by China’s new leaders. Are they more reform-oriented than the last crew, who talked a lot about economic reform but often didn’t carry through?
Can China’s Policy Makers Get Their Message Straight? (March 6, 2014, China Real Time)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang set himself an ambitious target Wednesday, telling the country’s legislature that he wants to see economic growth of “about 7.5%” in 2014. But how much leeway does the little word “about” give the premier? Would he be upset if growth came in at, say, 7.4%?
The government’s own planners seem at odds over how to interpret the target.
Everything You Need to Know About Beijing’s Big Meetings (March 5, 2014, China Real Time)
The annual spring gathering of the full National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, is a wooden affair capable of dragging shut the eyelids of even the most dedicated bureaucrat. It nevertheless commands attention because, well, this is China.
China NPC 2014: The Reports (March 5, 2014, China Real Time)
The reports make for turgid reading, but they contain important indications of how Beijing views the economy and its plans for the future. Online versions of the reports typically don’t show up on official websites until much later, so China Real Time has scanned and uploaded the files, in both English and Chinese, in text-searchable format.
Love Online, Chinese Style (March 3, 2014, ChinaSource Blog)
In an era when individual urban congregations are proliferating, how to build a sense of community across the larger body of Christ is a serious challenge faced by China’s Christian leaders. The internet provides one solution to this challenge. In a very practical way, these Christian dating sites are helping to build bridges among believers in other communities and other cities. Their example may provide a model for other kinds of online resource sharing in the future.
Christians Go Online to Comment on the Kunming Massacre (March 6, 2014, Chinese Church Voices)
Chinese people went online to express their grief and anger at the attacks. Christian voices were also in the mix, calling for prayer for the victims and their families and for ethnic reconciliation. Many pastors also used their online platforms to encourage believers to be more urgent in their sharing of the gospel, since it is only the Gospel that can bring peace.
SOCIETY / LIFE
Pictures: Chinese rural families and their belongings (February 17, 2014, areavis.com)
There Can Be Only One Lunch Time (February 28, 2014, Sinosplice)
It’s true that the Chinese are pretty rigid about their eating schedules, and now I realize that I have been reprogrammed. I think of 12pm as “the lunchtime,” with deviations as early as 11:30am or as late as 12:30pm acceptable.
Baby Trafficking Rings Busted In China, 382 Babies Rescued: Officials (February 28, 2014, Huffington Post)
Chinese police have rescued 382 abducted babies and arrested 1,094 suspects in a national operation that busted four major Internet-based baby trafficking rings, the Public Security Ministry said Friday. The operation came after police in Beijing and the eastern province of Jiangsu last year found four websites selling babies under the cover of adoption, the ministry said, adding that Internet technologies have assisted baby traffickers by providing more secretive covers for their businesses.
Photos: China Pays Tribute to Kunming Attack Victims (March 3, 2014, China Real Time)
A Map of China, By Stereotype (March 5, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)
Why is the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang “so chaotic?” Why are many from the southern metropolis of Shanghai “unfit to lead”? And do people from central Henan Province really steal manhole covers? These are just some of the questions — ranging from the provocative, to the offensive, to the downright ridiculous — that Chinese people ask about themselves and each other on Baidu, the country’s top search engine, which says it processes about 5 billion queries each day.
China Remodels an Ancient Silk Road City, and an Ethnic Rift Widens (March 5, 2014, The New York Times)
The Chinese authorities set out five years ago to modernize Kashgar’s fabled Old City district while promising to preserve its dense Casbah-like charms. But the results underscore the growing divide between the government and the ethnic minority that lives here — the Uighurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people who have chafed at Beijing’s rule since Communist troops took over their traditional homeland in 1949.
Fire on bus in China’s Jilin kills 10 (March 5, 2014, BBC)
A fire on a passenger bus in China’s north-east has killed 10 people and injured 17 others, local officials and state-run media report. The bus was carrying 43 people when the fire broke out on Wednesday in Jilin city, Jilin province, reports say. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. Officials are investigating the matter.
EDUCATION / HISTORY
Being a Chinese college girl (March 4, 2014, World of Chinese)
As Women’s Day draws near, Guangzhou’s Women’s Federation released survey results about college girls in Guangzhou. The survey asked these girls about: studying, career, marriage, dating, sexual activity, and more. Female students in nine different universities gave their input, and 800 surveys were used.
Rare book offers clues to China’s musical past (March 4, 2014, BBC)
A book stored in Cambridge for the last two centuries has been identified as a rare record of early Chinese music. The significance of the book, entitled Xian Di Pipa Pu, was recognised last month by a visiting Chinese scholar. According to Professor Zhiwu Wu of the Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou, the book is a “rare volume of pre-modern Chinese musical notation”. The book was brought to England from China in the early 19th Century after surviving a Napoleonic naval skirmish.
China sees wave of violence against hospital staff (February 27, 2014, BBC)
A nurse left paralysed in Nanjing, a doctor with his throat slashed in Hebei and another beaten to death with a pipe in Heilongjiang. Three separate incidents all of which took place in China over the past two weeks. They are, of course, savage and shocking in their own right. Even more troubling though is the fact that they are not isolated cases but the latest in a growing crisis of violence at the heart of China’s healthcare system. It is leaving a trail of bereavement in its wake.
ECONOMICS / BUSINESS / TRADE
Currency of China Continues to Decline (February 28, 2014, The New York Times)
The value of China’s currency, the renminbi, continued to slide against the United States dollar on Friday, rattling investors by falling to its lowest level in nearly a year before closing higher.
Home Prices in China May Hurt Families (March 1, 2014, The New York Times)
China’s banks may not be directly exposed to losses from the country’s soaring housing prices, but any slump in those prices could set off widespread public anger, data from a broad new survey of household finances indicates.
Is it Better to Negotiate With a Bad China Strategy – or No China Strategy? (March 5, 2014, China Solved)
Adjusting your negotiating strategy too much for China is bad, but surrendering the agenda is even worse.
It’s More Fun When It’s Legal — Chinese Video Sites Now Pay Big Money for U.S. Shows (March 5, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)
While China is commonly seen as a haven for copyright pirates, with the bulk of Western content consumed via bootlegged DVDs or illegal downloads, the environment around web-based content is changing rapidly.
FOOD / TRAVEL / CULTURE
How I Got a China Driver’s License in Xinjiang (February 28, 2014, Far West China)
All it took was one and a half hours on a bus to the Urumqi DMV to remind me why I wanted to get a China driver’s license in the first place.
Thirty Yangjiang Scenes (March 5, 2014, Isador’s Fugue)
Many scenes would likely be labeled as mundane by Yangjiangers, and that’s fine. The aim is not to provide material for a promotional video like Dongguan’s but instead to provide a more down-to-earth look at Yangjiang and some context for later posts.
LANGUAGE / LANGUAGE LEARNING
Flashcard overflow: About card models and review directions (March 6, 2014, Hacking Chinese)
One of the most common questions I receive is what my flashcard deck looks like and how I think one should organise a deck of flashcards for optimum learning. The reason I seldom give straight answers to these questions is that the true answer is usually “it depends”. However, I can still say quite a lot about what it depends on and I will try to do so in this article.
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.
ZGBriefs is a publication of