Category Archives: Changing China

Why China’s citizens are being punished for jaywalking

china-jay-walkers-web-2

By Lily Kuo

Chinese officials are cracking down on illegal street crossing, in an attempt to instill rule of law in Chinese cities known for their chaotic roadways. The latest urban center being subjected to the crackdown is Shenzhen, where at least 2,000 people have already been fined for jaywalking, or what is described in Mandarin as “Chinese-style street crossing.” In the province of Zhejiang, over 8,000 were charged for the offense in March.

Jaywalking in China, when pedestrians disregard traffic signals and walk into the street (usually in groups), contributes heavily to traffic jams and bottlenecks in China’s urban areas. Continue reading

Chinese county imposes liquor ban on civil servants

Sometimes people from the West will take an over-simplified, black-and-white, stereotypical view China’s leaders, both local and national.  The reality is, it’s complicated and it wold be very foolish to just try and paint ALL Chinese leaders with one brush.  Just like in any government, there are good leaders and bad, honest and corrupt, skilled and inept.

I’m not an apologist for the Chinese government, but I do recognize that there are some leaders who really are trying to do the right thing.  The article sited below is an example of civil leaders making an unpopular decision to try and improve the integrity of the local government.

Please be in prayer for the leadership of Yueyang, that those who lead will do so with integrity and courage.  Pray that leaders who, maybe secretly, follow Jesus would become bold and savvy communicators of the Gospel message to their fellow leaders!  Continue reading

Why Cities?

In 1800, only about five percent of people lived in cities. A century later this had risen to about fifteen percent. By 1975, the percentage of urban dwellers in our world had risen to forty-one percent. Estimates are that by 2050 almost 80% of the world will live in urban areas. In Asia the present growth rate will produce by the year 2000 at least fourteen cities with a population of over ten million – three of these exist already in India, namely Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, and Calcutta. There will be thirty-two cities with over five million citizens and more than a hundred with over a million inhabitants. In India, cities like Madras, Hyderabad, and Bangalore already have climbed over five million in population, and they are numerous more cities over or near a million in population. It is true that India is primarily a rural society; however, the cities are growing and will continue to grow. There needs to be a concerted effort and a strategy on the part of the church to penetrate these spiritual strongholds of Satan.

We live in an urban world. However, only about nine percent of evangelical Christians live in the cities of a million or more inhabitants. Continue reading

Chinese fear aging process: Survey

(China Daily)People in China are among the most fearful of getting old, a new global survey suggests. According to Bupa, a British healthcare organization, which asked 12,262 people in 12 countries about their attitudes toward aging, 28 percent of the Chinese polled said they feel depressed when they think about getting old. About 30 percent of Chinese respondents said they worry about who will look after them in later years, while 91 percent agreed the government of the world’s most populous nation should improve care for the elderly. About one third of Chinese respondents – more than double the global average – said they have put money aside for retirement, while 46 percent have taken out insurance, the poll showed.

As China moves into the next couple of decades, it is entering uncharted territory.  It is safe to say that the traditional system from China’s past of children caring for their elderly parents is rapidly eroding.  Many feel the government is not prepared, nor adequately concerned, about the gravity of this social shift.

Please pray for Yueyang’s older citizens.  Ask that men and women who are followers of Christ will step-up and help meet the needs of this recently neglected part of Chinese society.  Pray that expressions of self-less and Christlike love will help draw men and women of all ages to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ!

“Red-collar” jobs most sought after in China

For nearly 20 years, white-collar jobs have been the most prized in China since the 1990s. However, times change and now more people are hoping to trade their white collars for red ones. So-called “red-collar” workers refer to civil servants in China. China has about 50 million civil servants now, and more people are planning to enter this class through public entrance examinations. Because of its stable income, security and the promise of promotions, more and more people are aspiring to be civil servants.

Often young professionals who are seeking civil servant jobs mistakenly believe that they cannot also pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Leaving them with a ‘cost counting’ mentality where they feel they must choose between having a career as a civil servant or having faith in Christ.  While we don’t deny that radical obedience to Christ can often result in various levels of persecution in China, the reality is a bit more complex.  There are many obedient followers of Christ who are also Chinese civil servants in China today.

Please pray that the gospel would be shared far and wide across Yueyang and that men and women at all levels of society and government would have an active and obedient faith in Christ!

Boat residents in Yueyang settle on land

Yueyang is located on the shore of China’s second largest lake, the Dongting Lake, and many aspects of life from ancient times till today are affected by this dominating geographical feature.  In fact, the very name of the province Yueyang in located in, Hunan, literally means “south of the lake”.  For those who live and work on the lake, life is not always wonderful.  Recently, the government has been trying to persuade families that live on boats on the lake to move to the land in an effort to improve the lives of these residents who are among the most poor and the most vulnerable in northeast Hunan province.

(Xinhua) — Some 7,550 people living on boats in Hunan Province have recently been persuaded leave behind life on the lake and to live on the land.
Mr. Xiao, 36, moved his family from their fishing boat to a 75-square-meter apartment at the end of last year.  “It’s the first warm winter we’ve ever spent. It’s like a dream,” Xiao said sitting beside an electric heater with his wife and son in the three-bedroom apartment in Yueyang County, Dongting Lake region.
“Before, we spent every day in an 8-square-meter houseboat for fishing. I thought I would live like this for the rest of my life,” Xiao said.  The couple suffered serious rheumatism and schistosomiasis like many other fishing people in the region.
Dongting Lake, China’s second largest freshwater lake, has been home to thousands of fishing households unable to afford life on the land.
Many of them suffer waterborne diseases and are not able to enjoy social welfare services or preferential policies for farmers.
So far, about 7,550 people in 2,322 households of Yueyang, Yiyang and Changde cities in the Dongting Lake region have been relocated to apartments on land.

Please pray for the ‘grass roots’ people of Yueyang, those who are NOT caught up in the race to own the biggest apartment and the most expensive new car.  Pray for those who struggle just to provide the basics for their families.

College grads looking to smaller cities for better lives

It’s that time of the year again, when university and college students are graduating and having to make decisions about where they are going to live and work.  In Yueyang, this almost always means that the best and brightest pack up their things and head for the ‘greener pastures’ of China’s big urban areas (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou).  According to recent surveys, that trend may be starting to change.

(Xinhua)  According to Beijing Evening News, an online survey found that 86 percent of college graduates would like to work in second-tier cities. Responding to the question of what would make them “flee” first-tier big cities, some 67 percent put the blame squarely on excessive living costs. Other factors included cut-throat competition in employment, high pressure in work and life, and hukou issues. In another survey, targeting the happiness index of middle-income families, those living in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, displayed below average levels of happiness. Contributing factors included high housing prices, heavy workload, poor traffic situation, and less time with their families. Among those surveyed, about 67 percent believed they might be happier in smaller cities.

Please pray for the college graduates of Yueyang.  Many are about to enter into the hopeless chase of materialism that China has embraced enthusiastically in the past couple of decades.  Ask that many of these students would find real hope and real fulfillment that is only found in Christ – not money, power or influence!

Experts urge switch from one child policy

China needs to adjust its one-child family planning policy to fight a worsening gender imbalance and an aging population with too few children, experts said.

China has 33.31 million more men than women among the population born during 1980-2000. The ratio of males to females at birth has kept rising since the 1980s. The normal range worldwide is 103 to 107 males born for every 100 females born. In China, that ratio reached 120.56 last year, Yuan said.
Only Tibet has a normal male/female birth ratio. The ration in all other provinces and regions is skewed, and is most serious in Jiangxi, Anhui and Shaanxi provinces, he said.

“This gender gap is unprecedented in the history of the populous countries in the world, and will continue to widen in the short term,” he said.

China launched its nationwide, one-child family planning policy in the 1970s. Though it prevented 400 million births, it has been criticized for leading to gender imbalance, a large elderly population and a scarcity of working-age people.

“The country has successfully achieved the goal to prevent its population from growing too fast, which was set in its first population policy advocating ‘one child for one couple’,” Hu Angang, one of China’s leading policy advisers, said in an article he published on the Economic Information Daily on Thursday.

“From now on, we should launch a new population policy advocating ‘two children for one couple’, with the objective of preventing a rapidly aging population with too few children in the future.”

Zhai Zhenwu, director of population and sociological studies at Renmin University in Beijing, agreed that the 30-year-old policy needs adjustment. The central government has already begun researching and drafting a new population policy, he said.

Source: China Daily

Number of Abortions in China is “Cause for Concern”

There are 13 million abortions each year, compared to 20 million births, according to newly published research.
Researchers believe the real figure could be even higher because there are many abortions at unregistered clinics.

abortions_birthsChina imposed strict family planning rules in the 1970s in an attempt to limit the growth of its population.

Many pregnant women who have had their full quota of children have abortions to prevent unwanted births.
But young single women are most likely to have abortions in a country where there are 20 million births each year, the research found.

Experts said the high number of abortions was “cause for concern”, adding that many women who have abortions are single and aged between 20 and 29.

China began restricting the number of children each couple can have in 1978. Officials say this has prevented 400 million extra births.

Economic Crisis Hitting the Heart of China

Hunan for years has sent waves of migrant workers to the cities in search of a better life and an escape from tough farm labor.
But now there are as many as two million Hunanese searching for work, the majority laid off from seaboard factories as the impact of the global economic crisis creeps into China’s rural heartland.

Hunan province once sent a million new farmers a year to work in China’s booming cities. Now the financial crisis means it is scrabbling to keep two million unemployed off the streets, a senior official said.

Beijing fears joblessness could lead to destabilizing unrest and has ordered local governments to throw their energy into keeping their citizens in some kind of employment.

Please pray for the people of Yueyang, many of whom are feeling the effects of the global economic slowdown in much more tangible ways than those of us living in more ‘affluent’ countries.  Pray that food and housing needs are met and that this crisis would create a new openness to hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.