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Watch China

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2014, 10:23:38 am »

Proverbs 11:1  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Pro 11:4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Pro 11:15  He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2014, 01:54:04 pm »

China plans the world's longest undersea tunnel

China is planning another engineering marvel: a tunnel more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel underneath Bohai Bay


At more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel, China's latest mega project is not short of ambition.

A 76-mile-long tunnel will run between the northern city of Dalian with Yantai, on the east coast.

"Work could begin as early as 2015 or 2016," said Wang Mengshu, an expert at the Chinese academy of Engineering, to the China Daily.

He added that the new tunnel will knock 800 miles off the current route between the two cities.

It will also form a vital link in a high-speed rail line from China's frozen north to the tropical island of Hainan, in the south.

China has a history of epic engineering projects stretching back to the Great Wall. More recently it has built the world's largest high-speed railway network, longest bridges, and several of its tallest skyscrapers.

Even so, the new £22 billion sea tunnel will present several challenges. Engineers will attempt to bore three tunnels - one for cars, one for trains and one for maintenance - through the hard rock, 100ft below the sea bed.

Vertical shafts will be dug on islands along the route to provide ventilation.

But the area is prone to earthquakes and the tunnel will traverse two major fault lines. In 1976, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the nearby city of Tangshan killed hundreds of thousands.

Experts warned that excavation work through an active fault needs special attention.

"The government is being cautious about the project
," said a leading researcher on the tunnel at East Shandong University, who asked not to be named.

"We proposed this idea of a tunnel 20 years ago and many research teams have been looking at it since.

"We set up a special group to study the Channel Tunnel. In fact, every undersea tunnel engineer in the world has learned from the Channel Tunnel because it is the best example in the world. We learned some construction techniques and also some ways of financing our tunnel."

The Channel Tunnel, dug between 1987 and 1991 showed that bores could excavate undersea at high pressure. But technology has improved to such an extent that much more ambitious projects are possible.

Longest transport tunnels in the world* 

1. Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland – land railway tunnel beneath Alps connecting Uri and Ticino, opens 2016 – 35.5 miles

2. Seikan Tunnel, Japan – undersea railway tunnel connecting islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, opened 1988 – 33.5 miles

3. Channel Tunnel, UK/France – undersea railway tunnel connecting Folkestone and Coquelles, opened 1994 – 31.4 miles

4. Lötschberg Base Tunnel, Switzerland – land railway tunnel beneath Alps connecting Berne and Valais, opened 2007 – 21.5 miles

5. New Guanjiao Tunnel, China – land railway tunnel beneath Guanjiao Mountains connecting Xining and Golmud, opens 2014 – 20.3 miles

* excludes urban metro tunnels
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2014, 10:17:50 pm »

Christianity's Churchianity's giant sleeper - China

Churches — both legal and illegal — are booming in China. Some view them as a welcome counterpoint to rampant materialism. Others see ghosts of a colonial past.
By Alex Jürgen Thumm

It was my last Sunday morning in China, my last chance to experience church in a Communist country where, as far as I could tell, Christianity was basically forbidden. It was 2011, and I had been in Beijing for five weeks to study Mandarin. In that time, I hadn’t seen a single cross, church or Bible. In fact, I read at customs that you couldn’t bring in more than four Bibles from abroad. I had no idea that I was in the third-largest Christian country in the world.

In Liangmaqiao, a Beijing neighbourhood that’s home to the foreign and the wealthy, I arrived at the 21st Century Hotel, where the Beijing International Christian Fellowship (BICF) holds services. The parking lot was full of Rolls-Royces and BMWs bearing Jesus-fish decals. At the building entrance, two parishioners acting as doorkeepers asked me for ID — by government order, only foreigners may attend church. I had forgotten my passport, so the doorkeepers made me sign a slip of paper attesting to my alien status.

Inside, 3,000 people packed into various auditoriums, each offering worship in a different language. I opted for the Mandarin service. Imagine an evangelical megachurch of hundreds of Chinese people with American passports. There was an excited but orderly choir, rock music and long, passionate praying. The Chinese-Californian minister preached about outreach and marriage. I recognized most of the songs from my Canadian Baptist upbringing; they had just been translated into Mandarin.

After I’d spent a couple of hours watching the service on jumbo-sized screens (which provided the clearest view), my first megachurch experience came to an end. Just before I managed to escape, someone wanted to talk. This was to be expected — I was one of three white people in the congregation. She was a teacher, she said, from the Philippines. But once we left the hotel and had walked a few blocks, she confessed she was actually a missionary. It was too risky to say so in the church auditorium, which was likely bugged, she said. She asked me directly whether I could secure a church sponsorship for her in Canada. We exchanged e-mail addresses, but I never heard from her again.

'Misconceptions abound about China, and that’s no less the case when it comes to the country’s Christian population.'

Misconceptions abound about China, and that’s no less the case when it comes to the country’s Christian population. Many assume a Communist country that is officially atheist would allow no religion. (Mao Zedong once said “religion is poison.”) But religious freedom is guaranteed in the 1978 constitution — or at least what the government considers “normal religious activity,” occurring in government-sanctioned places of worship serving one of the five official faiths: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism. Religion is on the rise in China, with one-third of people claiming an affiliation. To all my Chinese friends’ surprise, there are as many as 130 million Christians in China; the only countries with more are the United States and Brazil. Churchgoers in China outnumber those in all of Europe.

Given figures like these, understanding China’s relationship with Christians is essential to predicting the future of Christianity globally. Whether Chinese Christians refuse or accept state-sanctioned religion, or whether the state itself loosens or tightens its restrictions on the faithful will in turn shape the international body of Christ. In other words, what happens in China won’t simply stay in China. David Wang, co-founder of the Hong Kong-based mission agency Asian Outreach, says Chinese people are busy planting churches abroad; Metro Vancouver alone is home to over 100,000 Chinese Christians. “It’s now the era of ministry from China,” he told Christianity Today magazine.

Christianity and missionaries have been present in China — on and off, officially and covertly — since the eighth-century Tang dynasty. A further wave of tolerance for missionary work washed in during the 13th-century Mongolian Yuan dynasty. This was a time when the Chinese referred to Muslims, Jews and Christians all by the same name, hui hui — a stark contrast in a country that now considers Catholicism and Protestantism as two separate religions.

During a walking tour of Shanghai’s French Concession, I learned about the Taiping Rebellion, which took place between 1850 and 1864. It led to 20 million deaths and, interestingly enough, the foundations for Chinese communism. The cause for all the bloodshed? A certain Hong Xiuquan announced he’d had a vision that revealed he was Jesus’ brother. Over time, he gathered tens of thousands of armed followers seeking to establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

Contemporary Chinese Christianity can probably be traced to 1951, with the founding of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, one of two state-sanctioned Protestant organizations. Its three “selves” are self-governance, self-support (financial independence from foreigners) and self-propagation (homegrown missionary work). The principles were meant to assure the government that the church would be loyal to the People’s Republic of China.

Perhaps ironically, today’s Christianity was also shaped by the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, when religion was banned, faith leaders persecuted and places of worship destroyed or converted for secular use. Amid this upheaval, secret house churches sprang up, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement went underground (and was officially restored in 1979) and today’s church elders came of age.

More recently, in 2007, 70 leaders of illegal house churches convened in Wenzhou to develop seven core values. Several of them are distinctly Chinese. For example, intentional non-denominationalism reflects the Chinese value of wholeness and oneness.

The United Church of Canada has a long history with China, beginning in the mid-19th century with three missions led by the Presbyterian Church, one of the United Church’s founding denominations. Missionaries such as Very Rev. James Endicott, the United Church’s second moderator, carried this work into the 20th century. Endicott’s missionary son, Rev. James G. Endicott, later drew controversy for his support of the Chinese Communist Party.

'Perhaps ironically, today’s Christianity was also shaped by the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, when religion was banned . . . '

Gary MacDonald told me about his 19 years of Christian life in China, beginning in 1992. As a United Church global mission worker, he lived in three different rural areas educating teachers with the Amity Foundation, one of China’s largest relief and development agencies and a United Church partner. In these partially illiterate rural communities, being known as a Christian was both a title and a standard. Sermons were over an hour long, and church meant giving, singing, praying spontaneously and forgiving neighbours’ Cultural Revolution betrayals, some of which involved torture. “To have an elderly person — blind and physically challenged because of having been tortured for his or her belief — lead in prayer during a church service is something I shall never forget,” he says.

Today, Chinese Christians can choose between two official Protestant church movements and Catholicism. I’m told these services are much the same as evangelical Chinese churches in the West, with one major difference: the church leaders are required to maintain a relationship with the government.

A separate category of legal worship in contemporary China is exclusive to foreign passport-holders: the international churches. “The Chinese government respects the freedom of religious belief of foreigners in China and they may attend religious activities in temples, mosques, churches and other religious places,” claims the tourism website beijingchina.net.cn. As long as foreigners do not try to establish or change Chinese religious organizations and practices, they are free to participate in worship.

Evangelism, sharing religion with minors and worshipping in public space are prohibited. The government fears that a congregation outside state control could grow too large and too influential.

Shan O-Yuan moved to Beijing from his native California a decade ago for a job in the construction industry and has been active with the BICF from the start. Sure, he says, you have to learn “how to work within regulations,” but for him, the Chinese Christian life is a happy and exciting one. As he sees it, people who live abroad have left familiar cultural constraints behind, so they’re more open to asking spiritual questions. Many rediscover their Christian faith while in China.

O-Yuan, who is in his 30s, has warmed up to his status as a religious minority. Being a Christian in China is a distinction. Unlike in the West, where what O-Yuan describes as a “so-called enlightened, post-Christian” view puts people off organized religion, in China they’re curious, “and it creates conversation.”

Despite evangelism being officially off-limits, O-Yuan claims you can evangelize in China in a way that you simply can’t in the United States. For example, because the Beijing expat community is a transitory one, when you “invest” in people who then return home, your actions ultimately have a global impact.

O-Yuan realizes there are difficulties, however, having faced some himself. “They want you to stay in your own little western enclave,” he says, “and keep your religious life to yourself.” It took a BICF project that he was involved with three tries to get a church planted in Beijing’s central business district. The 2008 Olympics, in particular, put the authorities on edge.

But in China, O-Yuan has found a place where he says God’s will is active and present. He’s witnessed successful church projects, including the establishment of orphanages. Gary MacDonald also told me about a church in Gansu province that refused to obey an order a few years ago to move to the edge of town and hand over its land. It stood up for its property rights, something MacDonald says wouldn’t have happened a decade earlier.

One aspect of the international church that excites O-Yuan is the absence of denominations. People find their common ground in Jesus and in being an expat. Though O-Yuan admits worship is strongly influenced by American evangelism, he insists it would be easier for a non-evangelical to find a spiritual home in China than in the United States: “The evangelical church in China is a lot more open.”

The third category of churches in China is illegal house churches, which operate underground and beyond the state’s control. (In order to keep a low profile, they typically split up once they reach about 100 members.) Those who join are keen to be part of a Christian community — for both its social and religious benefits — and are not intimidated by state threats. Though it’s impossible to know how many people attend house churches, some sources estimate between 45 million and 60 million Protestants, and their numbers are growing — a fact that even the government can’t ignore. In 2012, the State Administration for Religious Affairs created a plan to “guide” illegal house churches into becoming state churches.

Last summer, I returned to Beijing for three months to work as an English-teaching au pair for a wealthy, two-child Chinese family. One Sunday afternoon, after attending a small international church service in a business district, I was invited to a “gathering.” We got in a taxi and arrived at an apartment tower. My new acquaintance forgot which floor to go to. We tried cold-knocking a few doors and asked the doorkeeper if he had seen a large group of foreigners around. Finally, we tried one last floor, and it was the one. It was only when we walked in — late — that I realized it was a house church. I found myself in an apartment larger and more sophisticated than I’ve ever stayed in. It was packed with over 50 Chinese citizens, foreigners and Asian Americans, most of them working professionals and students. The service was long, passionate, hopeful and heavily influenced by American evangelism. It was also surprisingly loud, for an illegal gathering. I now know it was a typical Beijing house service. I wanted to return, but I knew the church would relocate before I’d have the chance.

The most famous illegal house church is Beijing’s Shouwang Church. Founded in 1993, it has grown to include over a thousand members, some of whom reportedly hold memberships in the Communist party. In 2011, having been evicted for the 20th-plus time (the landlords were under pressure from the state), Shouwang started to meet outdoors in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing, sometimes referred to as China’s Silicon Valley. A few dozen worshippers are arrested at every outdoor Shouwang service and usually held for a few hours. Despite the notoriety of the church, its name cannot be found on Chinese websites.

Many other Chinese Christians don’t let themselves be intimidated by the government, often drawing courage from Bible stories such as Daniel in the lion’s den. The Texas-based organization China Aid reports that from 2005 to 2006, 1,958 Christians were arrested in China. Wiretapping is not unheard of. China Aid also reports that house church leaders were arrested at a Christian leadership conference in Shandong province in 2007 and subsequently sentenced to multiple years in a labour camp.

These days, there are hints the Communist party may be more favourably disposed toward faith than in previous generations. China is experiencing a 1960s-style sexual revolution and 21st-century materialism all at once. With a frighteningly large share of the population concerned with little but socio-economic success, values such as politeness, honesty, sexual fidelity and community are taking a direct hit — especially in the cities.

Is Christianity a solution? China’s former premier Wen Jiabao regularly invoked the importance of spiritual growth. The Communist party has also expressed interest in American evangelical-style marriage courses to combat the explosive divorce rate.

Before becoming a Christian himself, the well-known Chinese economist Zhao Xiao pointed to Christianity and its positive impact on the historic economic success of the West. In his 2002 article, “Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches,” he argued that China needs a moral foundation and therefore needs Christianity. After his field study in the United States, Zhao concluded that a strong economy requires a moral force to transcend the drive for profit and to infuse the business community with respect for people, contracts and the planet.

Is the Chinese state correct in its judgment that Christianity is a foreign-controlled import? Or can Christianity become indigenous to China? And what does Chinese Christianity look like: Bible-reading followers of Jesus who submit to state control? Would they quote Confucius, venerate ancestors and enjoy traditional Chinese festivals, rooted in Buddhism and luck? After all, many Chinese mix faiths, calling themselves Taoist and Buddhist, for example.

At the same time, one also has to wonder whether Christianity ought to be indigenized — would Chinese Christianity ultimately have a positive impact on China and the rest of the world? Would it even be Christianity?

Many more questions remain. In China, there are no guarantees; the uncrossable line is always fluctuating. Trust can be precarious. Are Christians still persecuted? None of the six pastors I contacted would give me an interview, saying it’s just not the right time. What move will the government make next? When will Christian members of the Communist party take a stand, and when will the party’s treatment of religion estrange a critical mass? What role can western Christians ethically play without compromising the Chinese church’s independence?

For now, O-Yuan believes that the best Chinese Christians can do is tell their story.

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« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2014, 03:56:23 am »

I had no idea that I was in the third-largest Christian country in the world.

Well, you were mistaken! There is nothing Christian about China as a country, and the vast majority of those people aren't Christians, but churchianity clones. China is one of the least Christian countries in the world.
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2014, 12:53:19 pm »

Thousands of Chinese spent their “best years” making Nike shoes and now have no pensions

article in link(having trouble copying and pasting)
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2015, 09:38:39 pm »

LONG read, but WELL worth it - FYI, don't be fooled by this article's definition of "persecution". IOW, both these government-runned churches there are quietly working arm-in-arm with the China government(even though outwardly they look like they're warring against each other).

In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world's largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.


There’s nothing secret about Chongyi Church, one of the largest in China. Its lighted steeple and giant cross penetrate the night sky of Hangzhou, the capital of coastal Zhejiang Province. Nearly everything at the church is conspicuously open: the front gate, the front door, the sanctuary, the people, the clergy. Chinese or not, you are welcome seven days a week. No layers of security guards or police exist. Walk right in. Join up. People are nice; they give you water, chat. Do you have spiritual needs? Visit their offices, 9 to 5.

For China, it is a stunning feeling. Most of the society exists behind closed doors and is tough, driven, material, hierarchical. The country values wealth, power, and secrecy – not to mention that both government and schools officially, at least, promote atheism.

Yet Chongyi looks and feels like any evangelical megachurch in Seattle or San Jose. There are big screens, speakers blaring upbeat music, coffee bars. The choir is a huge swaying wash of white and red robes. Chongyi seats 5,000 people and holds multiple services on Sunday.

Recommended: Are you smarter than an atheist? A religious quiz

“Some Sundays we are full,” says Zhou Lianmei, the pastor’s wife. “We also have 1,600 volunteers.”

While Christianity is waning in many parts of the world, in China it is growing rapidly – despite state strictures. The rise in evangelical Protestantism in particular, driven both by people’s spiritual yearnings and individual human needs in a collective society, is taking place in nearly every part of the nation.

Western visitors used to seeing empty sanctuaries in the United States or Europe can be dumbfounded by the Sunday gatherings held in convention center-size buildings where people line up for blocks to get in – one service after another. In Wenzhou, not far from Hangzhou, an estimated 1.2 million Protestants now exist in a city of 9 million people alone. (It is called “China’s Jerusalem.”) By one estimate, China will become the world’s largest Christian nation, at its current rate of growth, by 2030.

Indeed, an acute problem facing urban churches in China is a lack of space. Chongyi Church is building a million-dollar underground parking lot to replace one that worshipers under age 30 have taken over as a meeting place.

“I come because I found a love here that isn’t dependent on a person,” says Du Wang, a young businesswoman in Hangzhou. “It is like a river that doesn’t go away.”

Yet there is also trouble brewing for China’s faithful. As evangelical Christianity grows sharply, officials fear it could undermine their authority. Already, Christians may outnumber members of the Communist Party. That has far-reaching implications both for Chinese society and for a party that frowns on unofficial gatherings and other viewpoints. In China, party members cannot be Christian.

More than half of China’s Protestants attend illegal “house churches” that meet privately. The rest go to one of China’s official, registered Protestant churches, such as Chongyi. The official or legal churches, known since 1949 as the “Three-Self Patriotic Church,” operate under an arrangement that says in effect: We are patriotic, good citizens. We love China. We aren’t dissidents. We go to official theology schools. So the party will let us worship freely.

And – until recently – it has.

Yet in the past year authorities have attacked and even destroyed official Protestant churches, as well as unofficial ones. Many Evangelicals feel they are now on the front lines of an invisible battle over faith in the world’s most populous nation, and facing a campaign by the party-state to delegitimize them. Underneath it all is a question: Will China become a new fount of Christianity in the world, or the site of a growing clash between the party and the pulpit?

“There’s an enormous struggle across China brought by the rise of worshipers that seem to really believe,” says Terence Halliday, a director of the Center for Law and Globalization in Chicago who has worked in China. “Christianity now makes up the largest single civil society grouping in China. The party sees that.”

•     •     •

When China opened and rejoined the world in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter asked China’s Deng Xiaoping for three “favors.” Mr. Carter asked that churches shut during the brutal Cultural Revolution be reopened. He asked that the printing of Bibles resume. And he asked that missionaries be allowed back into China. Mr. Deng accepted the first two requests, for open churches and Bibles. But he rejected the one for missionaries.

Thus began a slow restoration process harking back more than a century. The first Protestant church in China was built in 1848 in Xiamen, known then as the Port of Amoy. By the 20th century, American and British missionaries saw China as a rich field. Every city of importance had a church. Missionaries founded China’s first 16 colleges, and they spurred the first reforms for female emancipation.

But after Mao Zedong’s victory in 1949, authorities chased out the missionaries. During the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1972, officials closed and trashed churches as China turned violently inward. Mao partly justified the violence as necessary to bring China into the 20th century. But much of it was used to kill off his enemies, real or imagined, including the faithful.

The era produced “the most thorough destruction” of religion possibly in “human history,” write scholars David Palmer and Vincent Goossaert. Authorities threw Christians in prison. They burned Bibles and executed believers to make an example.

Philip Wickeri, a leading Anglican in Hong Kong, shows visitors two Bibles that illustrate how far things went in the 1960s, and how much they have changed since. One is a small plain New Testament made of mimeographed sheets embossed with hand-written Chinese characters. It is a Cultural Revolution-era “samizdat” Bible, painstakingly produced. Different church cells memorized single books of the New Testament, copied them, and then combined them to form a single gospel. The shadowy venture lasted several years, during which 150 Bibles were made.

Mr. Wickeri’s second Bible is gilt-edged and nestled in a rich box of bamboo. It is dated 2012 and was produced by the Amity Printing Company in Nanjing. It was part of a run that included the 100 millionth Bible published in China since the opening in the early 1980s.

•     •     •

For decades, Christianity here was considered something for older female peasants. But the demographics of religion are changing dramatically. China’s new faithful are younger, more educated, more urban, and more affluent.

One surprising change is that a majority of believers no longer view Christianity as something foreign. They increasingly view faith as transcending its Western missionary-derived system. Many Chinese no longer accept the idea that being Christian means forfeiting a Chinese identity.

Last summer, China’s religious affairs chief said that 500,000 Christians are baptized each year in the country. A joint study between Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Peking University in Beijing estimated that there are now 70 million Christians over age 16 in China. Communist Party membership is about 83 million.

Even so, no precise numbers exist for the total number of worshipers. Chinese government statistics put the rise in Protestants in the official churches at 800,000 in 1979, 3 million in 1982, 10 million in 1995, and 15 million in 1999. There the accounting stops.

Carsten Vala, an expert on religion in China at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, says 40 million to 60 million is “the low end of a conservative” estimate of the number of Evangelicals. Fenggang Yang, director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University in Indiana, says he thinks there are more than 80 million Christians and that China will have 245 million by 2030 if growth is steady – making it the world’s most populous Protestant nation.

In some ways this surge seems counterintuitive. Being a Christian in a country that sees worship as odd or superstitious does nothing to boost one’s status. “There is absolutely no social advantage to being a Christian in China,” says Bob Fu, a pastor who escaped a Chinese police crackdown in the 1990s and now runs Texas-based ChinaAid, which monitors Christian rights in the country. “There are no cookies, no status, no outward rewards, no privileges in choosing Christianity.”

Yet as Chinese achieve material wealth and success, many feel lost. The success of economic reforms under Chinese leader Deng, launched in the early 1990s, has not helped rebuild China’s spiritual infrastructure, decimated during war and the Cultural Revolution. China’s rise has come with a cost: a loss of traditional values and the rise of cheating, corruption, and fierce competition. As Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, points out, there are 150 billionaires in China but little certainty.

“Everyone is groping and grasping,” he says. “People are turning to Buddhism, Christianity, self-help, and Taoism. CEOs and billionaires run around with their spiritual masters and visit meditation rooms.”

In dozens of interviews with believers in official and house churches, the word they use most for why they turn to church is “love.” “Chinese have a yearning heart, that is really the reason,” says one woman who goes to the Zion house church in Beijing, which has more than 10,000 attendees and whose pastor is Korean. “We need love, and in some ways it is that simple.”

One Chinese intellectual and former newspaper editor agrees that China has become sated and corrupt. But he doesn’t agree there is a significant turn toward spiritual matters.

“We are too comfortable and willing ... to say ‘yes’ to anything,” says Li Datong. “I wish there was more spiritual hunger.”

Yet Chinese parents complain of a society that teaches math and science in schools but does little to address conduct or character. The case of Little Yueyue is a symbol of the moral void. The 2-year-old girl was hit by a van in Guangdong a few years ago. The driver didn’t stop. The girl was thrown to the side of the road, and 17 people walked past before an itinerant migrant stopped to help. The event was captured on a video that went viral and spurred some national soul-searching.

Experts say the Chinese have a practical nature, and if they adopt the evangelical message, especially after years of required wrestling with Marxist thinking, they usually don’t take it lightly. Many work hard at it.

“Chinese Christians know the Bible better than some Southern Baptists,” says Wickeri in Hong Kong. “That’s not a small thing.”

Typical is the pastor Han Yufang at Chongwenmen Church in Beijing. Ms. Han is one of many women now being ordained in official churches. But for years her father forbade her to look into Christianity. She did anyway, studying it for seven years, the final two praying for most of each night. One evening she was on her knees by the bed and prayed to God, “Father, not my will but thine be done.” She says she felt a clear urge to study at a divinity school.

Another woman, a mother in her 40s, first went to church with friends. She says she felt nothing but kept going to be part of the group. She dabbled. She tried Buddhism, but, “for all the quiet, I never really found peace.” During one service the concept of “forgiveness came from nowhere and washed and melted me in a way I can’t describe,” she says. At the time she was “always fighting” with her husband. After the experience, the tension stopped. He also started attending church services with her, as did their son, who finds Bible stories “compelling.”

For the most part, Protestants try to keep the altruistic activities they do in society quiet and low-key. China officially recognizes five faiths – Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, and Taoism. But only Buddhism and Protestantism are experiencing lively growth. Evangelicals do not want to draw attention to themselves and perform most of their good works without publicity.

Yet in cases such as the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, which killed 70,000 people, churches sent groups to help on the ground. By some estimates, as many as half the volunteers were evangelical.

Some Christians are trying to improve business practices and fight corruption as well. One business group asks members to pledge a “Ten Commandments” of good behavior that includes no bribing, no taking mistresses, no avoiding taxes, and no mistreating employees. Zhao Xiao, a researcher at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing, tells of a Christian in Harbin who lost $8 million his first year applying the principles but is now a leader in his industry.

•     •     •

One January morning last year in Hangzhou, Chinese officials showed up unexpectedly at the Gulou Church. It is a massive gray-stone edifice across the famed West Lake from the Chongyi Church. The Gulou clergy was informed that the cross on their edifice was scheduled to come down.

Church leaders were stunned. It was the first they’d heard of any plan to remove the cross. Then for much of the spring, they and other Christians in China heard of little else, as both official and unofficial churches were raided, destroyed, or dismantled in a campaign that has lasted more than a year.

Gulou itself was established by Presbyterian missionaries in the 1880s. The cross atop the steeple was enormous, a fixture next to a well-known highway overpass. It is dear to members as a symbol of their faith, says a pastor who declined to be named. For months, Gulou’s leaders delayed the removal of the cross. Meanwhile, authorities attacked churches and, as of this writing, have stripped or desecrated more than 426 of them, including knocking one down while President Obama was visiting Beijing last fall. In many cases, tearful worshipers surrounded the churches and scuffled with police. Zhejiang itself has become ground zero in China’s growing clash between church and state.

On Aug. 7 at 5 p.m., authorities returned to Gulou. They summoned the head pastor and said that at 10 p.m. the cross would be removed by crane. Word got out (the pastor only told one person since he could otherwise be jailed for calling an unofficial gathering). The church was surrounded by worshipers praying and chanting “cross, cross, cross.”

“We felt helpless,” a junior pastor says. “We told them how important this cross is, but they didn’t listen.”

“They can take the cross from our church,” he adds, “but they can’t take it from our hearts.”

Crackdowns on Christians are nothing new in China. What is different is how broad and systematic the suppression has been and how the state, for the first time, is attacking official churches. To be sure, it was clear by summer that Chinese President Xi Jinping was conducting a harsh roll-up of civil society in general – artists, lawyers, scholars, as well as Christians – as part of a new emphasis on orthodox party thinking and rules.

“The party isn’t satisfied with just keeping people behind a great firewall,” says one lawyer. “They actually want to indoctrinate.”

So far, the cross on Chongyi Church remains intact. But Evangelicals here who thought they were adhering to the proper political decorum are not happy. “People are angry and feeling betrayed,” says a local volunteer who did not want to be named for fear of retribution. “If I were the government I would not do this.”

Why authorities would alienate believers who think of themselves as loyal Chinese is unclear. Many local Christians first thought it was a mistake or something engineered by local authorities in Zhejiang Province. Officials said large crosses near highways were a driving hazard.

But as more churches lost their crosses, many far from highways, and other official churches were bulldozed, feelings changed. One church quietly offered to pay a series of fines, thinking the attacks were about money. “We were fooled at first,” says one local pastor. “Then we discovered they didn’t care about fines. They went after our crosses and gave the impression they enjoyed it.” The aim was to humiliate and shame, he says.

In recent years, Evangelicals in east China were “doing well,” the pastor continues. “But that is now changing. We are going backwards now. Everything is changing with the new leadership in Beijing. We know what is happening. We are not visitors here.”

Zan Aizong, a local journalist who became an Evangelical, says the government is trying to clamp down on churches and faith without causing a global outcry. Officials “use the legal system,” he says. “They go after crosses and building codes because it will not cause an uproar abroad. They want to turn Christianity into Chinese Christianity, controlled by the party.”

In August, amid the suppression in Zhejiang, the party issued a statement that it would soon unveil an official Christian theology. Wang Zuoan, head of China’s religious affairs ministry, told the state-run Xinhua news agency that Christianity was spreading so rapidly that a new theology was needed to avoid problems. “The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture,” he said.

As the attacks continue, church leaders are debating how to respond – whether to publicly challenge the crackdown or try to ride it out, the argument being that authorities could do much worse things if provoked.

“Many Christians are scared of the government,” says Ling Cangzhou, a Christian blogger in Beijing. “In China you rely on the government for jobs, position, for money. Families and relatives are affected. Dissidents don’t get promotion or advancement.”

•     •     •

One effect of the new religious persecution in China is that it is bringing the official and unofficial wings of the Protestant Church closer. For years, the two sides have often been clashing siblings: In essence, private house churchgoers saw the Three-Self churches as compromised by the party. Official churches often saw house churches as misbehaving cults.

Yet now, as they share a common threat and as more young people take up Christianity who have little knowledge of the historical divide, the two wings are starting to converge, reinforcing a grass-roots movement that has already been under way for some time.

Worshipers are being introduced to Christianity in official churches and then moving to house churches for a deeper experience of Bible study and preaching. In turn, house churches are becoming less secretive and are reaching out to influence the official churches. “There is a growing but quiet cooperation among Three-Self pastors who aren’t as invested in the institution – who care more about church and the basic evangelical mission,” Mr. Vala says. 

To be sure, real differences remain between the two sides. Three-Self pastors are trained at theology schools watched by the party. Mr. Zan, for example, attended one and says that former President Hu Jintao’s concept of a “harmonious society” was taught as something to emphasize in preaching, which Zan calls “propaganda.” “Official churches are not allowed to touch subjects like the Apocalypse or eschatology,” he says. “A lot of the preaching is about how to be good and loving and ethical, which is fine. But they are often antiseptic and less radical.”

Many house meetings last all day, whereas official churches have 60- to 90-minute services. “The [Three-Selfs] are too big,” says a musician from Anhui who started at an official church but moved on. “You can get lost in them. Smaller is more like home, more like the love you feel at home.”

In Beijing, the official Chongwenmen Church is near the train station, found by walking through a rabbit warren of streets and noodle shops. It is old and slightly creaky. Services are packed and believers are devout. Across town, the official Haidian Church is a huge white modernist structure in a high-tech zone. Outside there is a band and chorus and kids with “I [heart] Jesus” caps. People wait in line for services by the hundreds.

One private Calvary church feels much different. Set in a seminar room in an office tower, it seems far less institutional but more intimate. The pastor is from Taiwan and won’t talk with reporters. Yet in all three churches the focus is on Christianity as a life practice and not a philosophy, and of the Bible as a revelation whose meaning brings change and redemption.

During services at these churches in August, as the cross removal campaign intensified, pastors spoke openly of the “meaning of the cross.” Hymns sung included “ ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’ ... with the cross of Jesus, going on before.”
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« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2015, 09:26:46 am »

The Chinese have put out billboard ads announcing the renminbi as the new world currency

When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.

The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

And it’s true. The renminbi’s importance in global trade and as a reserve currency is increasing exponentially, with renminbi trading hubs popping up all over the world, from Singapore to London to Luxembourg to Frankfurt to Toronto.

Multinational companies such as McDonald’s are now issuing bonds in renminbi, and even sovereign governments are issuing debt denominated in renminbi, including the UK.

Almost every major global player out there, be it governments or major multinationals, is positioning itself for the renminbi to become the dominant reserve currency.

But here’s the thing. Nothing goes up and down in a straight line. And China is in deep trouble right now. The economy is slowing down and the enormous debt bubble is starting to burst.

A lot of people, including the richest man in Asia, are starting to move their money out of the country.

So while the long-term trend is pretty clear – China becoming the dominant economic and financial superpower – the short-term is going to look incredibly rocky.

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« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2015, 10:13:50 am »

China Has Announced Plans For A ‘World Currency’

The Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet?  What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.  When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon.

On Wednesday, I came across an excellent article by Simon Black.  What he had to say in that article just about floored me…

    When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.

    The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

    Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

    It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

This is the photograph of that billboard that he posted with his article…

Chinese World Currency

Everyone knows that China is rising.

And most everyone has assumed that Chinese currency would soon play a larger role in international trade.

But things have moved so rapidly in recent years that now a very large chunk of the financial world actually expects the renminbi to replace the dollar as the primary reserve currency of the planet someday.  The following comes from CNBC…

    The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.

    The survey of 200 institutional investors – 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it – published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency.

    Optimism was higher within China, where 62 percent said they saw a redback world on the horizon, compared with 43 percent outside China.

And without a doubt we are starting to see the beginnings of a significant shift.

Just consider this excerpt from a recent Reuters report…

    China’s yuan broke into the top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, global transaction services organization SWIFT said on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar won’t be replaced overnight, but things are changing.

Of course the truth is that the Chinese have been preparing for this for a very long time.  The Chinese refuse to tell the rest of the world exactly how much gold they have, but everyone knows that they have been accumulating enormous amounts of it.  And even if they don’t explicitly back the renminbi with gold, the massive gold reserves that China is accumulating will still give the rest of the planet a great deal of confidence in Chinese currency.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Consider what Alan Greenspan has had to say on the matter…

    Alan Greenspan, who served at the helm of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, recently penned an op-ed for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing gold and its possible role in China, the world’s second-largest economy. He notes that if China converted only a “relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese have also been accumulating a tremendous amount of U.S. debt.  At this point, the Chinese own approximately 1.3 trillion dollars worth of our debt, and that gives them a lot of power over our currency and over our financial system.

Someday if the Chinese wanted to undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar and in the U.S. financial system, they have a lot of ammunition at their disposal.

And it isn’t just all of that debt that gives China leverage.  In recent years, the Chinese have been buying up real estate, businesses and energy assets all over the United States at a staggering pace.  For a small taste of what has been taking place, check out the YouTube video posted below…

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« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2015, 03:18:33 pm »

China signs deal paving way for first UK nuclear power plant

China signed a deal Wednesday to invest in French energy giant EDF's nuclear power plant project in the United Kingdom, Sky News reports. If completed, it would be the first new nuclear plant in Europe since the Fukushima disaster, and Great Britain's first in a generation.

The announcement, which was made as the Chinese president Xi Jinping continued his four-day state visit to the UK, raises concerns over the security implications of China's involvement in the nation's infrastructure.

Beijing has been accused of spying and cyber espionage, one of the biggest current threats to Britain's national security. There are fears China could identify weaknesses at vital facilities, which could then be exploited at a later date using malware.

But chairman of the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) He Yu said it's "highly committed to delivering safe, cost efficient, and sustainable energy and to supporting the UK's goal of becoming a low-carbon society,” Sky News reports.

"This decision proves that nuclear is an essential source of low-carbon electric power in Europe,'' EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy told Reuters.

The plant's start-up date has been pushed back by two years to 2025. China agreed to invest $9 billion in the $28 billion project, according to Reuters. CGN will have a 33.5 percent stake in Hinkley Point C, with the rest held by EDF.

The two companies also agreed to a wider partnership for the joint development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

Some 25,000 jobs will be created during the building phase of the plant, while it will support 900 direct jobs during its 60-year lifespan.

The project also aims to create 1,000 apprenticeships, along with $21 million of investment in education and training.
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« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2015, 06:41:22 pm »

Chinese naval ships to visit Florida port

Washington (CNN)Three Chinese naval ships are scheduled to visit Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday as part of a routine goodwill port visit. The ships are expected to arrive following visits to ports in Europe.

Sailors from both navies are expected to participate in sporting events and ship tours during the Mayport visit.

"Goodwill visits by ships from foreign navies help build trust and foster shared understanding," according to a statement from the U.S. Navy.

"Foreign navy ships routinely conduct port visits to Mayport, as ships from Peru and Canada have stopped here in the last few months," U.S. Navy spokesman Cmdr. William Marks said. "Engagements like this and the July 2015 port visit to China by USS Stethem demonstrate a continuous navy-to-navy bilateral relationship between our two countries."

This is the first visit by Chinese naval ships to Florida but not the first to a U.S. port. Last month, Chinese navy ship Zheng He visited Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Related: U.S. not provoking Beijing in South China Sea

While the visit is aimed at building goodwill, it comes in the midst of tensions between the U.S. and China over disagreements around man-made islands that Beijing is constructing in the South China Sea. Beijing claims that the waters surrounding the artificial islands are under its control, but the U.S. disputes that claim and last week sailed U.S. warship within 12 miles of one of the islands.

Following the U.S. patrol, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the U.S. operation is "a very serious provocation, politically and militarily," and the country's foreign ministry summoned Max Baucus, the U.S. ambassador to China, to express its "strong discontent" over the patrol.

But the visit of the Chinese navy this week is part of a broader U.S.-China effort to improve military-to-military contact and communication. These types of exchanges are often cited as a rare sign of positive progress in the relationship.
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2017, 04:25:19 pm »

China Just Made A Plea

China is pleading with the U.S. to not use the THAAD. China warns it will protect its interests.

RT reported: Beijing has called for an immediate stop to the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea and is ready to protect its interests, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang voiced the government’s position against the move during a briefing on Tuesday.

"We oppose the deployment of the US missile system to South Korea and call on all parties to immediately stop this process. We are ready to take necessary measures to protect our interests," he said, adding that “China’s position on the THAAD issue has not changed.”

The spokesperson didn’t specify what protective measures China had in mind. However, responding to the THAAD installation, China announced on Thursday that it will stage live-fire exercises and test new weapons to protect its security.
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« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2017, 03:08:23 pm »

UH-OH: China Opens A New Military Base In This Major Region

A new Chinese military base in Djibouti are a sign of the country's expanding military presence abroad

From The War Zone:

It’s a truism that if a country’s military, no matter how big, cannot operate for a protracted period beyond its own boundaries, then it is little more than a territorial defense force. Since the end of the Cold War, the People’s Republic of China and its People’s Liberation Army have been hard at work to shake this perception of their capabilities and expand their presence around the world. Now, Chinese troops are on their way to the Horn of Africa to staff the country’s first permanent overseas base, which opens the door for deployments well beyond the continent.

On July 12, 2017, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported that the first group of personnel and equipment was headed to the country'a new “support base” in the small East African country of Djibouti. China first announced the plan in 2015 and began building the facilities, situated in the capital Djibouti City, the following year.

“The support base will better serve Chinese troops when they escort ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, perform humanitarian rescue, and carry out other international obligations,” Xinhua explained, citing statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “Moreover, the base will be conducive to driving Djibouti's economic and social development, and assist China's contribution to peace and stability both in Africa and worldwide.”

Though it can undoubtedly fulfill these functions, on closer inspection the site looks in line with a larger trend on the part of the PLA to take a more active role internationally. The base provides Chinese Forces a key stepping stone for persistent and independent access to the Middle East, Europe, and beyond, regardless of their mission.

What is China's plan?

The Chinese have been particularly sensitive about the new base and the contingent it would house, offering few specific details about the composition of either. In official remarks, neither Geng nor Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, head of the PLA Navy (PLAN), provided any additional information. However, previous reports suggest that there will ultimately be approximately 1,000 Chinese military personnel in Djibouti.

Officially, the job of this contingent is “logistics support” for PLAN forces in the region. Chinese ships have deployed to the Gulf of Aden since 2008 to help protect commercial shipping against piracy and other dangers. Though its forces have not part of any of the other multi-national counter-piracy task forces in the region, China has conducted this mission unilaterally under the broad mandate of a number of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
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« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2017, 04:29:41 pm »

Rand Paul Just Made An Anti-America Statement


Senator Rand Paul on Sunday claimed that buying American isn't always the right choice.

Politico reported: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday there’s a reason why buying American-made goods is not always the best option: cost.

“You know, I think all of us have this goal to buy American, but we have to think this thing through,” Paul told Jake Tapper on CNN’s "State of the Union."

Tapper was pressing Paul on why President Donald Trump touted "Made in the USA" goods all week but still hires foreign workers at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Tapper also noted that Trump's company manufacturers a bevy of Trump-branded clothing products abroad.

The libertarian-leaning Paul said global trade, the same kind that candidate Trump slammed for “ripping off” the U.S., allows Americans to buy cheaper goods, stretching their dollars so they can then pay for things like a vacation or a new vehicle.

“It used to be a shirt, just a regular button-up shirt, might be $20, $25, and still might be in places. And at Wal-Mart, it's $7," Paul said. "And so that savings, though, allows working-class people to have savings to get a television set, to go on vacation, to buy gas for their truck. So trade is really a good thing.”
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