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Sinica Podcast

A weekly discussion of current affairs in China with journalists, writers, academics, policy makers, business people and anyone with something compelling to say about the country that's reshaping the world. Hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn and powered by SupChina.com.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 21, 2015

When Ernest Hemingway somewhat presciently referred to Paris as a "moveable feast" ("wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you"), he captured the feelings of many long-term China expats rather concisely. So why exactly does everyone like to compare life here to Paris in the 1920s? And if life is so romantic here, where are the writers in our midst and what are they producing?

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to host the editors of While We're Here: China Stories from a Writers' Colony, a compilation of short stories, poems and more, lovingly assembled by Alec Ash and Tom Pellman of The Anthill. Join us to listen to some selections as well as unapologetic gossip about the writers in question. If you want to pick up the book, you can find it for your Kindle here on Amazon or drop by The Bookworm in Beijing for a physical copy.

Recommendations:

The Anthill

http://theanthill.org/

While We Were Here: China Stories from a Writers’ Colony, Edited by Alec Ash and Tom Pellman

http://www.amazon.com/While-Were-Here-Stories-Writers-ebook/dp/B019136EXI/

Unsavory Elements

http://www.amazon.com/Unsavory-Elements-Stories-Foreigners-Loose/dp/9881616409

How to Dress to Buy Dragonfruit

http://www.amazon.com/How-Does-One-Dress-Dragonfruit-ebook/dp/B00K21ZXF4

Alec Ash on "Shanghai Cocktales"

http://beijingcream.com/2015/05/shanghai-cocktales-and-the-curse-of-the-expat-memoir/

Incarnations

http://www.amazon.com/The-Incarnations-Novel-Susan-Barker/dp/1501106783

Rock Paper Tiger

http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Tiger-Ellie-McEnroe-Novel/dp/161695258X/

Up to The Mountains and Down to the Countryside, by Quincy Carol

http://www.amazon.com/Mountains-Down-Countryside-Quincy-Carroll/dp/1941758452

Radio Lab Episode on CRISPER

http://www.radiolab.org/story/antibodies-part-1-crispr/

Alec Ash

The Search for a Vanishing Beijing, by M. A. Aldrich

http://www.amazon.com/The-Search-Vanishing-Beijing-Capital/dp/9622099394

Voice Map – Walking Guided Tours – Check out the tours of Beijing, by David French and Alex Ash

https://voicemap.me/

Tom Pellman

Dispatches from Pluto, by Richard Grant

http://www.amazon.com/Dispatches-Pluto-Found-Mississippi-Delta-ebook/dp/B00UDCNM82

David Moser

逻辑思维 Logical Thinking – Video Series on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/logictalkshow

Kaiser Kuo

China’s Bold Push into Genetically Customized Animals, by Christina Larson

http://www.nature.com/news/china-s-bold-push-into-genetically-customized-animals-1.18826

Dec 20, 2015

Amazing research now suggests that Beijing's swifts, the tiny creatures most residents pass by without noticing, are some of the most well-travelled birds on the planet, averaging an astonishing 124,000 miles of flight in their life, barely landing for years on end, and migrating as far as the southern tip of Africa. This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn spoke with Terry Townshend, founder of the environmental education and travel organization EcoAction China and creator of the "Birding Beijing" website, for an inside look at how the scientific community discovered these amazing facts. We also discuss how the changing urban landscape of Beijing is affecting the natural environment for these amazing creatures.

Recommendations:
 
Birding Beijing

http://birdingbeijing.com/

Action for Swifts

http://actionforswifts.blogspot.com

British Trust for Ornithology

http://www.bto.org

Purity: A Novel, by Jonathan Franzen

http://www.amazon.com/Purity-A-Novel-Jonathan-Franzen/dp/0374239215

Cement and Pig Consumption Reveal China's Huge Changes

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-33802777

Nov 15, 2015

This is the second part of our episode of Sinica recorded during a special live event at the Bookworm Literary Festival. In this show David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by China-newcomer Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from Nashville to field questions from our live Beijing audience. During this show, we talk about what Beijing means to us and what we see happening in China going forward. If you're a long-time listener, be sure to check out this unusual episode recorded in front of a live audience.

Nov 14, 2015

Our episode of Sinica this week was captured during a special live event at the Bookworm Literary Festival, where David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by China-newcomer Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from Nashville. During the show we talked about Beijing-lifers and how the city has changed during our time here. If you're a long-time listener, be sure to check out this unusual episode recorded in front of a live audience.

Recommendations:

Chublic Opinion

https://chublicopinion.com/ 

Jeremy Goldkorn

Holiday Inn Express on 春秀路

David Moser

The World According to Xi Jinping, by Benjamin Carlson

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/xi-jinping-china-book-chinese-dream/406387/

Kaiser Kuo

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

http://www.amazon.com/Americanah-Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie/dp/0307455920

Here’s What All The Chinese Students at Your School are Reading, by Matt Sheehan

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heres-what-the-300000-chinese-students-in-the-us-are-reading_55f9b409e4b0e333e54c3e22

Oct 27, 2015

The West has spent decades pleading with China to become a responsible stakeholder in the global community, but what happens now that China is starting to take a more proactive role internationally? In today's show, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to be joined by a Dutch journalist, Fokke Obbema (the de Volkskrant correspondent with a perfectly normal Dutch name), who is the author of the recent book China and the West: Hope and Fear in the Age of Asia.

Recommendations:

Fokke Obbema’s China and the West

https://www.amazon.com/China-West-Hope-Fear-Asia/dp/178453384X 

Susan L. Shirk’s China: Fragile Superpower

https://www.amazon.com/China-Superpower-Susan-L-Shirk/dp/0195373197 

David Moser

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095 

Fokke Obbema

David Eggers’ The Circle

https://www.amazon.com/Circle-Dave-Eggers/dp/0345807294 

The Social Credit System

https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/planning-outline-for-the-construction-of-a-social-credit-system-2014-2020/

Kaiser Kuo

Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization Volume Ten: Rousseau and Revolution

https://www.amazon.com/Rousseau-Revolution-Story-Civilization-Durant/dp/1567310214 

Oct 21, 2015

This week on Sinica, we are delighted to present a show on Tu Youyou, the Chinese scientist who recently shared a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of the anti-malaria drug Artemisinin, thus making her the first citizen of the People's Republic of China to receive a Nobel science award.

Recommendations:

Beijing’s Test Tube Baby, by Christina Larson

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/29/beijings-test-tube-baby-china-science-zhao-bowen-bgi-start-up-gene-mapping-dropout/

Jeremy Goldkorn

Nobel Renews Debate on Chinese Medicine, by Ian Johnson

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/world/asia/nobel-renews-debate-on-chinese-medicine.html?_r=0

A Guide to the Mammals of China, by Andrew T. Smith and Yan Xie 

http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Mammals-China-Andrew-Smith/dp/0691099847

Ian Johnson

Neither Donkey Nor Horse: Medicine and the Struggle over China’s Modernity, by Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

http://www.amazon.com/Neither-Donkey-nor-Horse-Weatherhead/dp/022616988X

Christina Larson

Why Nothing Works, by Eric Vance

http://discovermagazine.com/2014/julyaug/14-why-nothing-works

Corn Wars, by Ted Genoways

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122441/corn-wars

Kaiser Kuo

Can the Chinese Government Get its People to Like G.M.O.s?, by Christina Larson

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/can-the-chinese-government-get-its-people-to-like-g-m-o-s

Follow the Money, by Mike Chinoy

http://china.usc.edu/assignment-china-follow-money

David Moser

The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine, by Ted Kaptchuk

http://www.amazon.com/The-Web-That-Weaver-Understanding/dp/0809228408

Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and Synthesis, by Volker Scheid

http://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Medicine-Contemporary-China-Plurality/dp/0822328720

Oct 4, 2015

Edmund Backhouse, the 20th-century Sinologist, long-time Beijing resident, and occasional con artist, is perhaps best known for his incendiary memoirs, which not only distorted Western understanding of Chinese history for more than 50 years, but also included what, in retrospect, can only be seen as patently fictitious stories of erotic encounters between the British baronet and Empress Dowager Cixi.

This week on Sinica, we are delighted to be joined by Derek Sandhaus of Earnshaw Books, who has recently produced an abridged edition of Backhouse's memoirs for the Hong Kong publishing house. As an expert on the facts and fictions of Edmund Backhouse, Derek joins us for a discussion of what is real and less-than-real in Backhouse's deathbed reminiscences, and what we can and should learn about Qing-era China from his memoirs.

Recommendations:

David Helliwell's blog

https://oldchinesebooks.wordpress.com

Decadence Manchu, by Edmund Backhouse

https://www.amazon.com/Decadence-Mandchoue-Memoirs-Trelawny-Backhouse/dp/9881944511 

Derek Sandhaus's two works:

Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits

http://www.amazon.com/Baijiu-Essential-Guide-Chinese-Spirits/dp/0143800132

Tales of Old Peking

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Old-Peking-Tumultuous-Capital/dp/9881815428

David Moser

Asian Observer: This Day In Chinese History

Derek Sandhaus

The Hermit of Peiking, by Hugh Trevor-Roper

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/190601101X?

Homoerotic Sensibilities in Late Imperial China, by Cuncun Wu

http://www.amazon.com/Homoerotic-Sensibilities-Routledge-Association-Australia/dp/041564836X/

Kaiser Kuo

Chublic Opinion - Down with Nihilism

http://chublicopinion.com/2015/08/31/down-with-the-nihilists/

Can the Chinese Government get its people to like GMOs?, by Christina Larson

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/can-the-chinese-government-get-its-people-to-like-g-m-o-s

Apr 8, 2015

Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to be joined in Popup Towers by Rogier Creemers, post-doctoral fellow at Oxford, author of the fantastic China Copyright and Media blog and one of the most informed academics working on Chinese internet governance. We've always enjoyed our previous chances to grill Rogier on his thoughts, and our discussion this week didn't disappoint either.

Apr 7, 2015

This week on Sinica, we are delighted to be joined by Lucy Hornby, China correspondent for the Financial Times, and author of this phenomenal piece on China's last surviving Chinese comfort women and their longstanding — and often futile — attempts to seek reparations in both China and Japan. Join us today as we talk about this piece, and also other stories of reparations and post-war politics that may leave you, like us, somewhat less cynical going out than coming in.

Mar 9, 2015

"Under the Dome," Chai Jing's breakout documentary on China's catastrophic air pollution problem, finally hit insurmountable political opposition last Friday after seven days in which the video racked up over 200 million views. The eventual clampdown raised many questions about the extent of internal support for the documentary.

In this episode of Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser interview Calvin Quek of Greenpeace, who works on pollution problems and has significant experience lobbying the private sector to curtail investments into the worst-offending, environmentally unsustainable technologies. We are also joined by Peggy Liu, chairperson of JUCCCE (Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy), a non-profit organization focused on Chinese government training and other green initiatives.

Recommendations:

Kaiser:Travels with My Censor,” by Peter Hessler for The New Yorker.

The 'Deaf' Composer Who Fooled a Nation,” by Christopher Beam for The New Republic.

Peggy: The China Coal Consumption Cap Plan and Policy Research Project and A New Way to Eat.

Calvin:The Most Brilliant Politician You Never Knew,” by Beverly Murray at Back That Sass Up.

David:China's carbon emissions could save the world—or doom it,” by Hudson Lockett for China Economic Review

 

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