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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: June, 2016
Jun 30, 2016

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer for The New Yorker who moved from Chongqing to North America when she was seven years old. Despite her inability to drink alcohol because of an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency common to many East Asians, she covered the cocktail bars scene — among other topics — for the magazine for several years as a contributor before joining the publication full-time in 2016.

She still occasionally writes restaurant and bar reviews, but her recent work has delved into China and its interactions with the world, especially the U.S. and Canada. In this episode of the Sinica Podcast, Jiayang talks with Kaiser and Jeremy about her article on Donald Trump, Trump’s appeal among young Chinese, and the similarities that some people perceive between him and Mao Zedong. She also discusses mainland Chinese attitudes toward Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution, being Chinese and writing for a prestigious American magazine, the prejudices against and sensitivities of Asian-Americans, and, of course, Chinese food in New York City.

Recommendations:

Jeremy: Usborne children’s books, especially Shakespeare tales

Jiayang: Reading Tang poetry in Chinese or playing recordings of it for small children (start here if you’re new to the form).

The Mala Project restaurant in New York.

Kaiser: A rare concert by Cui Jian at Worker’s Stadium in Beijing on September 30, 2016.

Listen to Sinica on SupChina, subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, or tune in with your favorite app using our feed.

Jun 23, 2016

Adam Segal is the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies and director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. His latest book, The Hacked World Order, provides an in-depth exploration of the issues that most states and large companies now confront in cyberspace. It covers everything from the Twitter wars over Gaza to German reactions to the Snowden leaks.

Our conversation focuses on how China sees cyberwarfare, cyberespionage, internet security and sovereignty, and how the nation's perspectives differ from America's.

Adam presents a sometimes unsettling but sober and balanced analysis of Chinese and American approaches to attacking, defending and spying in digital realms. He defines a moment he calls “Year Zero” of the hacked world order, a period from mid-2012 to mid-2013 that saw cyberspace abandon its utopian tendencies and transform into a full-on battlefield.

Our conversation also covers specific incidents, such as the U.S. Department of Justice's espionage charges against five Chinese hackers and the Chinese infiltration of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's database, as well as the capabilities and ethical concerns of China, the United States and other nations.

Recommendations:

Jeremy: My wife Wu Fei’s improvisation music videos: Facebook.com/RealWufeiMusic, YouTube.com/WuFeiMusic or Twitter.com/WuFei

Adam: The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History by Tonio Andrade

Kaiser: Dan Carlin’s Common Sense podcast

Kaiser and Jeremy: Steve Orlins, the president of the National Committee on U.S.–China Relations who recently joined us on the podcast along with his colleague, Jan Berris, will lead a discussion on June 27 with former national security advisors. The event in Washington, D.C., is open to the public, but you need to RSVP. More info is here: http://goo.gl/yBT43o

Jun 16, 2016

In this episode of Sinica, we present an in-depth interview with Arthur Kroeber, the founding partner and head of research for Gavekal Dragonomics, an independent global economic research firm, and the editor-in-chief of its journal, China Economic Quarterly

Arthur's new book, China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, superbly explores China's astonishing expansion during the "reform and opening up" period and the challenges the country now faces as growth slows. He provides a clear-eyed take on a huge range of subjects, from the internationalization of the renminbi to local debt to the way China's state-owned enterprises function (or don't). The book is a refreshing antidote to much of the commentary in the media, where "The Conventional Wisdom" we discuss in the podcast consists of doomsayers predicting China's imminent collapse and Pollyannas who see the country as an unstoppable economic juggernaut.

We love feedback: Please write to sinica@supchina.com.

Recommendations:

Jeremy: The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction by James A. Millward

Arthur: The Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh

Kaiser: Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768 by Philip A. Kuhn

— Kaiser and Jeremy

Jun 3, 2016

In this week's episode of Sinica, we are proud to announce that we're joining forces with SupChina. We're also delighted that our first episode with our new partner is a conversation with President Stephen Orlins and Vice President Jan Berris of the National Committee on United States–China Relations, recorded at their offices in Manhattan.

Since 1966, the same year that China's Cultural Revolution began, the National Committee has been the standard bearer for a deeper understanding of the increasingly vital relationship between the United States and China. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the organization's founding.

From 1976 to 1979, Orlins served in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the U.S. Department of State, first in the Office of the Assistant Legal Advisor for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and then for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. While in the latter role, Orlins worked on the legal team that helped set up diplomatic relations with China.

Berris has been a major force behind the visits of hundreds of American and Chinese delegations to each other's countries, including a journey undertaken in 1972 by the Chinese table tennis team, part of an exchange that became known as Ping Pong Diplomacy.

We want to say a huge thank-you to David Lancashire at Popup Chinese in Beijing for six wonderful years of partnership. Best of luck to you, Dave!

Please take a listen and send us feedback at sinica@supchina.com.

 

Recommendations

Jeremy Goldkorn: The Chinese Mayor, a film by Zhao Qi
Steve Orlins: This Brave New World: India, China and the United States by Anja Manuel
Jan Berris: America has Never Been so Ripe for Tyranny by Andrew Sullivan
Kaiser Kuo: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (particularly the Second Epilogue on historiography)

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