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Innovation in China

Innovation in China

In China, innovation has become one of those political buzzwords which—like harmony—seems to mean anything and everything to the Central Propaganda Department. So much so that we find it difficult to walk down the streets in Beijing now without getting accosted by giant character banners encouraging us to economic feats of creative daring. But how much of what passes for innovation in China is actually the least bit innovative?

To help Sinica answer this question, this week Kaiser and Jeremy are pleased to be joined by Tom Saunders, a researcher and policy analyst at the Nesta think-tank on innovation who is in Beijing as part of a high-level British delegation focused on strengthening economic ties with China. More importantly, Tom is also the author of a recent report “China’s Absorptive State: Research, Innovation, and the Prospects for China-U.K. Collaboration,” which tries to make sense of how much innovation in China is genuine, and what this means for the rest of the world.

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Kaiser Kuo is Director of International Communications for Baidu. He is also co-host of the Sinica Podcast, a weekly discussion of current affairs in China, and is a guitarist and co-founder of the...
Jeremy Goldkorn is the Founder and Director of Danwei, a research firm that tracks Chinese media and Internet. Danwei has been publishing a popular website about Chinese media since 2003. After...

This podcast was produced by Popup Chinese.

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Revenge of the Call-in Show

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Curious what happened to Sinica last week? Well ... as it turns out, our call-in show from two weeks ago wasn’t exactly pleased with how quickly we managed to replace it, and took out its anger on the laptop we use to record new shows, smashing the hard drive into such a state...

Sinica Podcast

01.25.13

The Call-in Show

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

So our show this week isn’t technically a call-in show, given the lack of phones in our studio, but it is as close as we can get it, so thanks to everyone who sent us a pre-recorded question. We had a lot more responses than we expected, and the result is today’s weird and...

Sinica Podcast

01.18.13

China’s Urban Billion

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

Lurking silently behind practically every story on Chinese economic growth over the last thirty years has been the country’s unprecedented shift from being an overwhelmingly rural society to what is now a largely urban one, with almost 700 million urban residents now...

Sinica Podcast

01.11.13

The Southern Drama

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Mere months after China’s handling of the Eighteenth Party Congress suggested the country would undergo a peaceful leadership transition, the issue of freedom of the press surged to attention this week after a censored editorial in Southern Weekly (Nanfang Zhoumo) resulted in a...

Sinica Podcast

12.28.12

Return of the China Blog

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

All of you Sinica old-timers might remember a show we ran two years ago on the death of the China blog, in which Jeremy, Kaiser, and Will Moss mused about whether the combined forces of Twitter, Facebook, and Bill Bishop would manage to drive a stake through the heart of...

Sinica Podcast

12.22.12

China Versus the SEC

JEREMY GOLDKORN, PATRICK CHOVANEC & more

An ongoing battle between the American Securities and Exchange Commission and China over whether Chinese accounting firms can release accounting information required by U.S. law or whether these constitute “state secrets” is pushing China and the United States into conflict...

Sinica Podcast

12.14.12

China 3.0

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

Today on Sinica, join us for a discussion on economics, politics, and geopolitics with Mark Leonard from the European Council on Foreign Relations. Our specific focus is China 3.0, the council’s recent compendium of essays on contemporary Chinese approaches to policy issues...

Sinica Podcast

12.07.12

Time to Leave China?

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

It wasn’t very long ago that the Chinese blogosphere became engrossed with two near-simultaneous and very public posts by well-known expats marking their decisions to leave China for greener pastures. While grumbling about this country is nothing new, this event was notable for...

Sinica Podcast

11.16.12

The State of the Navy

KAISER KUO

After two weeks focusing on developments at the Eighteenth Party Congress, and with the next generation of China’s leadership now public news for the world to digest, this week on Sinica we take a break from China’s leadership transition and turn our attention to more long-...

Sinica Podcast

11.10.12

Eighteenth Party Roundup

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, our hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined by Gady Epstein from the Economist and we turn our attention to the Eighteenth Party Congress, which officially started in Beijing earlier this week. As China’s capital descends into the pomp of another...

Sinica Podcast

10.26.12

Party Congress Preview

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

With less than two weeks to go before the Eighteenth Party Congress, speculation on China’s upcoming leadership transition could not be more intense here in Beijing, where insiders are trading lists of potential Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) members which disagree not...

Sinica Podcast

10.19.12

From the Ruins of Empire

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Today on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn host a discussion with Pankaj Mishra on his book From the Ruins of Empire, a history of Asia’s intellectual response to Western imperialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Also joining...

Sinica Podcast

10.12.12

No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers

JEREMY GOLDKORN & JAMES MCGREGOR

As China continues to subsidize inefficient state enterprises on a massive scale, an increasing number of critics—domestic and foreign—are questioning whether current policies mark a rejection or corruption of the vision championed by reformers like Zhu Rongji in the 1990s....

Sinica Podcast

09.28.12

An Evening at the Beijing Bookworm

JEREMY GOLDKORN & IAN JOHNSON

On September 13, Sinica co-host Jeremy Goldkorn was delighted to chair a panel discussion at the Beijing Bookworm with authors Ian Johnson and Christina Larson, two well-known China journalists and now contributors to Chinese Characters, a collection of...

Sinica Podcast

09.21.12

The Island Imbroglio

KAISER KUO, DAMIEN MA & more

As Xi Jinping has stepped back into the public eye this week, the reappearance of China’s heir apparent has been upstaged by large demonstrations across the country as tensions mount over territorial claims to the Diaoyu (or Senkaku) Islands. As memories of earlier episodes of...

Sinica Podcast

09.14.12

Hollywood Comes to China

JEREMY GOLDKORN, WILLIAM MOSS & more

When Xi Jinping headed to the United States earlier this year in what everyone assumed was a pre-coronation victory lap, one of the more surprising outcomes of his visit ended up being a stopover in Los Angeles, where China agreed to increase the number of Hollywood films...

Sinica Podcast

08.31.12

The Huawei Enigma

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Is there any other company that better captures the dual way China is perceived internationally than Huawei? As one of China’s few market-based telecommunications equipment providers, the company is in many ways a symbol of China’s high-tech, global future. And yet this is...

Sinica Podcast

08.24.12

The Raid of the Scorned Mongol Woman

JEREMY GOLDKORN

This week on Sinica, we take a break from the trial of Gu Kailai, the 18th Party Congress, and the recent flurry of disgruntled expat blog posts to cast our gaze back to the age of Mongol politics, barbarian cross-border raids, and that period in Chinese history which gave us the...

Sinica Podcast

08.17.12

The Fourth Estate

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Following the Chinese media’s intense coverage of the blitzkrieg trial of Gu Kailai, those of us at Sinica want to take this opportunity to look back at the most riveting China story of the year. And while we’ve covered developments week-by-week and assume you have too, as...

Sinica Podcast

08.10.12

The Chairman

JEREMY GOLDKORN & GADY EPSTEIN

Ten years after his elevation to General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Hu Jintao remains almost as much of an enigma now as he was on first taking power. What do we know about the man beyond his reputation as a somewhat robotic consensus-seeker, and how will history...

Sinica Podcast

08.03.12

Yeah, She Wins—Sinica at the Olympics

JEREMY GOLDKORN, WILLIAM MOSS & more

This week on Sinica, we go to the Olympics in recognition of what is unarguably the biggest story coming out of London: the spectacular performance of Chinese swimming sensation Ye Shiwen and the subsequent allegations of doping and anti-competitive behavior by the international...

Sinica Podcast

07.27.12

A Torrential Rainstorm

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, attention turns to the torrential flooding which plagued Beijing earlier this week and claimed the lives of at least seventy-seven residents in the Chinese capital. As tempers flare and city officials resign, questions mount over whether this natural disaster...

Sinica Podcast

07.20.12

Attack of the Piranhas

JEREMY GOLDKORN, WILLIAM MOSS & more

This week on Sinica, Chinese economic growth is on the rocks, ASEAN tensions are breaking through the facade of East-Asian political unity, a major Chinese telecom company is implicated in an international trade scandal, and man-eating fish have escaped into the wilds of Guangxi...

Sinica Podcast

07.13.12

Sino-American Perceptions

KAISER KUO

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo is joined by two guests from the Committee of 100, an organization formed over twenty years ago by I.M. Pei and other prominent Chinese-Americans to address issues in the Sino-American relationship. The Committee recently released its fourth in-...

Sinica Podcast

06.29.12

The Manchu Legacy

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Archers, tiger hunters, and horse-riders from beyond the Great Wall, the Manchu people made their first mark on history as founders of the Northern Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) before consolidating their influence in 1644 when their militaristic society swept south from Manchuria to...

Sinica Podcast

06.22.12

The One-Child Policy

KAISER KUO, ALEXA OLESEN & more

While the African community in Guangzhou has taken to the streets to protest the suspicious death of a foreign national in police custody, the Chinese Internet has proven equally volatile as gruesome photos of a late-stage abortion have circulated online to the shock and horror...

Sinica Podcast

06.08.12

Morally Adrift?

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

It’s easy to get depressed about China’s apparent drift toward amorality: the kind of pervasive screw-your-neighbor approach to getting ahead (or even just getting by) that seems increasingly common on the mainland. The news is full of horrific stories...

Sinica Podcast

06.01.12

All-Sinica Federation of Women

MARY KAY MAGISTAD & LETA HONG FINCHER

Considering that this was the week Zhang Ziyi found her name dragged through the mud on the Bo Xilai scandal, there couldn’t be a more topical subject for Sinica than the double standards that are often applied to women in China, and the way Chinese society is often structured...

Sinica Podcast

05.25.12

The Indiana Jones of China

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

After his controversial involvement with the Tarim mummy excavations in Western Xinjiang, Victor Mair might just be the closest thing Sinology has to Indiana Jones, assuming the fictional Spielberg character was a renowned linguist, translator, and popular blogger in addition to...

Sinica Podcast

05.18.12

Stirring up the South China Sea

KAISER KUO, JEREMIAH JENNE & more

This week on Sinica, as the situation in the South China Sea simmers and Chinese society turns noticeably xenophobic, we’re pleased to be joined by Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt from the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization that has just released a fantastic...

Sinica Podcast

05.11.12

Interesting Times

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Joining Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn on Sinica this week are special guests Gady Epstein from the Economist and Ed Wong from the New York Times, here to discuss what has been a surreal two weeks even by Chinese standards, bringing us the spectacle of a blind activist’s refuge...

Sinica Podcast

04.27.12

Sex and Marriage

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

We hurriedly cleaned up the studio and tried to set a bit more of a romantic tone this week, a feat accomplished mostly by positioning small candles and trays of potpourri by the microphones. And why else than because our subject today is sex and marriage, and perhaps more of the...

Sinica Podcast

04.26.12

Chinese Industrial Policy and the Automotive Market

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

Even as the Beijing Auto Show prepares to toast the Chinese market with its typical mixture of sex and tech, industry insiders have been stunned by recent news showing the market share of domestic Chinese manufacturers falling relative to their foreign counterparts, a trend that...

Sinica Podcast

04.20.12

In Dialogue with chinadialogue

JEREMY GOLDKORN & ISABEL HILTON

“So what you’re saying is ... you can’t give awards for good journalism to bad journalism?”After a few upbeat weeks on political intrigue in Chongqing, Sinica is back this week with another depressing show about the various ways China is killing us all. This week our...

Sinica Podcast

04.13.12

Muckraking with Chinese Characteristics

JEREMY GOLDKORN & WILLIAM MOSS

In one of the juicier quotes making the rounds on social networks this week, a private equity investor in Shanghai savaged the Chinese media for its unblinking corruption, quipping to The New York Times that “if one of my companies came up with a cure for cancer, I still couldn...

Sinica Podcast

04.06.12

The End of the Expat Package?

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Heard the bad news? Word on the street is that Fat Package passed away in a Suzhou bar last month. We never really moved in the same circles as the guy, but if true we’ll miss his presence in town. Even while we were hustling to make ends meet downtown, it was somehow...

Sinica Podcast

03.23.12

L’affaire Daisey

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

If you smell anything burning, it’s likely your Internet cable melting from the heat of all these rumors. Which is why at Sinica we turn our unforgiving gaze this week at unsubstantiated press, foreign and domestic, focusing first on reports of heightened police security in...

Sinica Podcast

03.16.12

Midnight in Peking

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

In a China accustomed to glacial political change, Bo Xilai’s dramatic fall from power this week has stunned observers nationwide. Joining us to help make sense of things is Guardian correspondent Tania Branigan, who helps review what exactly happened to the former Chongqing...

Sinica Podcast

03.09.12

The Mirror of History: China Through the Looking Glass

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Sinica is coming out a bit earlier than usual this week: We were lucky enough to catch Jeffrey Wasserstrom on Monday during a well-timed visit to Beijing, and dragged him into the studio to get his views on the recent elections in Wukan, what is happening in Beijing right now...

Sinica Podcast

03.02.12

China in the World

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, your hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are pleased to welcome Geremie R Barmé, the well-known Chinese historian, author, filmmaker, and translator, and the Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University in...

Sinica Podcast

02.24.12

Journey to the West

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are pleased to host Ed Wong from The New York Times, along with Adrienne Mong, whom you’ve seen on NBC News. First up is Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the United States, and a closer look at the personal and political...

Sinica Podcast

02.10.12

The Allure of the Southwest

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn take a closer look at the beautiful city of Chongqing in a forthright discussion that delves into the myriad attractions of this beautiful and occasionally mysterious Chinese city, famous recently not only for its spicy cuisine...

Sinica Podcast

02.03.12

Running Dogs and Locusts

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Ongoing tension between Hong Kong and mainland citizens erupted into open flames on February 1, when a Hong Kong group raised more than HKD 100,000 to publish a full-page anti-China advertisement in the Apple Daily comparing mainlanders to parasitic locusts and calling for...

Sinica Podcast

01.20.12

The Elections in Taiwan

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

If your impression of Taiwanese politics has been dominated by the island’s recurring stories of vote-buying and parliamentary brawls, you’ll probably be shocked to hear what Mary Kay Magistad has to say about her recent trip to cover last week’s elections on the island, in...

Sinica Podcast

01.13.12

Year-End Roundup

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

It was the year of the housing market (up then down), Ai Weiwei’s imprisonment, Wukan, the Wenzhou train crash, air pollution, gutter oil, tainted milk, clenbuterol, China bulls and bears, government transparency, the soaring price of Maotai, Guo Meimei sticking it to the Red...

Sinica Podcast

12.31.11

The Wukan Uprising

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

For the last few days, international attention has focused on the small fishing town of Wukan in southern China, where villagers are in open revolt. Simmering tensions caused by corruption and illegal land sales have escalated into an armed uprising by locals against security...

Sinica Podcast

12.16.11

Learning Chinese

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Shortly after his arrival in China, the late great 19th-century Sinologist Robert Hart would write his frustrations in his private diary, confiding that the convoluted phonemes of the Chinese language struck him like nothing so much as “the sounds one would make talking to a...

Sinica Podcast

12.09.11

Chinese Literature

JEREMY GOLDKORN & ALICE XIN LIU

Our podcast this week is all about books and money in modern China. If you, like us, are tired of Lu Xun and Lao She, listen to Sinica this week as we look into the state of contemporary Chinese literature, asking what writers are hot, what writers are not, and even the more...

Sinica Podcast

12.06.11

The Soul of Beijing

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Today, we’re pleased to share a special live edition of Sinica recorded last Saturday at Capital M in Beijing. Held to a standing-room only crowd, we talked all about our ongoing love-hate relationship with Beijing, and asked what on earth is happening to the city that so many...

Sinica Podcast

12.02.11

The Bears Are Back in Town

KAISER KUO & ARTHUR R. KROEBER

Falling housing prices, soaring inflation, and an export market peering over the brink of what seems a cataclysmic abyss. If you’ve been following the economic news lately, you can be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the chorus of bearish voices crying out that now—at last...

Sinica Podcast

11.18.11

Is Soft Power Always This Damn Boring?

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

In some ways, the latest deluge of rhetoric from the Party feels timeless. Ever since Mao’s famous speech in Yan’an on literature and art in 1942, the CCP has made clear that culture ought to serve politics. But there’s also something new about the renewed focus on culture...

Sinica Podcast

11.04.11

The Extremes of China Media

JEREMY GOLDKORN & DAVID MOSER

It seems to be the consensus among longtime China watchers that the Chinese media has become more radicalized over the last five years, with both online and traditional channels now feeding the public conflicting stories of both reflexive scorn for the status quo or patriotic...

Sinica Podcast

10.13.11

Sun Yat-sen and the Xinhai Revolution

KAISER KUO, DAVID MOSER & more

One hundred years ago this week, local outrage over plans to nationalize provincial railways triggered the Wuchang Uprising, an act of sedition that marked the start of the Xinhai Revolution and the beginning of the end for China’s long-governing Qing court. Setting in motion...

Sinica Podcast

09.30.11

The Shanghai Train Accident

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

At least 284 people were injured on Tuesday when a train in the Shanghai metro smashed into another which had stalled on the tracks. The accident, which threw Shanghai into disarray, came only two months after another near-disastrous incident on the same line, and only three...

Sinica Podcast

09.23.11

The Gutter Oil Podcast

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

“It was really distressing for me to talk to a WHO expert and have him tell me, ‘I have no idea where it’s safe to buy food here ...’” — Sharon LaFraniere.When Luoyang journalist Li Xiang broke China’s latest food scandal last week, exposing the industrial...

Sinica Podcast

05.01.11

Nouriel Roubini Gets It in the A** in China

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

China Doomerism, the once familiar retreat of a chummy pantheon of economic cranks, recently went mainstream with Nouriel Roubini’s pronouncement that the Chinese economy is wrestling with over-investment and his prediction that it will likely come to a hard landing and a...

Sinica Podcast

04.22.11

China’s Second Internet Bubble?

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Interest in Chinese Internet companies has reached a fever pitch. Fueled by the fact that roughly fifty percent of the companies that went public on NASDAQ last year were Chinese in origin, at least seventeen more high-profile companies are planning foreign IPOs this year. Yet...

Sinica Podcast

02.18.11

Turmoil in Egypt and Groupon

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Welcome back to Sinica after our New Year’s break. And what could headline our first podcast of the New Year but Egypt, where an unexpected political uprising has raised obvious parallels for China-watchers worldwide. Moving beyond the politics of protest, we also delve into...

Sinica Podcast

01.21.11

Hu Jintao and the Washington Summit

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

As part of our ongoing efforts to secure the hottest scoops for you, our Sinica team originally planned to storm Hu Jintao’s flight to Washington and record a live podcast with everyone’s favorite chairman during his flight across the Pacific. Sadly, this idea did not meet...

Sinica Podcast

01.14.11

Amy Chua and the Tiger Mother Furor

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Judging from the explosive reaction to her recent Wall Street Journal editorial, it’s clear that Amy Chua's memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has set off a storm of controversy over the appropriateness of “Chinese parenting” in America. Or even China for that matter....

Sinica Podcast

01.07.11

China 2010—Year in Review

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week we take a look back at China in 2010, revisiting some of the biggest stories we covered and discussing a few we missed. With Kaiser Kuo hosting the discussion as usual, our guests in the studio include Sinica stalwarts and regulars Jeremy Goldkorn and Gady Epstein of...

Sinica Podcast

12.24.10

The Long Arm of History

KAISER KUO, DAVID MOSER & more

Visitors to China might be forgiven for concluding that history carries more weight here. For whatever the reason, even the far-off ghosts of the Opium War, the scramble for concessions, and the Treaty of Versailles still haunt contemporary politics,...

Sinica Podcast

12.17.10

China and India

KAISER KUO, STEPHANIE T. KLEINE-AHLBRANDT & more

Asia’s rising colossi share a great deal besides rich cultures, great culinary traditions, billion-plus populations, and a long border. But relations haven’t always been smooth. Have a recent round of border talks, followed up by Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent visit to New...

Sinica Podcast

12.10.10

The Wikileaks Revelations, Part III

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

As Interpol deepens its investigation into Mr. Assange’s use of birth control and financial service companies feel the wrath of script-kiddies worldwide, our own crew of Internet vigilantes sifts through the remains of the Wikileaks data-dump in search of all the hot China-...

Sinica Podcast

12.04.10

The Wikileaks Revelations, Part II

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Kaiser’s despair on learning that last week’s Sinica episode had been lost in a freak weather accident turned quickly to plotting. “We’ll simply have to make up for it somehow,” he mused. Which is how today’s special show came about: a better, stronger, and perhaps...

Sinica Podcast

12.03.10

The Wikileaks Revelations

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

In the first of what will likely be many podcasts discussing some of the latest China-related revelations contained in the recent Wikileaks data-dump, our discussion today turns towards North Korea and Chinese diplomatic overtures suggesting that the country’s long-standing...

Sinica Podcast

11.12.10

The End of Chinese Internet Civility

JEREMY GOLDKORN, GADY EPSTEIN & more

Simmering tensions between Qihoo 360 and Tencent broke into open war last week, as Tencent disabled its chat software on computers running 360 antivirus software. This move was the most aggressive yet in a serious of escalating attacks between the two companies that resemble...

Sinica Podcast

09.17.10

Capital Punishment in China

KAISER KUO, GADY EPSTEIN & more

Crimes that merit capital punishment in China include treason, murder, corruption, drug-traffiking, and occasionally even wildlife poaching. Yet despite the broad reach of the law here, the true extent of the death penalty in China remains one of the country’s most tightly-...

Sinica Podcast

09.10.10

Showdown in Shenzhen

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

On September 6, Shenzhen celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its founding as a special economic zone (SEZ). And while the city feted itself at the highest levels of power, its celebrations were marred by an unexpected development: in a speech made by Wen Jiabao a week earlier...

Sinica Podcast

08.20.10

China’s Troubled Waters

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Are Chinese-American maritime relations running aground? The recent sinking of the South Korean corvette the Cheonan, most likely by China’s unruly client state North Korea, has led to the U.S.S. George Washington participating in naval exercises off the Korean coast....

Sinica Podcast

08.13.10

The Guo Degang Affair and China Apologists

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein, Will Moss, and David Moser join Kaiser to talk about the Guo Degang Affair. When a fight with the media at the famous comedian’s house became news, the incident sparked a week of heated public debate. This ended abruptly as...

Sinica Podcast

08.06.10

China in Africa

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

The world is abuzz over a number of recent large-scale infrastructure-for-resources deals China has signed in Africa. While some observers see these agreements as a force for good in local economic development, others have gone so far as to call the activities part of a...

Sinica Podcast

07.23.10

Death of the China Blog

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

The China blog is officially dead, moribund, cadaverous, extinct, buried, bereft of life, defunct, and totally-and-utterly-inert. It could even be said to be resting in peace, save for the fact that Will Moss drove a silver stake through its heart before recording this podcast...

Sinica Podcast

07.12.10

Ich Bin Ein Beijinger

KAISER KUO

Sad as it is to admit, the rare solar eclipse that incited such mayhem on Easter Island earlier this week has thrown our own Beijing community into a tizzy. Or perhaps the culprit is the stultifying heatwave which has descended on our city, turning Popup Towers into a beseiged...

Sinica Podcast

07.09.10

China’s Environmental Collapse

KAISER KUO & ALEX WANG

After the collapse of international climate change talks in Copenhagen in 2009, Mark Lynas’ devastating article, published in the Guardian, laid the blame squarely at China’s feet, accusing the Chinese government of deliberately scuttling American-led efforts to secure an...

Sinica Podcast

07.02.10

Newsweek Bid, Renminbi Revaluation

KAISER KUO, EVAN OSNOS & more

In a sudden move clearly intended to stave off criticism at the G20 meeting in Toronto, China loosened the yuan’s twenty-three-month-old peg to the American dollar earlier this month, allowing its currency to appreciate against the greenback. This week’s Sinica Podcast looks...

Sinica Podcast

07.01.10

What If the BP Oil Spill Happened in China...

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

As Gady Epstein reports in this special dispatch, “some time ago, we reached the China Zone in the BP story.” The China Zone is—for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet—the point at which a reasonable observer will believe almost anything about a story simply...

Sinica Podcast

06.18.10

Review of Chinese Books

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Looking for a little summer reading? This week, Sinica sorts the wheat from the chaff with a massive review of books on China. Our discussion touches on a everything from Chinese fiction to non-fiction academic works on Chinese politics, economics, and history. There’s a good...

Sinica Podcast

06.11.10

Science Fiction in China

KAISER KUO & GADY EPSTEIN

Science fiction serves as a kind of mirror for how a society sees itself in the future. So what future do Chinese sci-fi writers envision in the far-off yet-to-come? And what role does China play in that future? Do contemporary Chinese writers see a harmonious utopia? Or are they...

Sinica Podcast

06.04.10

Suicides, Strikes, and Labor Unrest in China

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

A spate of suicides leaves ten dead at the Shenzhen campus of Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer that makes many of the world’s most popular consumer electronics. A rare strike paralyzes production at Honda Motors, shutting down all of the company’s manufacturing...

Sinica Podcast

05.28.10

Critical Media, Foreign and Domestic

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Is the “Western media” biased in its reporting about China? What are the frames and narratives that inform the Anglophone media’s understanding of the county, and what are the misunderstandings about the “Western media” that lead Chinese people into believing Western...

Sinica Podcast

05.21.10

Mao’s Legacy and Foreign Self-Censorship

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Notice your friends holding something back? In this Sinica podcast, we talk about the self-censoring phenomenon that’s taken root among the foreign community in China, and discuss a surprising case which demonstrates exactly the opposite: how one of the...

Sinica Podcast

05.15.10

Schoolyard Violence with Chinese Characteristics

JEREMY GOLDKORN, GADY EPSTEIN & more

Despite efforts to downplay the story in the face of the Shanghai Expo, news of a recent wave of copycat killings has spread quickly through China, driven in part by the surprising revelation that many of the killers have been middle-aged and apparently well-educated men. Online...

Sinica Podcast

05.07.10

Dimensions of China’s Soft Power

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

The Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai Expo, the hundreds of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, and Beijing’s new English-language satellite news networks are all part of a grand Chinese soft power push: an effort to win the world through attraction rather than coercion...

Sinica Podcast

04.30.10

Huang Guangyu Trial, Real Estate Dilemma

KAISER KUO, GADY EPSTEIN & more

Huang Guangyu, the richest man in China, went on trial last week in Beijing. The founder of home electronics chain GOME was brought up on charges of bribery, money laundering, and insider trading. The dragnet in the investigation leading up to the trial has already widened, and...

Sinica Podcast

04.26.10

A Tom Friedman Exclusive

KAISER KUO

As you’re probably aware, earlier this month Hu Jintao hotfooted it to Washington to attend a nuclear security summit and discuss potential United Nations sanctions against Iran.While the rest of the Internet was sleeping on this story, we at Sinica furiously canvassed secret...

Sinica Podcast

04.23.10

The Eulogy and the Aftershocks

JEREMY GOLDKORN, GADY EPSTEIN & more

Coming twenty-one years after the death of former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, Premier Wen Jiabao’s surprise eulogy to his former mentor last week was the subject of much discussion among China-watchers worldwide. In today’s episode of Sinica, we visit this speech and ask what...

Sinica Podcast

04.16.10

China’s Gadflies and the Mine Miracle

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

This Week: Kaiser Kuo hosts a discussion all about China’s best-known gadflies: artist-cum-activist Ai Weiwei and writer, auto racer, and blogger Han Han. So join us as we talk about who both of these public figures are and why they have gained so much attention both inside...

Sinica Podcast

04.09.10

Iran and the Vaccination Scandal

KAISER KUO, JEREMY GOLDKORN & more

Welcome back to the Sinica Podcast, a roundtable on current affairs in China featuring China-watchers from a wide range of backgrounds. In this week’s installment, host Kaiser Kuo talks about China’s delicate maneuvering in the Middle East, as well as the recent health...

Sinica Podcast

04.02.10

Google China and the Pullout

KAISER KUO & JEREMY GOLDKORN

What exactly happened earlier this week with Google’s inaccessibility? Does Yasheng Huang have the right take on their pull-out of China, or is Tania Branigan from The Guardian more on the money? What are the consequences for Google’s future in Asia, and what does any of this...