Race, Culture, and the Politics of Being Black in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Being black in China is not easy, but it’s not as bad as many would have you think, according to our two guests this week, who are both black immigrants currently living in Beijing. Sure, people stare a lot and there are often some inappropriate...

As BRICS Slow Investments in Africa, Turkey Ramps Up

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Remember when the BRICS were going to power the global economy? Well, the past few years have not been kind to Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. With the exception of India, the other members of this once elite diplomatic club are...

The Long Arm of Chinese Law Reaches All the Way to Kenya

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Kenyan government’s consent to a Chinese request for the deportation of dozens of alleged cyber and telecom fraud has now bloomed into a full-scale diplomatic crisis. Among those forcibly sent to China included dozens of Taiwan nationals, many...

China’s Relations with a Strategic Europe

Paul Haenle & Jan Techau from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
For many years, China-E.U. relations have been driven singularly by mercantilism, but diplomatic engagement between Beijing and Brussels increasingly features a geopolitical component. In this podcast with Paul Haenle, Carnegie Europe Director Jan...

Sinica Podcast

04.19.16

Public Opinion with Chinese Characteristics

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
The immense popularity of social media has afforded China watchers a terrific window onto public opinion in China. In recent years, a slew of English-language websites have emerged to interpret the various trends and phenomena, discourse, and...

China’s Growing Appetite for African Real Estate

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Amid a prolonged economic downturn and a weakening yuan, Chinese investors have turned their focus to buying overseas assets. While there are a number of complicated reasons behind the massive capital outflows over the past 18 months, the fact...

A Chinese Journalist Reflects on Reporting the China-Africa Story

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
How foreign journalists report on the China-Africa story is often determined by the national origin of their news organization. While there are no doubt exceptions, the U.S. news media frequently frame China as the neo-colonial aggressor and Africa...

When China Sneezes, Does Africa Catch a Cold?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese government officials have been on an all-out public relations offensive across Africa lately to reassure increasingly nervous political and business leaders that even though China’s economy may be slowing it will not affect the P.R.C.’s...

Continental Shift: How China is Changing Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For their new book, Continental Shift: A Journey into Africa’s 21st Century, South African authors Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak embarked on a 14-country odyssey across two continents over a span of five years to report on Africa’s changing...

Sinica Podcast

03.16.16

Everything Old is New Again

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Members of the Politburo are rarely praised for their dancing skills, but consider Xi Jinping’s almost flawless execution of the political two-step: first casting himself as the voice of liberal moderation in the face of Bo Xilai’s mass propaganda,...

Africa’s Role in China’s One Belt, One Road Global Trade Strategy

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s lofty ambition to revive its ancient silk road trading routes is now becoming a reality. When complete, One Belt, One Road (OBOR), or the Maritime Silk Road as it is more commonly known, will connect China via rail and shipping links with...

As Economy Worsens, Chinese Migrants in Africa Confront New Challenges

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Thousands of Chinese migrants who settled in Africa over the past 10 years now face mounting uncertainty as economic growth slows across the continent and back home in China. While there are no reliable estimates as to how many Chinese migrants...

China/Africa Vs. China/South America

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s engagement in Africa is often seen by many observers in a vacuum without a broader understanding of how the relationship compares to Beijing’s strategy in other regions of the world. South America, in particular, provides an interesting...

Sinica Podcast

02.22.16

Allegiance

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser and Jeremy recorded today’s show from New York, where they waylaid Holly Chang, founder of Project Pengyou and now Acting Executive Director of the Committee of 100, for a discussion on spying, stealing commercial spying, spying, and Broadway...

Why Reducing Ivory Demand in China Will Not Curb Poaching in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
“When the buying stops, the killing can too,” reads the popular slogan that WildAid uses in its anti-ivory campaign to raise awareness in China. WildAid, along with most Western environmentalists, contend that curbing demand in China for ivory is...

China’s Risky Gamble to Become a Major Player in the Middle East and North Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s three-country tour of the Middle East and North Africa offers yet another example of Beijing’s expanding drive for increased global influence. During his first visit to the region, Xi traveled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt,...

Sinica Podcast

02.09.16

Sauced: American Cooking in China

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined this week by Howie Southworth and Greg Matza, creators of the independent video series “Sauced in Translation,” a reality show that journeys into the wilder parts of China in search of local Chinese specialties...

Sinica Podcast

01.29.16

The China Meltdown

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
[—Editors note: this podcast was recorded on January 18, 2016]With equity markets in free fall, housing prices skipping downwards, foreign reserves plummeting, and industrial production on a road trip back to the last decade, it’s no surprise...

Sinica Podcast

01.27.16

Air Pollution and Climate Change

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Deborah Seligsohn, former science counselor for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and currently a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego, where she studies environmental...

China’s Diplomatic Dilemma: Protecting its People and Property Overseas

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese special operations forces are training in the western deserts of Xinjiang in complex search and rescue missions, in environments that closely resemble North Africa or certain parts of the Middle East. Recently, these newly-trained military...

Africa Feels the Chill of China’s Cooling Economy

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It hasn’t even been a month since Chinese president Xi Jinping was in South Africa for the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) confab where he unveiled a massive $60 billion financial package. Oh how those were innocent, halcyon days...

Sinica Podcast

12.22.15

While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writers’ Colony

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
When Ernest Hemingway somewhat presciently referred to Paris as a movable feast (“wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you”) he captured the concerns of the long-term expat rather concisely. So why does everyone like to compare...

Sinica Podcast

12.17.15

Out of Africa: the Swifts of Beijing

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
With amazing research now suggesting that Beijing 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 lifetimes,...

‘China is Doing More to Protect Elephants than Africa [Is]’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For the first time in years, there is positive news to report in the fight to save Africa’s elephants from extinction. A new study by Save the Elephants revealed that the price of ivory in China has halved over the past 18 months, indicating that...

FOCAC 6: A China-Africa Lovefest

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit concluded in Johannesburg on December 5 amid an almost giddy atmosphere. All sides in this relationship seemingly walked away with more than what they had anticipated.Africa provided a welcome...

Terrorism Forces its Way onto the China-Africa Agenda

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Terrorism and security issues will likely move close to the top of the agenda when Xi Jinping meets with 50+ African counterparts at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit. China’s vulnerability to terrorism was brazenly exposed when ISIS...

Sinica Podcast

12.01.15

Live at the Bookworm, Part II

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This is the second part of the Live Sinica discussion recorded last month during a special 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...

A Journalist’s View on Reporting the China-Africa Story

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The U.S.-based online news site Quartz is among a growing number of international media companies that is investing resources to better cover Africa. The company launched Quartz Africa in June 2015 with the opening of a new bureau in Nairobi and the...

Sinica Podcast

11.16.15

The Pace of Change in Beijing: Live at the Bookworm, Part I

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week’s Sinica podcast was recorded last month during a special live event at the Bookworm literary festival, where David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from Nashville. Topics in this podcast: Beijing...

Challenging the Myth of Chinese Land Grabs in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Among the most durable myths surrounding the China-Africa relationship is the fear that the Chinese government and private enterprises are buying vast tracts of African farm land and have plans to transplant millions of Chinese peasants to live and...

What to Expect at this Year’s Mega China-Africa Summit

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The sixth Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will be held in December in Johannesburg comes at a critical time in the Sino-African relationship. The combination of China’s slowing economy, a major slump in global commodity prices, and a...

China’s Risky Oil Strategy in Africa’s Sahel Region

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chad is one of the poorest, most corrupt, and, increasingly, most volatile countries in Africa. A recent wave of suicide bombings, allegedly orchestrated by Boko Haram, killing 36 and injuring 50, highlights the perilous challenges of doing business...

Sinica Podcast

10.27.15

Hope and Fear in the Age of Asia

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
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 this podcast, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are...

Sinica Podcast

10.21.15

Tu Youyou and the Nobel Prize

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, hosts Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn, and David Moser speak with Christina Larson and Ian Johnson about Tu Youyou, the scientist who recently shared a Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of the anti-malaria compound...

Are the Good Times Over for China and Africa?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
One of the prevailing media narratives of China’s recent economic turmoil is the effect that it could have on emerging markets, particularly in Africa. Now that the Chinese economy is showing real signs of slowing, the story goes, Beijing will soon...

How China’s Economic Slowdown Will Impact Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The tremors in China’s faltering economy are being felt across Africa. Now that China has replaced Europe and the United States as most African countries’ largest trading partner, there is understandable concern that slowing demand in the P.R.C...

The News Media’s Mixed Record in Covering China-Africa Ties

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
News organizations from across Africa and around the world are devoting more resources to covering China’s engagement on the continent. The overall quantity of coverage has undoubtedly increased over the past decade. The key question, though, is...

Growing Demand in China for Africa’s Lion Bones

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Traditional Chinese medicine—popular throughout Asia—long has prized the supposed medicinal value of tiger bones. Now, though, as the world’s wild tiger population is disappearing fast, even facing extinction, the Chinese medicine industry may have...

Sinica Podcast

09.10.15

China’s Millennials

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn record from San Francisco, where they interview Eric Fish, a long-time China resident, writer at Asia Society, and author of the recent book China’s Millennials: The Want Generation. The hosts talk...

South Africa’s Inexplicable Love Affair with China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
While the recent economic turmoil in China is prompting a number of African countries to reconsider their growing economic dependence on the People’s Republic of China, not so in South Africa. Both the government and the ruling African National...

Media

09.03.15

Who Is Xi Jinping? Introducing the Asia Society Podcast

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
Three years after Xi Jinping took control of China’s Communist Party and assumed the country’s leadership, he has emerged as one of the world’s most powerful people. But his tenure has also raised uncomfortable questions. Is he a reformer bent on...

The China Economy: What Lessons for Africa?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When African policy makers scan the globe in search of inspiration on how to structure their economies, that search often leads to Beijing. Not surprisingly, African leaders look at what China has done over the past 30 years where it went from being...

Sinica Podcast

08.31.15

A ‘China Watcher’s China Watcher’ Decamps

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
As anyone who reads the Sinocism newsletter knows, Bill Bishop is among the most plugged-in people in Beijing with an uncanny ability to figure out what is actually happening in the halls of power. But as casual readers may not be aware, he is also...

Chinese Investment in Africa: Surprisingly Small, but Growing Fast

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It’s a widespread misconception that just because China is Africa’s top trading partner, it’s also the continent’s largest foreign investor. In fact, China ranks seventh overall in FDI, far behind the United States, long Africa’s largest source of...

China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa: Lots of Hype, Little Hope

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
A decade ago, China announced it would develop of a series of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Africa to boost trade and industrialization. Given the phenomenal success of China’s SEZs that helped to spark the PRC’s three decades of history-making...

China’s Role in Africa’s ‘Looting Machine’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China goes to great lengths to differentiate its engagement in Africa from the continent’s former European colonizers by emphasizing so-called “win-win development.” Chinese leaders regularly visit Africa where they emphatically reject the...

U.S. Not Concerned About Chinese Competition in Africa ... But It Probably Should Be

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The difference between U.S. and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade,...

Sinica Podcast

07.27.15

Beijing’s Great Leap Forward: Microbrew in China

Kaiser Kuo & Carl Setzer from Sinica Podcast
Great Leap Brewing is an institution. As one of the earliest American-style microbreweries in China, not only has the company rescued us from endless nights of Snow and Yanjing, but it has also given us something uniquely Chinese with its assortment...

A Kenyan Columnist’s Provocative Views on the Chinese in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In Mark Kapchanga’s view, the West, particularly the media, really does not understand what the Chinese are doing in Africa. Kapchanga, a provocative Nairobi-based journalist and columnist, isn’t shy in arguing his case that on balance China’s...

China’s Rapidly Changing Views on Wildlife Conservation in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
A dramatic shift in Chinese public opinion about animal welfare and global wildlife conservation appears to be underway. Supported by high-profile celebrity campaigns by NBA legend Yao Ming and actress Li Bing Bing, there is growing awareness in...

China, Africa, and the Indian Ocean: A New Balance of Power

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For centuries the Indian Ocean was a vital conduit in the British empire, connecting colonies in South Asia with Africa as part of a vast imperial network. Today, the Indian Ocean once again plays as a vital role in an emerging global trading empire...

China’s Expanding Military Presence in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an...

Sinica Podcast

07.01.15

Who Will Save Us from the Self-help Revolution?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Someone desperately needs to call a fumigator, because China’s self-help bug is eating up the woodwork. Train station bookstores may always have served the genre’s trite pablum to bored businessmen legging it cross-country, but in recent months the...

China Starts to Play Nice with Foreign Aid Partners

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
New research from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in China indicates Beijing is starting to be more open about its international aid programs. If so, this would mark a significant change from the past where the Chinese government was...

South Africa Tourism in Crisis as Chinese Reject New Visa Regulations

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
South Africa’s tourism sector is in crisis as a series of new visa regulations have prompted dramatic falls in arrivals, particularly from the world’s largest source of tourists: China. The number of Chinese visitors to South Africa has plunged a...

Sinica Podcast

06.23.15

The Brother Orange Saga

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The story started when a Buzzfeed editor lost his iPhone in an East Village bar in February of last year and blossomed into the Sino-American romance of the century, and probably the most up-lifting and altogether unlikely China story that we can...

China’s Controversial Technology Partnership with South Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chinese and South Africa governments have signed a pact, or a “plan of action,” where Beijing will provide a broad array of technology training, skills transfer, and ICT (information and communications technology) development for South Africa’s...

Sinica Podcast

06.15.15

The People’s Republic of Cruiseland

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
We have enough favorite writers on China that we’ve had to develop a sophisticated classification system just to keep track of everyone. That said, one of our hardest to place within the long-form taxonomy is Chris Beam, who you may have heard on...

China’s Proposed Ivory Ban: Breakthrough or B.S.?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s surprise announcement that it will phase out the trade and manufacturing of ivory came as a rare piece of good news for Africa’s rapidly shrinking elephant population. While most major international wildlife groups welcomed Beijing’s new...

Sinica Podcast

06.08.15

Writers: Heroes in China?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
If you happen to live in the anglophone world and aren’t closely tied to China by blood or professional ties, chances are that what you believe to be true about this country is heavily influenced by the opinions of perhaps one hundred other people,...