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A weekly conversation exploring China's economy and tech scene. Guests include a wide range of policy analysts, business professionals, journalists, and academics. Hosted by Jordan Schneider and published on Lawfare.
5 hours ago
600 Years Of Sino-Korean Relations
Odd Arne Westad joins ChinaTalk to discuss his latest book Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations. Westad’s work is a diplomat’s handbook that connects the sweeping currents of history to the geopolitics of today. Co-hosting today is Danny Crichton of Techcrunch. We explore how Korea, past and present, navigates its relationship with the powerful empires on its doorstep. Korea’s unique Confucianism serves as a launching point into a discussion on empire and nation-state that takes us from the Joseon Dynasty’s navigation of the Ming Dynasty’s collapse all the way up to the present day (with snippets on espionage in Qing China, Korea’s own version of the Taiping Rebellion, and Japanese imperialism). We end on K-drama’s popularity in Zhongnanhai and how the flow of South Korean pop culture into China might complicate Chinese leaders’ decision to intervene on behalf of the DPRK in a conflict on the peninsula. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro music (which really is fire this time, stick around for three Korean bangers): Ash Island, Melody https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8L2OLu6JZo Sooljalee (술자리) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAKYX8A_WM NO:EL _ 00 (DOUBLE O) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sALhYkA-ij4
2 days ago
Industrial Policy: How the Green New Deal's Architects Would Do IP
For Part Three of ChinaTalk's industrial policy series, we are joined by two leading lights of the American left: Saikat Chakrabarti, AOC's former Chief of Staff, and Zack Exley of the 2016 Bernie campaign. (Don't forget to check out Part One with Rob Atkinson and Part Two with José Fernandez.) Co-hosting is Vishnu Kannan, a junior fellow in Carnegie's Technology and International Affairs Program. Saikat and Zack take us inside the creation of the Green New Deal, lay out how bold leadership can change a nation's economic trajectory, lament Democrats' lukewarm appetite for industrial policy, and offer up their vision for an American developmental program that harnesses the full potential of its people and capital. We discuss everything from how Harvard teaches economics wrong to what CIA Director Bill Burn's declassified Iraq War cables have to do with the classic film Casablanca. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro music: https://youtu.be/DuVJeJcMod0
1 hr 26 min
5 days ago
Elon Musk, TSMC, Open Source, Endless Frontier and Zhang Yiming
Kevin Xu of the fantastic Interconnected newsletter, and formerly of Commerce and the Obama White House, ran through a grab bag of some of the hottest topics in US-China tech. We got into the politics of Tesla in China, what Morris Chang of TSMC thinks about the future of the semiconductor industry, how open source is key to the future of American industrial policy, why the Endless Frontier Act (which I wrote about in the most recent edition of the ChinaTalk newsletter) is the most important bill you've never heard of, and why Bytedance's Zhang Yiming deserves his own biopic. Student Research Symposium: https://forms.gle/FYoSeHS7t3ZLLwEh9 Work with me! https://rhg.com/job/research-assistant-china-technology-and-industry-research/ Outtro Music: Soft Lipa - An Epic | Warrior OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAOTdpEeZ6s
May 6, 2021
Can China Win a War Over Taiwan? Plus Eve Online
Student Research Symposium: https://forms.gle/FYoSeHS7t3ZLLwEh9 Work with me! https://rhg.com/job/research-assistant-china-technology-and-industry-research/ Thomas Shugart joined me and Eric Lofgren on another cross-over episode of ChinaAcquisitionTalk. Thomas spent 25 years in the US Navy and is currently an adjunct senior fellow at CNAS. This possibility is made more dangerous considering the rise of China’s military, particularly in long-range missiles, bombers, and navy. The expansion of the PLA Navy over the last five years as been nearly identical to the legendary 1980s Reagan build-up. “For all the talk of them being next generation swarming and unmanned,” Thomas said, “they sure are bending a lot of iron building ships.” You can find some of Tom's writing on his CNAS page, including his War on the Rocks article, All about EVE: What virtual forever wars can teach us about the future of combat. His statement to the US-China economic and security review commission is here. He's on Twitter at tshugart3. Intro Music: PLA Rocket Force theme song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG1J8R3kweU Outtro Music: 当地人— Ansrj 李尔新Lilshin 孟子 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqFgUFwxHiY
May 1, 2021
China's Anti-Monopoly Moment
Fascinated (or stunned) by China’s recent anti-monopoly moves against tech giants Ant and Meituan? Want to get inside the head of Chinese regulators as they plan their moves against the globe’s largest corporations? ChinaTalk has you covered. This week I’m joined by Dr. Angela Zhang, a professor at The University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law, to discuss her new book “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism: How The Rise of China Challenges Global Regulation”. Yvonne Yu, my colleague at Rhodium, cohosts. Together we dig deep into the past, present, and future of the Chinese regulatory state. Dr. Zhang tweets at @AngelaZhangHK and you can read her work in Nikkei Asia as well: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-s-Alibaba-probe-is-not-all-bad-news Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro Music: 艾志恒Asen - 错意 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV1aEYpeteM
Apr 26, 2021
China's Booming Podcast Ecosystem
Enzo Chen, author of the Substack 推播助栏The Podcast Pick, and Caiwei Chen, the host of 定向跳转 The Redirect Podcast and the superb newsletter Chaoyang Trap, discuss all things podcasting in China and Taiwan. We get into the best Chinese-language shows, what makes China's leading podcast app so special, the demographics of podcast listeners, censors efforts to control the newly popular medium, and Jordan's auditory forays into classic Chinese literature. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro music: PGONE X H3R3 都是你 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLe3ksDaX1k
Apr 20, 2021
Why Are Chinese TV Dramas So Bad?
What as the rise of streaming, idols, and increased censorship done to Chinese TV? Co-hosting is Ina Yang, one of the founders of the Chinese-language podcast Loud Murmurs. We discuss Chinese dramas with AvenueX, the intrepid YouTuber who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Chinese TV scene. AvenueX explains how the internet changed Chinese dramas (and not always for the better), why China’s censorship system leads to stilted plots (it’s not quite what you’d think), and why Zi Jinchen is the luckiest novelist in China (it’s not his books that made him famous) We also discuss our favorite shows of the past year, and our recommendations for those looking to get started in the world of C-dramas. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Links: The bad kids eng sub: https://www.iq.com/play/2ffkwrzp4tg The Long Night eng subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqODiKTH8a4 Minning Town eng subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8dv_IepPWg Outtro Music: Mercy, 'Wubba lubba dub dub' a Rick and Morty-inspired rap song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjvTke77240
Apr 17, 2021
How Huarong Explains China's Creaky Financial System
What is Huarong and why do its struggles explain the central contradictions of China's financial system? To discuss, Logan Wright of Rhodium joins the show. In the first ten minutes, Logan catches us up on the news of the week. Then in the following hour, I rerun an episode we recorded together in late 2018 discussing his report Credit and Credibility, which explains why the big one hasn't hit yet. Want to get in touch? We can be reached at email@example.com Outtro music: Miraie & Milkoi 『 ミユキ 』https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e66NfKGjRY
1 hr 14 min
Apr 14, 2021
Bo Xilai and How Xi Learned from the Chongqing Model
What was the Chongqing Model and why does it still matter? Yueran Zhang, a PhD student in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses. We talk about how Bo Xilai utilized mass mobilization against his enemies in the central government and China’s labor movements, and the significance of the 2018 Jasic protests. Zhang’s two recent articles for Made In China journal, “The Chongqing Model One Decade On” and “Leninists in a Chinese Factory: Reflections on the Jasic Labour Organizing Strategy,” serve as the basis for today’s episode. Outtro music: some pro-Bo Xilai song written in 2009 to commemorate him taking on gangs (full story here: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%96%84%E7%86%99%E6%9D%A5%E4%B9%8B%E6%AD%8C) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6fOAR4MWA While this song is hilarious, I couldn't find a good recording and didn't want to you have to listen to the whole thing. Also thought it would be funny to pair this with folks who idolize gangsters... Outtro music #2: GOSH Music 2020 cypher (the biggest Chongqing hip hop collective) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M0axMxBSWg The views expressed in this podcast do not reflect those of the Rhodium Group. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/
Apr 9, 2021
'Invisible China': How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise
Scott Rozelle (legend, Stanford professor, co-director of the Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions) joins ChinaTalk to discuss his recent book Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise, co-authored with Natalie Hell. We discuss how China’s 900 million-strong low-income population will decide China’s future development path. Is China is the next Mexico? Why is it easy to solve poverty but not low income? Why don’t local governments spend enough on rural education and health? How has the relationship between academia and government changed from the Hu Jintao-era to the Xi Jinping-era? The views expressed in this podcast are my own and do not represent those of the Rhodium Group. Outtro music: 刘思鉴 x 李佳隆 JELLORIO - "纸上谈兵" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44nfbyjzkMg Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/
Apr 4, 2021
Japan's China Challenge
To discuss, ChinaTalk assembled two of my favorite Japanese think-tankers, Yuka Koshino, a Research Fellow at the UK think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and Akira Igata, the Executive Director at the Tama University-affiliated Center for Rule-making Strategy (CRS). Joshua Fitt of The Center for a New American Security cohosts. Thanks to CNAS for making this show possible. Outtro songs: Takayan, What’s the meaning of living: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGDQQnBVUsk Hideyoshi, Majinahanashi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a3sPzbG68I You heard it here first, Takayan's gonna be huge. And if for whatever reason you want to get depressed listening to AR's propaganda rap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmAkYGQXv5Q Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/
Apr 1, 2021
Derek Sandhaus is the author of Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World's Oldest Drinking Culture and part of the team behind Ming River Baijiu, the first (good) Baijiu created especially for the international market. We discuss AA in china, Baijiu's origins, different varieties of Baijiu, the drink's evolving role in modern China, as well as the challenge of bringing such a polarizing drink to Europe and the US. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro music: Hiperson, Spring Breeze https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHe1OrbuW5g&list=PL0Lwt5eNBHLmL8zP03KbqekrRbje8FCbu&index=48
Mar 29, 2021
US-China Ideological Competition
Are the US and China in ideological competition? How does one go about answering that question? Dan Tobin of the US Intelligence Community's National Intelligence University and Ryan Manuel of Official China have a dangerous amount of fun debating guiding ideologies and what they mean for geopolitics. Dan's 2020 congressional testimony on CCP ideology: https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/testimonies/SFR%20for%20USCC%20TobinD%2020200313.pdf Ryan's PhD thesis on CCP bureaucracy (which really is fantastic, chapter 3 is an absolute must-read): https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:84ec884b-9bd7-46d7-a395-f6bf9ba501e0/download_file?safe_filename=RManuel%2BDPhil%2BFINAL.pdf&file_format=application%2Fpdf&type_of_work=Thesis This episode was recorded in late 2020. Dan's views are his own and do not reflect those of the US Government or the NIU. The only way I can hope to keep up this two-show/week pace is to pay my fantastic editors to clean up these episodes for you all. Please conside…
1 hr 27 min
Mar 26, 2021
China's Chip Dreams
John Verwey of the Substack “Semi-Literate" (and formerly of Commerce’s BIS, USITC, and USTR) talks the history and future of China's chip industry. We get into government guidance funds, the CHIPS Act, “Fabs not Labs,” export controls, and more. John's substack: https://semiliterate.substack.com/ Outtro Music: Justice‘s Genesis (Live Version) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdsEaSx7u90
Mar 23, 2021
Michèle Flournoy on "Affecting the Strategic Calculus"
Michèle Flournoy joined AcquisitionTalk's Eric Lofgren and me for another crossover episode of China-AcquisitionTalk. Flournoy is a former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, co-founder and new board chair of CNAS (where I'm a fellow), and currently the founder and managing partner of WestExec Advisors. I dove deep into the archive, digging up copies of Flournoy's undergraduate and master's theses to discuss "psycho-social approaches to international relations" and 1980s nuclear policy. We also covered: * China’s approach to systems destruction warfare * How to make a compelling case for technologists to join DoD * Nuclear policy and affecting the strategic calculus * Whether “legacy” weapons need divestment * A “Manhattan Project” for AI/ML Please consider supporting ChinaTalk https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro music: O.WEN《官方回答》 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXT3zITsydQ The views expressed in this podcast do not reflect those of the Rhodium G…
Mar 20, 2021
Te-Ping Chen's Short Stories of Modern China
In her years as a Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent in Hong Kong and Beijing, Te-Ping Chen came across a lifetime of remarkable characters and events. Most of these didn’t make her newspaper articles, so she began collecting them in short stories, which were collected in a book published just last month, Land of Big Numbers. Mara Hvistendahl guest hosts an interview with Te-Ping, where we discuss her writing process, journalism versus fiction writing, and some of the stories behind the stories. Outtro Music: Pocketful of Stars - Shanghai Rainbow Chambers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui3z7-1rUYI&t=1s "For those people sometimes cannot be understood well by others but still have strong willingness to be understood. Surely, we can also regard that the song is written for everyone. We truly believe that we all have our own zone where we place our little secrets and childlike thoughts and we wish all the goodliness in hearts can sparkle permanently like twinkling stars in t…
Mar 16, 2021
Rhodium's Dan Rosen on Hiring Me, 30 Years of China-Watching, Decoupling, and Debt
Dan Rosen is the founding partner of the Rhodium Group and leads the China team. He is also my boss! We talk about our plans for China tech coverage, lessons from thirty years of China-watching, how he thinks about decoupling, China's debt situation. We also play underrated/overrated on whether track two dialogues are a waste of time, PDF length, and talking to government officials. Want to work with me? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Outtro Music: YTH Chopie ft YOUNG13DBABY -《Best Friend》 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwDu2VScBW0
Mar 13, 2021
To The Quad! The Origins of "Indo-Pacific"
Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australia National University discusses his new book 'Indo-Pacific Empire.' We talk 15th-century Korean maps, the promise of the 1947 Asian Relations Conference, Australia and India's shifting conceptions of their place in the region, the origins of the Quad, China-Australia relations, and advice Rory has for the Quad countries as they try to figure out what this 'minilateral' should amount to. Megan Lamberth of CNAS cohosts. Also discussed is Martijn Rasser's report on Tech, Australia and the Quad (https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/networked-techno-democratic-statecraft-for-australia-and-the-quad). Thanks to CNAS for sponsoring this episode. Outtro music, perhaps the most beautiful song featured on ChinaTalk, comes to us via Rory's suggestion. His intro: "Bayini, by Australian indigenous singer Gurrumul (who sadly is no longer with us). Gurrumul performed in New Delhi in 2012 alongside Anoushka Shankar in a concert…
Mar 10, 2021
Adam Tooze and Matt Klein Return!
Adam Tooze (now on Substack!) and Matt Klein, author of Trade Wars Are Class Wars, return to ChinaTalk and pick up right where they left off in September. We discuss whether Ricardo’s theories of comparative advantage actually work in a globalized age, why Stalin’s embrace of “socialism in one country” was a response to the hegemonic power of British (and American) capital, whether a Bolshevik Revolution is the best way to solve global inequality, how intra-elite conflict drives sovereignty-limiting engagement in international organizations, vaccines, Europe’s carbon markets, Keynes' "bancor", the Strategic Shiraz Reserve, and a whole lot more. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro: 大傻 Damnshine【天才病】https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu-RNICSIec
Mar 4, 2021
Clubhouse and Feminism in China with Shen Lu
Shen Lu of Protocol discusses the magical world of Mandarin language Clubhouse before diving into the feminist movement in China. We cover the Xianzi case, Bilibili's misogynist content, and the challenges that women face working in China's highest-flying tech firms. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at glow.fm/chinatalk Outtro Music: 賽文&GOD - 努力工作吧 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYSncvx4txE We mentioned https://www.freshgogo.com/ and https://www.yamibuy.com/en as Chinese grocery delivery options in the show. https://www.hungrypanda.co/ is the 'seamless' for Asian food, which also in 10 different countries! They really should sponsor me...
Feb 27, 2021
故事FM (China's "This American Life") Founder Talks Storytelling in Modern China
Aizhe, 故事FM's founder, runs the leading Chinese language podcast. His show gives a platform for everyday Chinese to tell their stories. We talked about his show and the state of journalism in modern China. Aizhe is a personal hero of mine and I'm so grateful I had this opportunity to record this episode. Aizhe would love to get in touch with American podcast producers, so if you are one, please don't be shy. Reach out to me and I'll put you in touch! Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk Outtro music: Haze by OBO3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abjvaYqMUw4
Feb 25, 2021
Beyond Espionage: China's Quest for Foreign Technology
Four contributors to the recent book China's Quest for Foreign Technology: Beyond Espionage discuss China’s foreign technology acquisition. Is it nefarious, or just typical behavior of an upwardly mobile nation? Is the myth of a stateless global society dead? And why does such a pressing issue seem invisible in the West? Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk Outtro music: AR [for my money the hottest lyricist in the game] - ABC (feat Buzzy, Cee) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_polATUel0
Feb 16, 2021
Rethinking Industrial Policy...and Everything Else
I have a newsletter! If you listen to this podcast I can say with high confidence you'll enjoy it! Do subscribe at https://chinatalk.substack.com/. Jose Luis Ricón Fernández de la Puente, an independent researcher who runs the blog nintil.com, complicates our previous week's ChinaTalk on US industrial policy with Rob Atkinson. We discuss whether the state invented the iPhone, if the trends of history are pointing Taiwan’s direction, why the way we fund science is broken, what mass conversions to Mormonism would mean for the American economy, and, if you stick around to the end, how to live forever. This episode was brought to you by the Korea Foundation, which has sponsored a series of ChinaTalk episodes supplementing my forthcoming paper coming out next month entitled ‘Labs not Fabs: How the U.S. Should Invest in the Future of Semiconductors’. This research was hosted by the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Outtro music: AR - ABC (feat Buzzy, Cee) h…
1 hr 16 min
Feb 11, 2021
Chinese Cooking Demystified
Chinese Cooking Demystified is my favorite English language Youtube cooking channel. I chat with creators Chris and Steph about how they create their recipes, who watches their videos, whether Chinese food is soft power, bilibili vs youtube cooking channels, and why everyone in China wants to learn to bake. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ 春节快乐！ Outtro music, Doubanjiang by Masiwei https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HxkMKb_EQs
Feb 8, 2021
Richard Fontaine on CNAS and US-China
Richard Fontaine, CEO of CNAS, discusses what it's like to run what very well may be the hottest think tank in the Asia policy game (full disclosure: I'm a CNAS adjunct). We get into Biden and Asia and how the new president's foreign policy team will prioritize what they want to get out of the US-China relationship. We also touch on the biggest argument Richard's had with current senior DoD official and former CNAS VP Ely Ratner, what he's learned from looking at China questions with Silicon Valley luminaries, why he'd like to do more faith-centered studies of foreign policy, what fiction he's reading...and if you stick around until the end of the show we get into export controls! Subscribe to https://www.thewirechina.com/ and use the code ChinaTalk21 for 25% off. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk Ad music: Oddissee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx4FrSkuPsE Outtro music (after all the complaints about Bruce Springsteen you get two tracks this week...)…
1 hr 27 min
Jan 29, 2021
Taiwan! Pigs, Politics, and Pop Music
Maggie Lewis (Seton Hall) and Lev Nachman (UC Irvine) talk Biden's Taiwan policy, pork trade politics, the future of the KMT, third parties, academic freedom, gay marriage, and asylum from Hong Kong. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk Outtro Music: ABAO阿爆（阿仍仍)【Kinakaian 母親的舌頭】feat. 林宜瑾, 丁立芬 共創 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsh4lMH1fA8)
Jan 22, 2021
A User's Guide to US Industrial Policy
I have a newsletter! If you listen to this podcast I can say with high confidence you'll enjoy it! Do subscribe at https://chinatalk.substack.com/. Rob Atkinson is the president of ITIF, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a non-partisan DC-based think tank. We’re going to discuss US industrial policy grand strategy in light of China’s rise, what the US can expect from its allies on tech policy, as well as the “power trader” paradigm and how Albert Hirschmann’s analysis of 20th century Kaiser and Nazi trade policy helps explain China today. This episode was brought to you by the Korea Foundation, which has sponsored a series of ChinaTalk episodes supplementing my forthcoming paper coming out next month entitled ‘Labs not Fabs: How the U.S. Should Invest in the Future of Semiconductors’. This research was hosted by the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Outtro Mu…
1 hr 1 min
Jan 17, 2021
WWII's Legacy in China with Rana Mitter
Rana Mitter, professor of Chinese history at Oxford University, discusses his book from earlier this year, China’s Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism. Now seventy-five years after China’s victory over Japan, China is rethinking how it grapples with the legacy of WWII (see, for example, The Eight Hundred, the highest-grossing film of 2020, discussed towards the end of the show). Mitter argues that this growing emphasis on World War II is evidence of a subtle rewriting of history, where 1945 takes on a significance comparable to 1949, and the CCP adopts historical victories of the Kuomintang. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk Intro music: 赴戰, 'To Battle,‘ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB9TmKdo0qU&feature=youtu.be Outtro music: 大刀进行曲, or "Sword March," written in honor of the poorly armed Chinese fighters at the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sword_March.
1 hr 3 min
Jan 7, 2021
Matt Brazil discusses his new book co-written with Peter Mattis, 'Chinese Communist Espionage, An Intelligence Primer.' We talk about the role spies played in the creation and evolution of the CCP, run through some Zhou Enlai conspiracy theories, and discuss the role of espionage in today's China. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Intro Music: Wong Chia Chi's theme from Lust, Caution Outtro Music: Player's Ball by Outkast (Thank you Georgia!)
Jan 2, 2021
Great Power Competition with Richard Danzig
On the second joint episode of Acquisition Talk and ChinaTalk, Richard Danzig, a Secretary of the Navy under Clinton, discusses US-China relations and military innovation. Richard is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins APL, a former Secretary of the Navy, and a fiction guy. We traverse a number of subjects, including: * How the risk of war with China is reflected in trade policy * The problems regulators face in high-tech industries * Views on growing the US Navy to 500 ships * How US prime contracts differ from state-owned enterprises * Whether the Chinese are more risk-tolerant than the US His book recs include: * Woman of the Dunes * The Door * The Lonely Polygamist Outtro music "LL Cool J" by Ansr J Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk
Jan 2, 2021
DIU's Michael Brown on US-China Tech Competition
Kicking off a series on US-China defense-related issues with Eric Lofgren of the podcast AcquisitionTalk, we host Defense Innovation Unit head Michael Brown. We touch on a number of topics, including: * Industrial espionage and foreign investment * The debate over basic vs. applied research * China starting to determine technical standards * Coordinating with allies on semiconductors * Transitioning tech in the DoD Before taking the helm of DIU in 2018, Michael co-authored a study with Pravneet Singh showing how Chinese participation in the US venture/tech ecosystem had surged from $300 million in 2010 to $11.52 billion in 2015. Chinese capital comprised 16 percent of all deals in 2016. That work launched the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) which strengthened the government's ability to block Chinese investments. Do note we recorded this episode in early Nov before the election. Outtro music by Higher Brothers, 'Empire' Please consider supporti…
Dec 26, 2020
KFC, The Toilet Revolution, and the Business of Propaganda
Why is KFC so big in China? What is the “Toilet Revolution” and why does it matter? How does Chinese propaganda work? How have bicycles’ role in Chinese society evolved over time? Neil Thomas of MacroPolo takes on this grab bag. Note this is a rebroadcast from November 2018. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at glow.fm/chinatalk. Outtro music is a KFC vs McDonalds rap battle.
1 hr 5 min
Dec 22, 2020
Chinese Hip Hop in 2020 Radio Show
Duoduodiliao walks us through his favorite Chinese rap songs of 2020, taking us everywhere from soul rap and R&B to drill and Caribbean-inspired beats. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at www.glow.fm/chinatalk Songs in order played in the show, all available on YouTube PO8 - 霓虹 李爾新 lil shin《CN DRILL》官方微博完整版 慕斯塔法 / JELLORIO 李佳隆 - Falling 八口8uck/KnowKnow -《Map》 Lexie Liu 刘柏辛 - 佳人 "站着亲吻子弹"艾热派克特组淘汰Athree后，发作品《Punch》发表感想《说唱听我的》 艾福杰尼 - 葡萄架下的篝火
Dec 17, 2020
America's New Tools of Coercion
Peter Harrell and Liz Rosenberg, both CNAS fellows, joined ChinaTalk in May to talk about their report authored with Ashley Fung, 'A New Arsenal for Competition: Coercive Economic Measures in the U.S.-China Relationship.' We discuss how the Trump administration has refined the use of these policy tools since Liz and Peter served under Obama, do a round overrated/underrated for international economic policy tools, and hear their best tv pilot pitches with sanctions themes. Please consider contributing to ChinaTalk at glow.fm/chinatalk. Your support makes this show possible. Music is some pro-Putin, anti-US sanctions song that has an awful ratio on youtube.
1 hr 1 min
Dec 12, 2020
Wendy Cutler on US-China Trade Policy
Wendy Culter, who served 28 years in the Office of the US Trade Representative, discusses how Biden should address Beijing on trade. We talk about how he could leverage allies' frustration with Chinese behavior and speculate about the future of the WTO. We also debate the merits of a number of my hair-brained trade ideas including the Strategic Shiraz Reserve and a Mutual Trade Defense Pact. If ChinaTalk is worth $1 an episode to you, please consider becoming a supporter of ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ I spelled out my trade policy ideas in more detail in my newsletter here. https://chinatalk.substack.com/p/a-strategic-shiraz-reserve-to-help Music by Indigo Jam Unit and the 1896 William Jennings Bryan campaign!
Dec 8, 2020
Blockchain Chicken Farm: How Tech Changed Rural China
Xiaowei Wang discusses her new book. She explores Taobao villages where Snow White Halloween costumes get made, how one police station is sputtering towards digitization, parallels between Silicon Valley and Chinese tech culture, and pearl farming #distrupt. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk Pick up a Smart Air Filter for the holidays (https://smartairfilters.com/) and be sure to use the promo code 'ChinaTalk' for a 5% discount. Music by Collage and Mondo Grosso
Dec 4, 2020
How to Research China, Talent Programs, and Military-Civil Fusion
Emily Weinstein of CSET talks open source China research. We also sort truth from fact and fiction on Chinese talent programs and MCF. Buy an air filter at https://smartairfilters.com/ and use the code 'ChinaTalk' for a discount! Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/. Music by Nujabes and 珂拉琪 Collage
Dec 2, 2020
The Blunder Down Under? How China-Australia Relations Fell Off a Cliff
Yun Jiang walks step by step through the past three years of deteriorating Australia-China relations. I haven't sold an ad this calendar year. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk financially: https://glow.fm/chinatalk Music by Taiwanese-Australian artist Kim Yang, song entitled Garden of Eden is about the brushfires. For more, check out her website at www.kimyangmusic.com Photo of Xi in 2014 in Tasmania receiving a lavender bear.
Nov 27, 2020
5G in the Caribbean, Open Source Tech, CCP Twitter Bots, Chinese TV and Rap
I chatted this week with Rasheed Griffith of the China in the Caribbean Podcast. I highly recommend you check out his channel! We discuss: * The possible future of US-China tech competition under the incoming Biden Administration * The nature of China's Twitter influence campaigns and what we can learn about making viral memes from Russian disinformation operators. See here for my deep dive. * Why open-source software should be the basis for a new US industrial policy and why China is looking to push that same strategy * What we can learn from good Chinese tv shows * Why we should all be listening to Chinese rap Recommendations: Jordan * American Mandarin Society 'China Syllabi Project' * 隐秘的角落 (Chinese TV show about the drama that ensues after a group of young kids accidentally film a murder.) * 令人心动的offer (Chinese reality show about legal interns. Season 2 is particularly recommended.) * 棋魂 (Chinese TV drama about a Fairy godfather…
Nov 24, 2020
Incoming NSA Jake Sullivan on an Alternative Vision for US-China Relations
President-Elect Joe Biden just tapped Jake Sullivan to serve as his first National Security Advisor, the most important foreign policy role in the White House. In light of this announcement, I'm rerunning an episode we recorded in late 2019. Jake Sullivan previously served in the Obama administration as National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department. Check out my newsletter at https://chinatalk.substack.com/. In the most recent edition, I do a deep dive comparing the HR McMaster and Sullivan interviews. Do consider supporting this show at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ if you're enjoying the two episode/week pace I'm currently keeping up. Outtro music by Kafe.Hu
Nov 21, 2020
HR McMaster on His Time as NSA, China, and History's Role in Policymaking
HR McMaster was Trump's National Security Advisor and, it seems, a ChinaTalk superfan. We talk about his time in government, what the US missed about China and what to do about it, and which Seinfeld character would make the best NSA. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Sign up for the weekly ChinaTalk newsletter at https://chinatalk.substack.com/
Nov 16, 2020
Biden's Foreign Policy
What will a Biden administration foreign policy look like? What’s going to happen on tech and trade? How will debates within the democratic party on what to do about china shake out? Where will congress be on the issue? How will Biden the man impact foreign policy? To discuss, we have on the person who has taught me most about American politics, David F. Gordon, currently a senior advisor at IISS. Previously, he was my boss at the Eurasia Group, served as the director of policy planning under Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council, among many other positions in a multi-decade career in the IC. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/
Nov 12, 2020
Is a Chinese Financial Crisis Looming?
The Chinese economy is perhaps the world's only economic bright spot. So that means we can stop worrying about a financial crisis, right? Think again, according to Lauren Gloudeman and Logan Wright of the Rhodium Group, who join to discuss their new paper mapping out the weak points in China's financial system. That this report is a follow-up to Logan's 2018 paper entitled Credit and Credibility. Our past show on the topic you can find here on Apple Podcasts and here on Spotify. Cohosting is Byrne Hobart of the diff newsletter. If you appreciate the fact that I've been doing two shows a week this month, please consider supporting ChinaTalk financially at https://glow.fm/chinatalk
Nov 8, 2020
David Feng talks Chinese trains and subways. We get into the history and evolution of China's trains, the impact of industrial policy, and the role of foreign technology. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk.
Nov 8, 2020
Swing State Appreciation Hip Hop Minimix
A thank you to everyone out there who helped make yesterday possible. "With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be. A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed." From Atlanta: Ray Charles, Ludacris, Killer Mike, Andre 3000, Quavo, Childish Gambino From Philly: Beanie Sigel, Lil Uzi Vert (Tried to fit in Dreams and Nightmares but the lyrics are just too offensive...) From Detroit: Eminem, Dej Loaf From Minnesota: Justin Vernon
Oct 28, 2020
What To Do About Xinjiang
How should the US respond to the human rights crisis in Xinjiang? I was a guest on the Lawfare podcast this week, discussing my recent essay outlining how the U.S. can respond and push back on the Chinese government's abuses in the region. For the first fifteen minutes, I interviewed Sheena Greitens, an associate professor at UT Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs, on the origins of the camps and Xi's motivation for the current policy. In the second half, Lawfare editor Jacob Schulz and I discuss what the US government should do from legislative, executive and diplomatic angles. Google calendar invite to Saturday 5 pm EST zoom phonebanking. Google calendar invite to Sunday 5 pm EST zoom phonebanking. My email is email@example.com or I'm on twitter here if those links don't work for you. Thanks.
Oct 27, 2020
Why Xi Is All In On Climate Change
Xi wants China to reach peak emissions by 2030 and go carbon neutral by 2060. Why now? Can he do it? Lauri Myllyvirta comes on to discuss. RSVP for live Xinjiang discussion at 2:30pm est here. See here for my Xinjiang policy proposal. Google calendar invite to Saturday 5 pm EST zoom phonebanking. Google calendar invite to Sunday 5 pm EST zoom phonebanking. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or I'm on twitter here if those links don't work for you. Thanks.
Oct 24, 2020
CCP Influence Ops in Japan: Everywhere Yet Nowhere in Particular
'Everywhere Yet Nowhere in Particular' is the title of Devin Stewart's latest report. We discuss China's tactics in trying to influence Japanese politics and society as well as what makes Japan uniquely resistant to the CCP's charms. Refer 10 friends to get yourself a ChinaTalk mug! I made a 20-minute megamix of Japanese city pop and trap for you all at the end! If you want the tracklist in the form of a top-secret ChinaTalk YouTube playlist, just start supporting ChinaTalk!
Oct 22, 2020
What Does US-China Corruption Really Look Like? Also, iFlyTek
Refer your friends ChinaTalk! If you get 10 people to sign up using your referral link, you'll get a free ChinaTalk mug! Mara Hvistendahl is a staff writer at The Intercept. In this bitesize edition of ChinaTalk, we discuss pieces of hers on the US Ambassador to China's son and ZTE (The Intercept) and AI voice recognition giant iFlyTek (Wired). Intro and outtro music liner notes available exclusively to ChinaTalk supporters. Become one here. And more importantly, vote.
Oct 15, 2020
China and the NBA
Why, aside from Yao, have Chinese players had no success in the NBA? Post-NBA, what has Yao done to reform and professionalize the Chinese Basketball Association? One year on, how does the NBA's response to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet look in retrospect, and why has the Chinese government responded so differently to NBA and Premier League stars making noise about Xinjiang? Hunter Shi of the podcast 翻转体育 and Nate Duncan of the Dunk'd On Podcast join to discuss. Please refer your friends to ChinaTalk to win a ChinaTalk mug or hand-drawn postcard of your favorite Chinese politician! Click here to get a referral code and then text your friends the show. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. I'm at email@example.com and twitter if you want to reach out. Outtro Music: I've got good news and other news. Now each ChinaTalk episode will have two outtro songs (!!), but I'll be paywalling the tracklist. If you subscribe to ChinaTalk, I'll invite you to a private YouTu…
Oct 8, 2020
China's True Tech Ambitions
How does the Chinese government's S&T spending differ fundamentally from America's and what does that tell us about the nature of their industrial policy? What is China Standards 2035 and what implications could it have? Will China pull the rare earth card? And is there any chance that America doesn't overcorrect? Emily de La Bruyere of Horizon Advisory joins ChinaTalk to discuss. Do reach out to me on twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a newsletter! Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. Outtro Music: 0-100Records: NINEONE乃万, ICE, 刘炫廷, 新秀, Doooboi- “新人王” OFFICAL MUSIC VIDEO "THAT‘S HOW WE PLAY"
Oct 2, 2020
Liberalism: The Light That Failed
In his memoir The World as It Is, Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama’s closest national security aide, confides that, on the day Obama left the White House, the worry that haunted him most was: ‘What if we were wrong?’ That is, what if liberals had misinterpreted the nature of the post-Cold War period? ‘What if we were wrong?’ is the question Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes set out to explain in their recent The Light That Failed: A Reckoning, which takes Eastern Europe as exhibit A. The book meditates on how liberalism lost its appeal and its themes have clear echoes in East Asia. Guest hosting today is Eddie Fishman. Do reach out to me on twitter or at email@example.com. I have a newsletter! Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. Intro Music: HAYA乐团《迁徙》 全员战士风尝试突破 Outtro Music (thanks Stephen for the suggestion, very thematic!): Basement Tapes: Kansas City. Marcus Mumford on vocals and Johnny Depp (!) playing guitar.
1 hr 14 min
Sep 29, 2020
TikTok, WeChat and Trump
It's been a wild few weeks with President Trump threatening to shut WeChat and TikTok out of the U.S. market and rip them out of the app stores. There have been lawsuits, a preliminary injunction—and a sudden deal to purchase TikTok and moot the issue out. To chew it all over, Benjamin Wittes hosted a discussion with Lawfare co-founder Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, and me, Jordan, the voice behind ChinaTalk. We talked about how we got here, whether the threat from these companies is real or whether this is more Trump nonsense, and whether the deal to save TikTok will actually work. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. Outtro Music: 淡 水 鱼 - Yowaii & 徐奇 Feat. 袁子安
Sep 25, 2020
War in Taiwan
Why would Xi invade and is the Taiwanese military up to the challenge? Paul Huang, freelance journalist, Fletcher School grad and fellow at the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation joins to discuss. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk and/or offering me gainful employment! If you want to get in touch, just email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on twitter. Intro Music: 【青春不留白】莒光園地 (Taiwanese military broadcast music) Outtro Music: 陳嫺靜 - 輕輕 (Taiwanese R&B artist) Check out some more here: https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/the-next-wave-of-taiwanese-hip-hop-artists
Sep 18, 2020
Adam Tooze on World Order, Then and Now
Adam Tooze is my favorite economic historian. After writing a handful of books on the 1920s and Nazi economics, he's now turned his eye to the present day, taking on the financial crisis and US-China relations. In this conversation, we get into * What we can learn from the diplomatic and economic modes of 1920s and 30s * Why Nazi legal theory resonates so well in China today * How modes of understanding Nazi Germany can help illustrate China * How Xinjiang camps echo the logic of Soviet gulags * Whether the US in fact lost the Cold War * Adam's dream bureaucracies to work it Matt Klein, author of the recent Trade Wars are Class Wars, guest hosts. Intro and outtro music are both hit songs from 1928, the year of the Kellogg-Briand Pact which tried to outlaw war. Intro music: Pine Top's Boogie Woogie Outtro music: Blind Willie McTell, Statesboro Blues Please consider supporting ChinaTalk
1 hr 16 min
Sep 10, 2020
The Mulan Debacle
Turning a beloved movie of female empowerment into a dull endorsement of the patriarchy, autocracy and mass forced labor is no easy feat, but Disney Magic is one hell of a drug. Think tanker Rui Zhong and novelist/meme goddess Xiran Jay Zhao join to discuss. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk Intro music: Reflections by Christina Aguilera (Tojou Remix) Outtro music: I'd be impressed if you made it to the end of this podcast and didn't know this song, but here's the link If you're looking for more Disney remixes, this one of the Lion King's Circle of Life is perfect.
Sep 2, 2020
Rise and Fall of a Suzhou Soft Serve Baron
(fan favorite repeat broadcast from back in the 'ChinaEconTalk' era) Mister Softee, the famed northeastern American ice cream brand, in Suzhou, China? Yes, that was a thing. Turner Sparks, rising from humble beginnings as just another English teacher making his way in the world, achieved fame and fortune thanks to a catchy jingle and some tasty mango-flavored soft serve. Yet his vision of China-wide ice cream domination dissolved amid a deluge of backstabbing regulators, slashed tires, and stolen cones. Listen here to learn about the circumstances that finally melted Turner’s ice cream dream. Athena Cao cohosts. Please Consider Supporting ChinaTalk
1 hr 6 min
Aug 26, 2020
Land Wars: China's Agrarian Revolution
In 1927, Mao wrote that "In a very short time...several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back." During the 40s and 50s, he was able to realize this vision to disastrous effect. On this show, Tulane Professor Brian DeMare joins the show to discuss the history and legacy of the land reform movement, including forays into the role of Xi's father and William Hinton's Fanshen. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. Also, do reach out if you're interested in running ads on the show! Intro Music: 没有共产党没有新中国 Outtro Music: 听妈妈讲过去的故事 (hip hop felt out of place this week...not to worry we'll be back with more in the next episode)
1 hr 5 min
Aug 18, 2020
Scholarstage on Xi, War in Taiwan, the CCP Toolkit, and the Chinese Tradition
Tanner Greer of the blog Scholarstage joins the show in a wide-ranging discussion touching on Xi's ideology, incentives in western China-watching, Mormons in China, why it's worth studying classical Chinese history, and AI-assisted writing. ChinaTalk has hit its 100th episode! That's two and a half full workweeks of informed, respectful, and hopefully entertaining conversation on everything China. As the media industry has cratered, spaces for intelligent and open discussion on China that live outside of paywalls basically don't exist anymore. Since COVID has locked me out of China and forced me to move to the US, my living expenses have gone up, and spending dozens of hours on this podcast is looking increasingly unsustainable. Right now, I make less than $5 an hour producing this show. If you'd like to see ChinaTalk continue to come out weekly, Please consider supporting me at glow.fm/chinatalk I'm also thinking about launching some member rewards, like live zoom, tapings of episo…
1 hr 13 min
Aug 9, 2020
What China Wants
How do you even go about answering that question? Is there a consensus in Washington on how to confront China and does that consensus make any sense? Ali Wyne and Jessica Chen Weiss come on to discuss. Currently, I make $4/hr from donations adding up all the time it takes to prep, record, and edit the show. This is the 99th episode of ChinaTalk. If you'd like to see the show continue production at the same frequency of one episode per week, please consider donating to support ChinaTalk at https://glow.fm/chinatalk. Intro music: Oddisee - Skipping Rocks Outtro music, what mumble rap sounds like in Mandarin in 2020: JelloRio 李佳隆 ：还没离开
Jul 31, 2020
Superpower Showdown: Tale of a Trade War
Lingling Wei and Bob Davis of the WSJ discuss their new book Superpower Showdown. We dive deep into the personal dynamics within the Xi and Trump administrations as well as what the twists and turns over the past few years reveal about the US-China relationship. Please consider supporting ChinaTalk. This show took me 10 hours of reading, 2 hours of script-writing, an hour of recording, and four hours of editing. Right now, I receive $50 in donations per episode, meaning my work on this podcast earns me $3/hr. I'm coming up on my 100th episode and of late have been reflecting on how much time I'm spending on something that brings in so little financially. If you have the means and would like to put ChinaTalk on more stable footing, do consider showing your support. Donate at https://glow.fm/chinatalk/ Intro music: Madlib, Distant Land Outtro music: Senior PRC official Liao Min recording back in the early 1990s during his days as a PKU grad student, 流动的青春
Jul 24, 2020
TikTok, Tesla, Kanye and Open Source
Should the US ban TikTok? What role does open source play in the tech ecosystem and the Chinese government's plans for self-reliance? Why does tech occupy such a unique role in the US-China tech cold war? And what can Kanye teach us about foreign policy? Today's guest is Kevin Xu, author of the interconnected newsletter. Click this link to support ChinaTalk. Intro Music: Kanye's Runaway. Exit Music: 2019 New Blood DBC Cypher.
Jul 17, 2020
How Sanctions Fail US Policymakers
Eddie Fishman, who worked in Obama's State Department's Policy Planning Staff, joins to discuss his recent articles on sanctions and the world order. If you know of any job opportunities (or just wanna say hi!) do reach out. I'm at Jorschneider@gmail.com or @jordanschnyc on twitter. And as always, the newsletter and Patreon! Intro music: 一丢丢 by AR Outtro music: selection from the 说唱听我的 cypher
Jul 10, 2020
How Corruption Works in China
How can China be so corrupt and yet grow so fast? What's the relationship between corruption and competent governance? How does 'access money' at the higher levels differ from the 'profit-sharing' you see lower down in the bureaucracy? How does China in the 21st century compare with America's gilded age? And why won't anyone give me dinosaur eggs? To discuss, Prof. Yuen Yuen Ang joins the show to talk about her fantastic new book, China's Gilded Age. Please subscribe to my Patreon! Or better yet, a full-time job offer as your humble host is very much unemployed! Patreon will suffice though. The incredible propaganda rap song feat. Xi Jinping here. And the best Chinese tv show of the decade.
1 hr 4 min
Jun 26, 2020
The H1B Ban and National Security
This week Trump banned valid H1B holders from entering the country. What are the broader implications for America's technological ecosystem and national security? To discuss, Tina Huang and Remco Zwetsloot from CSET talk about their recent research on tech and immigration. We discuss the potential lasting impacts of the, for now, temporary ban, how the US immigration process compares to other nations' policies, what China is doing to bolster their homegrown talent as well as the threat of corporate espionage. Please consider donating to the ChinaTalk Patreon. Here is the paper I mentioned on corporate espionage. See here for the CSET research discussed. Intro Music: 胜利就在前方了 by KaKa. Outtro Music: Hamilton Mixtape, Immigrants, We Get the Job Done
Jun 24, 2020
China-India Clashes: What Happens Next?
On June 15th, dozens of soldiers died in clashes on the China-India border. What exactly happened up in the Himalayas? What's the historical background? What does this mean for the trajectory of China-India and US-India relations? We also get into development policy, water rights, and some improv featuring terrible Trump and Modi accents (I didn't even try when doing Xi). Thanks to Akhil Bery and Sasha Riser Kositsky for coming on the show. Please consider donating to the ChinaTalk Patreon.
Jun 17, 2020
Hong Kong's Protests One Year On
This week’s ChinaTalk featured Antony Dapiran going deep with me on the origin, meaning, and legacy of the 2019 Hong Kong protests. We drew parallels and contrasts throughout between HK and Black Lives Matter. If you'd like to help keep the show going, please consider subscribing to my Patreon. An excerpt: What continues to be most tragic for Hong Kong is that the government really has demonized and made enemies of the people who support the protesters and the protesters themselves. Indeed, Carrie Lam, herself has described them as enemies of the people just yesterday. And so the government has made an enemy of an entire generation of its youth and also the engine of its service-led economy, the professional middle class. It’s obviously against the economic self-interest of Hong Kong, but also it's just a tragedy for a government, to divide its own community in that way and to treat the best and brightest of the community as enemies, effectively forcing them either to leave o…
1 hr 18 min
Jun 8, 2020
Evan Osnos on Tiananmen, Protests in America and Political Leadership
Evan Osnos is a correspondent for the New Yorker. We discussed his pieces on the protests in DC and coverage of US-China. See here for video of the MLK speech.
May 28, 2020
GM Corn Smuggled in Popcorn Bags: An Industrial Espionage Parable
What do you get when you take a Chinese national, a rental car, rural Iowa, and a $52 billion seed business hanging in the balance? Said one review, "not since Alfred Hitchcock's in North by Northwest has a cornfield produced so much excitement." Mara Hvistendahl's recent book, "The Scientist and the Spy," delivers a compelling narrative diving deep into the nature of Chinese industrial espionage and America's response. Do consider donating to the ChinaTalk Patreon. I also write a weekly newsletter translating and analyzing Chinese new media. This past week's edition focused on how US anti-Huawei measures are leading to calls to invade Taiwan and take TSMC.
May 21, 2020
AI Basic Research in China and the US
Who's spending big? Does it matter? Zach Arnold and Ashwin Acharya join the show to discuss their reports on Chinese public sector AI R&D spending and strengthening America's AI workforce. Do note this episode was recorded in late February. Exit music Tricky Tricky by NINEONE / CREAM D / Yoken_Official / YYKBZ / WR/OC Patreon here.
May 15, 2020
Health QR Codes and the rise of a 'Digital Leviathan'
Dan Grover joins the show to discuss his recent piece on how Chinese tech firms have handled coronavirus, I read from a recent ChinaTalk newsletter on how some mainland commentators fear that QR Health Codes will create a 'digital leviathan,' and Ravish Bhatia of the Use Case podcast shares his coronastory from India. Please consider donating to ChinaTalk's patreon.
May 6, 2020
Coronastories 3: Nanjing, Nepal, and Singapore
The legendary Yangyang Cheng discusses how Coronavirus played out in cross-continent conversations with her mother. We'll also hear from Asmod in Nepal and Lambert in Singapore. In case you haven't heard, I write a newsletter. Recent posts are on US-China and AI chips. Please consider donating to my Patreon. The closing song was from James Brown's legendary Live at the Apollo Theater, 1962.
Apr 29, 2020
Forging an Innovation Base Alliance
America has allies with solid tech. But can the US leverage these relationships to help preserve its technological edge over China? In this conversation, building off a recent CNAS report, Dan Kliman, Kristine Lee and Joshua Hitt dive deep into international defense innovation, Japan-China relations, and China's international tech ambitions. Please consider donating to my Patreon and absolutely subscribe to my newsletter. I just published a two-part series on China's health QR codes and have a great piece on US-China relations coming out next week.
Apr 23, 2020
Coronastories 2: Philippines, Russia, Taiwan
We're continuing our Coronastories series this week with personal reflections and analysis from friends of ChinaTalk on the current situations in the Philippines, Russia, and Taiwan. Oh and by the way I have a patreon and newsletter.
Apr 16, 2020
Coronastories: Dispatches from Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong
This week I'm trying something different. I've been interviewing my friends across China about their Coronavirus experiences, 故事FM style. We start off with Dev from Shanghai who lived through the entire lockdown and has interesting reflections on the lasting effects of social distancing on interpersonal relationships. Next, I talked with Jen about how Hong Kong has navigated the crisis. Finally, Tianyu, who flew back mid-March to Beijing, discusses mandatory self-quarantine and the process of navigating the bureaucratic mess of QR health codes. I'm planning on potentially doing a few more of these so do reach out if you feel you have a story you'd like to share, not just about China but Asia more generally. I'm JordanSchneider on wechat, email@example.com or on twitter. Do consider donating to ChinaTalk's Patreon.
Apr 9, 2020
Domestic Coronavirus Propaganda and China-Australia Relations
Adam Ni and Yun Jiang are two former Australian government officials who together write Neican(内参), a fantastic new newsletter on Chinese policy and China-Australia relations. We talk about how the CCP is trying to convince its population that post-coronavirus all is still well on the mainland. We also go into the main flashpoints from an Aussie perspective, focusing in particular on influence campaigns. I've got a newsletter too! Please consider contributing to ChinaTalk's Patreon, or better yet, a COVID-19 charity.
Apr 3, 2020
How the Party Takes its Propaganda Global
What are the CCP's international propaganda goals? How is it faring in the battle to define COVID-19's winners and losers? Matt Schrader of the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy brings the mirth in these dark times. We also go into tech and discrimination, stories from time working at China Daily and SmartAir, as well as Matt's favorite Overwatch characters. The audio gets better in the second half I promise. ChinaTalk fans now have a Discord! Please consider donating to my Patreon. And yes, I'm still cranking out issues of the ChinaTalk newsletter.
Mar 25, 2020
Sinocism's Bill Bishop on the Politics of Coronavirus
Bill Bishop, author of the Sinocism newsletter, comes on the show to discuss the new low in US-China relations. We start off talking about what China's response to coronavirus has taught us about the CCP and then go into the deeper forces behind why the Chinese government has started to blame America for creating the virus. We also touch on China-Taiwan relations, the role Sinocim plays in agenda-setting, as well as binge-able Chinese tv. Please consider donating to my show's Patreon. TV shows discussed: Da Jiang Da He: ENG SUB | Like A Flowing River - EP 01 [Wang Kai, Yang Shuo，Dong Zi Jian] The Longest Day in Chang An: 【ENG SUB】《长安十二时辰》第1集（易烊千玺 / 雷佳音 / 周一围）| 加入Caravan中文剧场会员，抢先独享全季内容！ Xiao Huan Xi: 小歡喜 01 | A Little Reunion 01（黃磊、海清、陶虹等主演） Story of Yanxi Palace 延禧攻略 01 | Story of Yanxi Palace 01（秦岚、聂远、佘诗曼、吴谨言…
Mar 13, 2020
How Chinese Governance Fundamentals Impact Health Care and National Security
How has the distinct nature of local-central relations in the Chinese system impacted its response to coronavirus? To discuss, we have on Ryan Manuel, managing director of Official China, a consultancy that goes deep into CCP regulations and policy. Ryan previously taught at KHU and ANU as well as worked for the Australian government. Our wide-ranging conversation filled with dashes of dark Aussie humor starts with COVID-19 and SARS and then broadens out into how the history of rural healthcare in China explains dynamics that impeded the initial Chinese response. Next, we focus on how Hu Jintao created a model of managing local central relations that Xi studied and took to the next level by scrapping collective responsibility and working through Party as opposed to government channels. Also, we're on the Lawfare Network now! Thanks to everyone at SupChina who has contributed to this show over the past years. SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER! Patreon here.
1 hr 26 min
Feb 5, 2020
Outraged by the outbreak: Citizen journalism and coronavirus censorship
Tony Lin is a producer at Quartz for the web series Because China and an avid observer of Chinese online communities, such as Weibo. After the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Tony noticed commentary being widely shared that, in other times, would have been censored immediately. In this episode, Jordan and Tony create a timeline of the coronavirus, analyze the strikingly candid nature of online discussion in the early days of the outbreak, and explore broader themes of censorship and the role of media in Chinese society. If you’d like to support ChinaEconTalk, please consider donating to Jordan’s Patreon here. You can also subscribe to his newsletter at chinaecontalk.substack.com.
Jan 31, 2020
Tesla’s future in China, technology tensions, and the trade war on ‘pause’
Gordon Orr is a senior adviser at McKinsey & Company and a non-executive board member at both Lenovo and Meituan-Dianping. In this week’s episode of China EconTalk, he and Jordan examine collateral economic damages as a result of the trade war, take a look at the role of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and how it could change in an era of increasing U.S.-China tensions, and forecast Tesla’s future in China, which could be tied to Huawei telecommunications infrastructure in Germany. 4:16: The economic consequences of the trade war 16:42: Industrial policy in China 24:08: Hong Kong financial markets 29:02: Electronic vehicles and Tesla’s Chinese dream 37:26: Chinese consumers don’t want to buy houses
Jan 23, 2020
Izzy Niu on the Chinese diaspora and popular culture
Izzy Niu is a video journalist for the Quartz web series Because China, and the host of the Chinese-language podcast Loud Murmurs, which discusses Western movies and TV. In this episode, Jordan, Izzy, and guest co-host Athena Cao discuss the promise and peril of publishing sensitive podcasts in the Chinese language in the P.R.C., the documentaries One Child Nation and American Factory, how Chinese internet users responded to The Farewell, and the changing experiences of Chinese nationals studying and traveling abroad. 2:10: Censored in China 17:05: The reactions of Chinese netizens to The Farewell 34:14: Izzy’s documentary work at Quartz 38:28: The changing experience of Chinese tourists abroad If you’d like to support ChinaEconTalk, please consider donating to Jordan’s Patreon here. You can also subscribe to his newsletter at chinaecontalk.substack.com.
Jan 15, 2020
Out of the Gobi: Weijian Shan on the Cultural Revolution, economic reform, and U.S.-China ties
How does a bookish Beijing teenager, who found himself stuck for six years planting potatoes in the Gobi Desert, grow up to study with former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, teach at Wharton, and now lead one of Asia's most successful investment firms? In this episode, Shàn Wěijiàn 单伟建, the chairman and CEO of investment firm PAG Group, and the author of Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America, tells his personal story of exile during the Cultural Revolution and provides his view on China’s economic transformation. 7:53: Looking back at the Cultural Revolution 23:53: The government’s role in China’s economic development 25:22: Challenges that state-run companies face 42:11: What to make of the protests in Hong Kong Also, Jordan is relaunching his ChinaEconTalk Patreon account! If you'd like to support him and the show, please consider donating here. In addition, you can subscribe to the ChinaEconTalk newsletter at chinaecontalk.substack.com.
Jan 9, 2020
The changing nature of U.S.-China tech competition
Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), joins Jordan to talk about technology competition between the United States and China. In this episode, they discuss a recent report by CFR titled Innovation and National Security: Keeping Our Edge, which examines the increasingly vexed technology ties between the two countries and the implications of tech nationalism worldwide. 11:44: Undue pressure on Chinese scientists 16:39: Does it matter who invests in research and development? 21:26: Would antitrust regulation impact industry research and development? 30:21: The civil-military divide and Silicon Valley culture
Dec 11, 2019
Online discourse and censorship in China
Jane Li, a Chongqing native and a technology reporter for Quartz, talks through some of the differences between Twitter and its Chinese equivalent, Weibo. She also discusses the website Douban, the lively and open discussion among its young users, and the threat that looming censorship poses to it. In addition, she provides details on why some Chinese internet users have turned their backs on Huawei in the wake of an extended jail term served by one of its employees. 4:10: Twitter vs. Weibo — what’s the difference? 6:52: The “China Twitter” maelstrom 11:06: Online discourse regarding the Hong Kong protests 14:23: What is “251” and how does it relate to Huawei? 20:04: The Douban online ecosystem
Nov 27, 2019
A walk down Chang’an Avenue, with Jonathan Chatwin
Can one street tell China’s story? Jonathan Chatwin, author of Long Peace Street: A Walk in Modern China, takes listeners on a tour of Chang’an Avenue, a major artery for traffic in central Beijing, which was also the scene of several critical moments in China’s modern history. Jordan and Jonathan discuss the symbolism of national buildings and monuments along it, and the role of the street as a place of protest and a part of China’s revolutionary history. 11:05: Baobaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery 20:22: The Beijing Museum 32:26: The Forbidden City 44:51: Chang’an Avenue, the sterile highway
1 hr 7 min
Nov 20, 2019
China tech policy and competition, with Paul Triolo
Paul Triolo, practice head of geotechnology at the Eurasia Group, sat down with Jordan to address some of the questions at the center of the U.S.-China tech relationship: the future of 5G research and innovation, persecutions of researchers and scientists from China based in the U.S., security concerns surrounding Huawei and Chinese-funded communications infrastructure, and more. 6:38: Current blind spots in Chinese tech policy 18:30: What does a “good” tech policy look like? 32:09: Is change possible under Xi Jinping? 42:16: What makes Huawei competitive? The Eurasia Group has no clients in the People's Republic of China.
Nov 13, 2019
Reinterpreting Beijing and its history
Jeremiah Jenne, history teacher, writer, and the man behind Beijing by Foot, is in the guest seat this week. He speaks with Jordan about the changes — both tangible and intangible — that Beijing has undergone in the last few decades. They chat about how Chinese history is reinterpreted through the lenses of different regimes, the ways in which this new history is presented to the world, and Beijing’s modernizing cityscape and the varied reactions it is met with. 10:57: Out with the old, in with the new 15:17: What to make of the Qing dynasty, with help from the CCP 27:40: An age of censorship 29:37: History is different in Beijing and Taipei Use promo code ChinaEconTalk for 20% off at https://www.outlier-linguistics.com/
Oct 23, 2019
Chasing the dragon: Fentanyl, China, and the opioid crisis
Puzzled by rising drug deaths at raves in the United States, author and investigative journalist Ben Westhoff set out to find answers. A Google search for “Buy fentanyl in China” took him down a rabbit hole that led to a face-to-face meeting with the CEO of a company selling fentanyl on Skype “all day long” and a drug lab in Shanghai. Ben tells Jordan the remarkable story. 5:06: The digital rabbit hole 9:20: Want to make fentanyl? Just Google it. 13:57: Between Heisenberg and Pfizer 22:17: How suppliers dodge U.S. Customs
Oct 16, 2019
Hashing out China tech with Lulu Chen
Bloomberg technology reporter Lulu Chen gives the scoop on the tech world in China: what’s to come for Alibaba under newly minted CEO Daniel Zhang, the long-standing grudge Meituan CEO Wang Xing holds against Jack Ma, the Communist Party’s growing presence within technology companies, and her own views on reporting on tech in China. 2:07: Hong Kong protests 24:03: Daniel Zhang’s new venture 28:11: Meituan drama 36:22: International expansion of Chinese tech
Oct 9, 2019
An Alternative Vision of U.S.-China Relations with Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan served in the Obama administration as National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department. He currently teaches at Yale Law School. In this episode, Sullivan discusses his perspectives on the current U.S.-China relationship, his experiences working in the Obama administration and on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton campaign, and the ways our relationships with other governments around the world are changing under Trump. What to listen for on this week's ChinaEconTalk: 5:05: Reflections on the Obama years 19:03: A case for internationalism 27:46: Doing more to achieve less with China 45:20: The direction of U.S. foreign policy
Oct 2, 2019
U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia
Mira Rapp-Hooper, senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, provides an overview of the history of U.S. foreign policy from Washington’s farewell address to the modern day. She also discusses the implications of a rising China for the future of U.S. alliances. 3:20: The costs of going it alone 10:41: Cold War “Great Power” competition 36:32: The Taiwan Strait crisis 41:47: Trump and the future of U.S. alliances
Sep 25, 2019
ChinaEconTalk, Live from Washington, D.C.
ChinaEconTalk is live from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., with Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Host Jordan Schneider sits down with Martijn to discuss a few of the more contentious topics surrounding the ongoing friction between the United States and China, including rare earths, the strategic implications of 5G, concerns about Huawei software and security, and global ICT standard setting.
Sep 11, 2019
Tarriffs, taxes, and trade: Doug Irwin on ChinaEconTalk
Douglas Irwin is the John French Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and the author of Clashing Over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy. On this episode, Irwin provides an overview to the history of U.S. trade policy from the 18th century to the modern day, highlighting significant legislation as well as the formation of important intergovernmental organizations that have sprung up along the way. 19:53: On the flawed logic behind the Tariff Act of 1930, and the parallels with similarly problematic thinking in the modern day: “There’s absolutely a parallel there because some Democrats in Congress said, ‘You know, we ought to really think about this carefully, and not just our domestic interest but also our export interests, and other countries might retaliate.’ And basically, the reaction of most members of Congress was, Republicans at the time, ‘No, we don’t have to worry about that. This is a domestic piece of legislation, it doesn’t really concern other cou…
1 hr 7 min
Sep 4, 2019
How China Can Take Over Tech
Douglas Fuller is an associate professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong and the author of Paper Tiger, Hidden Dragons: Firms and the Political Economy of China’s Technological Development. In his book, Fuller explores a question that has hounded heads of state around the world for decades: How can a developing country get ahead in the tech sector? Drawing on the results of 499 interviews from experts over the course of 15 years, Fuller discusses China’s answer to this question in the context of its attempts to dominate the global semiconductor industry. Fuller and Jordan also touch on the transformative impact of the trade war and the concept of technology transfer and their implications for the immediate future of the Chinese tech sector. Jordan’s newsletter is now available for sign-ups: chinaecontalk.substack.com. In the past few weeks, he’s translated articles on topics like the troubled future of VPNs in China, the…
Aug 28, 2019
Tech triangles and AI ethics: Danit Gal on Chinese AI
Danit Gal is a former Yenching Scholar and coauthor of a recent paper, “Perspectives and Approaches to AI Ethics: East Asia.” On this episode, Gal discusses how Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese experts are forging new paths in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), exploring societal applications — and the unexpected drawbacks of “female” virtual assistants. Gal also explains the tech connections between China and Israel, and the possible impact of the U.S.-China trade war on this relationship. What to listen for on this week’s ChinaEconTalk: 15:56: Gal on her trip to Longquan Monastery in Beijing: “They basically have a Chinese robot monk, named Xian’er. I spoke to him and he gives you all these responses and talks to you about the deep meaning of Buddhist ceremonies… And then I asked him, ‘Who is your master?’ And then he answered to me very clearly, ‘The data is my master.’ And the monks freaked out — they [said] ‘No, no, no. We give him the da…
Aug 21, 2019
The View from Chengdu: Freelance Reporting Outside First-Tier Cities
On this episode of ChinaEconTalk, Jordan interviews Lauren Teixeira, a freelance reporter based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. After what has been a jam-packed few months of China news, Lauren discusses a wide range of topics, from engaging with mainlanders about the anti-Extradition Bill protests in Hong Kong to the downsides of Chinese superblock urban planning. Lauren finishes the interview with a wide-ranging introduction to contemporary pop culture artists in China whose innovation and creativity are helping people to stay inspired at a challenging time. What to listen for on this week’s ChinaEconTalk: 6:59: Lauren recalls Ian Johnson’s comments to her during their conversation on engaging in political discussions in China: “He said to me, ‘There’s a ceiling for your rhetoric because at some point you can’t tell someone to “look it up” because they can’t look it up.’ Epistemologically you’re not on even ground. And so, if you want to really get into a real d…
Aug 15, 2019
Reform and Opening with Soviet Characteristics: Russian Perspectives on China’s Rise
This week on ChinaEconTalk, Jordan interviews Chris Miller, associate professor of international history at Tufts University and a specialist on Russian politics, economics, and foreign policy. Drawing on some of his recent publications, Miller discusses topics ranging from Sino-Soviet collaboration and competition to their respective economic and political reform programs in the 1970s and 80s. Miller concludes by exploring the significance of the collapse of the USSR in terms of the impression it made on Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping, and what this may suggest about the future of Chinese politics and the ongoing Sino-Russian relationship. As Xi himself is reported to have said during a closed-door meeting in 2012: “Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? … Finally, all it took was one quiet word from Gorbachev to declare the dissolution of the Soviet Communist Party, and a great party was gone. In the end nobody was a real man,…
1 hr 2 min
Aug 9, 2019
East Asian AI: Researching Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Tech in Canada
This week on ChinaEconTalk, Jordan speaks with Dongwoo Kim, a postgraduate research fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada who specializes in AI. Dongwoo discusses his research on the progress of AI development in Japan, Korea, and China, including the challenges faced by Chinese AI researchers overseas, and the need for greater tech literacy in general. What to listen for on this week’s ChinaEconTalk: 4:49: Misconceptions abound when it comes to AI, as do references to “Skynet” from the Terminator movies. “Strictly speaking, that’s not what we’re talking about,” Dongwoo says. “People have such a misunderstanding about this, and also the way in which we’re using AI now, it’s kind of subtle, right? It’s used by Google, it’s used by Facebook. If you don’t have the tech literacy, you’re not always going to be aware of it. So I think there’s a potential that if we don’t educate people about what AI really is and why this matters, we might get to a…
Jul 31, 2019
The Party in Cyberspace: China’s Digital Ecosystem
This week, Jordan speaks with Graham Webster, a China digital economy fellow and coordinating editor of the DigiChina project at New America. He was previously a senior fellow and lecturer at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. The two talked about Graham’s work at DigiChina, artificial intelligence in China and its complex legal infrastructure, the facts (and fiction) behind China’s controversial social credit system, and the potential for a new cold war between the U.S. and China. What to listen for on this week’s ChinaEconTalk: 10:23: “If the Chinese government wants to step on Huawei or somebody to get access to data, they’re not going to need this particular provision of law to do it. I think it’s a similar case with VPNs and these cross-border data rules. The pretty clear intent behind these rules is to expand on an increasingly detailed regime for protecting Chinese peoples’ data from abuse by companies or cyber criminals or just breaches due to bad secur…
Jul 23, 2019
Little Red Book, Big Red Ideas: Part 2 of A Global History of Maoism
This week, in part 2 of a special two-part edition of ChinaEconTalk, Jordan interviews Professor Julia Lovell, author of the recently published book on Mao’s international legacy entitled Maoism: A Global History. In this episode, Lovell recounts the ways in which Maoism truly started going global in the 1950s and 1960s. With some prompting courtesy of the Chinese government’s propaganda machine, self-described Maoist groups sprang up in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Western Europe, and even the U.S. Lovell explains how groups around the world interpreted the works and words of Mao in various ways and with varying results — from Black Panthers hosting study sessions of Mao’s Little Red Book in the U.S. to members of the Shining Path who espoused a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology as they committed acts of guerilla warfare in Peru. Sign up here for the ChinaEconTalk newsletter. Learn more about CLI here and use the promo code 'jordan' for $100 off any prog…
1 hr 5 min