380 episodes

A weekly discussion of current affairs in China with journalists, writers, academics, policy makers, business people and anyone with something compelling to say about the country that's reshaping the world.
A SupChina production, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn.

Sinica Podcast SupChina

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    • 4.7 • 503 Ratings

A weekly discussion of current affairs in China with journalists, writers, academics, policy makers, business people and anyone with something compelling to say about the country that's reshaping the world.
A SupChina production, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn.

    A familiar drumbeat: Michael Mazarr on the run-up to the Iraq invasion and parallels with China

    A familiar drumbeat: Michael Mazarr on the run-up to the Iraq invasion and parallels with China

    This week on Sinica, Kaiser is joined by Michael J. Mazarr, author of the book Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence, and America's Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy, which examines the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003. Mike is a senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation and a former professor at the National War College, and he warns of certain parallels between what happened 20 years ago and the growing sense of urgency and moral imperative to confront China that he now senses in Washington.

    3:40 – Patterns that lead to poor decision-making in the realm of foreign policy and warfare

    8:30 – Parallels between American discourse on Iraq and China

    13:54 – American exceptionalism and the missionary mindset  

    15:51 – Much like the US experience after 9/11, could an equivalent “deeply felt imperative” trigger catastrophic conflict with China?

    21:15 – The danger of moralistic thinking overriding rational cost-benefit analysis

    27:37 – What does Washington hope to gain from the imputation of CCP illegitimacy?  

    31:47 – Debunking the claim that Washington exaggerates threats for the sake of increasing the defense budget

    35:49 – The role of media and Congress in the lead-up to the Iraq war

    40:49 – The difference between effective policymaking and policy negligence: assessing the Bush and Biden administrations  

    47:29 – Adapting the liberal “rules-based international order” to reflect contemporary realities  

    52:27 – The shortcomings of a reductionist “democracy vs. authoritarianism” foreign policy

    A full transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com.

    Recommendations:

    Mike: Mr. X and the Pacific by Paul Heer; The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment by Geoffrey Kabaservice

    Kaiser: Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution by R.F. Kuang







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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Special episode: The COVID lockdown protests, with David Moser and Jeremiah Jenne

    Special episode: The COVID lockdown protests, with David Moser and Jeremiah Jenne

    We've got a special bonus episode this week on the protests over the weekend of November 26th-27th in multiple cities around China. Joining Kaiser and Jeremy are old friends David Moser and Jeremiah Jenne, co-hosts of the Barbarians at the Gate podcast, who have 50 years in Beijing between them. David Moser is a linguist, academic administrator, and accomplished jazz pianist and composer. Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and historian. Both David and Jeremiah are still in Beijing, and they offer an on-the-ground account of what happened and what it all means.

    A transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com.

    Recommendations – 

    Jeremy: The Twitter account 李老师不是你老师 (Lǐ lǎoshī bùshì nǐ lǎoshī), with the handle @whyyoutouzhele; Cindy Yu’s Twitter account @CindyXiaodanYu

    Jeremiah: Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China by Ruth Rogaski

    David: The Globe and Mail article “In rare show of weakness, China's censors struggle to keep up with zero COVID protests” by James Griffith; Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language by James Griffith

    Kaiser: Happiness is 4 Million Pounds, a New York Times documentary by Hao Wu

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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Financial Times reporter Yuan Yang on China-Europe relations

    Financial Times reporter Yuan Yang on China-Europe relations

    This week on Sinica, Kaiser & Jeremy welcome Yuan Yang, a reporter for the Financial Times who was until recently covering technology in Beijing. Now based in London, her beat is China-Europe relations, and on this episode she discusses German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent trip to China, and how Europe and European countries are navigating the fraught U.S.-China relationship.

    6:09 – Providing a balanced account of China’s tech ecosystem    

    9:38 – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent trip to Beijing

    16:00 – The strategic autonomy of European foreign policy

    18:41 – European countries’ fractured response to US tech restrictions on China

    21:58 – EU policies towards Xinjiang 

    24:31 – The impact of tech restrictions on European supply chains

    27:39 – The efficacy of sanctions

    30:12 – How China’s position on Russia damaged its reputation in Europe

    33:48 – European reaction to Biden-Xi meeting

    35:57 – How a change in the American presidency could disrupt the Transatlantic alliance system

    40:55 – The formulation of Sunak’s China policy  

    43:50 – Yuan’s new forthcoming book Private Revolutions  

    A complete transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com

    Jeremy: Jewish comedian Ari Shaffir

    Yuan: The Emily Wells album Regards to the End; The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

    Kaiser: mongulai.com, an e-commerce website specializing in Mongolian artisanal crafts; the Netflix show Barbarians

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    • 54 min
    Evan Feigenbaum on the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region

    Evan Feigenbaum on the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region

    This week on Sinica, in lieu of the regular show we present a keynote address given by Evan Feigenbaum, VP for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, at the recent East Asia Strategy Forum, held on November 1-2 in Ottawa, Canada. The forum is put on annually by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada — APF Canada — and by the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy. The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada’s relations with Asia. Its mission is to be Canada’s catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia’s bridge to Canada. The Institute for Peace & Diplomacy (IPD) is non-profit and non-partisan international affairs think tank operating in the United States and Canada dedicated to promoting dialogue, diplomacy, prudent realism, and military restraint. The event's moderator was Jeff Nankivell, CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada or APF Canada. Jeff was the Consul General to HK before taking his post at APF Canada.

    Kaiser also offers his quick take on the three-hour meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia.

    3:23 – Kaiser’s analysis of the recent Biden and Xi Meeting 

    10:19 – Start of Evan Feigenbaum's speech 

    13:26 – The tension between economic and security interests in the Indo-Pacific 

    20:06 – The tension between coalition-building and fragmentation in the Indo-Pacific  

    24:02 – The American approach to strategic competition with China in the region 

    32:34 – Question 1: What role can American allies play in setting a positive agenda?

    37:54 – Question 2: Do American national security issues have a tendency to get distorted by domestic political and economic considerations?

    51:34 – Question 3: Given domestic political constraints, is there any chance of diminishing the bipartisan consensus against China?

    54:29 – Question 4: Is there a conflict between the ‘rules-based international order’ and implementing targeted restrictions towards China?

    57:17 – Question 5: How sustainable is China’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war?

    A complete transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com.







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    • 1 hr 2 min
    New America President Anne-Marie Slaughter on balancing China competition and global imperatives

    New America President Anne-Marie Slaughter on balancing China competition and global imperatives

    This week on Sinica, Kaiser chats with Anne-Marie Slaughter, a leading American public intellectual who serves as president of New America and was Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department during the first Obama administration. Anne-Marie talks about how collaboration on issues of global concern — pandemics, global warming, and more — requires the U.S. to deprioritize some aspects of its competition with China.

    1:59 – Contradictions of the Biden doctrine

    5:18 – Reconciling Biden’s China policy and the possibility of climate cooperation

    13:43 – Deemphasizing national security on the American foreign policy agenda   

    20:23 – Potential for “positive competition”

    21:50 – The concept of networked governance

    36:04 – The dynamics of groupthink in US decision-making

    43:05 – Hope for the younger generation’s prospective policy shift  

    47:38 – Does race factor into our hostility towards China?

    50:19 – Potential for an affirmative vision on Biden’s China policy

    54:52 – How revisionist are China’s ambitions?

    59:49 – American tolerance for a diminished global role

    A transcript of this interview is available at TheChinaProject.com.

    Recommendations:

    Anne-Marie: To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara; A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson; What It Feels Like to Be a Bird by David Sibley

    Kaiser: Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman 













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    • 1 hr 11 min
    The 20th Party Congress postgame show with Damien Ma and Lizzi Lee

    The 20th Party Congress postgame show with Damien Ma and Lizzi Lee

    This week on Sinica, our friends at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs invited us for a live show taping before a small group. Kaiser is joined by Lizzi Lee, MIT-trained economist-turned-reporter who hosts the Chinese-language show "Wall Street Today" as well as The China Project's "Live with Lizzi Lee," both on Youtube; and by Damien Ma, who heads the Paulson Institute's in-house think tank MacroPolo. These two top-shelf analysts of Chinese politics break down what was important — and what was just a sideshow — at the 20th Party Congress, and offer their knowledgeable perspectives on the individuals named to key posts and what this likely means for China's direction. Don't miss this one!

    2:40 – Findings from MacroPolo’s “fantasy PBSC” experiment   

    8:18 – Did China watchers overemphasize Xi Jinping’s political constraints?  

    12:31 – Support for Li Qiang across different political factions

    17:23 – The changing factional composition of Chinese elite politics

    20:20 – Return of the technocrats

    23:27 – “Generation-skipping” in China’s recent political promotions

    28:26 – The selection of Cai Qi

    32:46 – Li Shulei as a successor to Wang Huning 

    37:07 – The future of China’s economic leadership

    39:52 – Selection of the vice premiers 

    41:18 – The future of China’s diplomatic core

    45:28 – The Hu Jintao episode

    49:22 – Revising the “Zero-COVID” policy

    51:17 – Reassessing China’s intentions vis-à-vis Taiwan 

    A transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com.

    Recommendations: 

    Lizzi: Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion: Elite Power Struggles in the Soviet Union and China after Stalin and Mao by Joseph Torigian

    Damien: Slouching Towards Utopia by Brad DeLong

    Kaiser: "Taiwan, the World-Class Puzzle," a Radio Open Source podcast hosted by Christopher Lydon

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    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
503 Ratings

503 Ratings

JackBootThug ,

An excellent podcast.

I really appreciate the discussions by knowledgable guests that don’t feel compelled to drop sound bites for ratings or votes.
Great job Kaiser.

StanP55 ,

Awesome pod

Just discovered. Great job with Evan.

enelsonpa ,

Expert Debrief of Pelosi Visit to Taiwan

A must-listen de-brief on Pelosi’s visit. Kaiser and Jeremy give a balanced view of Taiwan’s latest international crisis from the US, Taiwan, and CCP points of view. One insight regarding the CC Party is that over recent years the internationalists are gone or were not promoted. So, there are fewer constrained people to balance out the hot-blooded wolf warriors.

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