84 episodes

The Little Red Podcast: interviews and chat celebrating China beyond the Beijing beltway. Hosted by Graeme Smith, China studies academic at the Australian National University's Department of Pacific Affairs and Louisa Lim, former China correspondent for the BBC and NPR, now with the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne University. We are the 2018 winners of podcast of the year in the News & Current Affairs category of the Australian Podcast Awards. Follow us @limlouisa and @GraemeKSmith, and find show notes at www.facebook.com/LittleRedPodcast/

The Little Red Podcast Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim

    • News
    • 4.3 • 81 Ratings

The Little Red Podcast: interviews and chat celebrating China beyond the Beijing beltway. Hosted by Graeme Smith, China studies academic at the Australian National University's Department of Pacific Affairs and Louisa Lim, former China correspondent for the BBC and NPR, now with the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne University. We are the 2018 winners of podcast of the year in the News & Current Affairs category of the Australian Podcast Awards. Follow us @limlouisa and @GraemeKSmith, and find show notes at www.facebook.com/LittleRedPodcast/

    Cambodia: China’s first client state?

    Cambodia: China’s first client state?

    The Southeast Asian nation has historically been seen as China's first client state, with the Khmer Rouge's hardline interpretation of Maoism leading to the horror of the Killing Fields.  Four decades on, Cambodia still enjoys the best and the worst of what the People’s Republic can offer.   While aid from Beijing has built world-class infrastructure and provided clean drinking water to Cambodians, Chinese companies are also responsible for a tidal wave of scams, illegal casinos and even recent cases of human trafficking. China's building a military base at Ream on the Gulf of Thailand, only its second overseas base, amid public denials from Cambodian officials.  To delve into the history and complexity of China’s relationship with Cambodia, we’re joined by Matthew Galway of the Australian National University and the author of The Emergence of Global Maoism: China’s Red Evangelism and the Cambodian Communist movement 1949-1979, and Andrew Mertha, director of the SAIS China Global Research Center at John Hopkins University and the author of Brothers in Arms: Chinese aid to the Khmer Rouge 1975 to 1979.

     

    Image: Prince Sihanouk visits China, November 1964. c/- Wikimedia Commons and People’s Daily.
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    • 44 min
    Herbal Gold: Chinese medicine, COVID and the CCP

    Herbal Gold: Chinese medicine, COVID and the CCP

    Chinese households under lockdown have lacked food, company, and access to medical care.  But they’ve had an almost endless supply of a traditional Chinese medicine treatment called Lianhua Qingwen, made by Yiling Pharmaceuticals. Chinese students abroad even have this drug delivered to their doorsteps in healthcare packages, and demand for it among diaspora communities has seen panic-buying and hugely inflated prices. In this episode, we explore why the Chinese state has invested huge sums in promoting such traditional remedies that have not been subject to rigorous clinical testing. To unpack the history and the politics, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Michael Stanley-Baker, historian of Chinese medicine and religion at Nanyang Technological University and Altman Yuzhu Peng, researcher of intercultural communications at the University of Warwick. 

     

     
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    • 44 min
    Cheongsams and Coppers:  Beijing's Stealth Infiltration of Hong Kong

    Cheongsams and Coppers:  Beijing's Stealth Infiltration of Hong Kong

    It’s now been twenty-five years since Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty with a pledge not to change Hong Kong’s way of life for fifty years. In actual fact, Beijing's stealth infiltration of Hong Kong began long before the territory's return, with United Front work targeting certain sectors of the population. In this episode, we delve deep into Hong Kong's history to pinpoint how Beijing used the cheongsam makers and policemen - among others - to infiltrate society.  Graeme is joined by Ho-fung Hung of Johns Hopkins University, author of City on the Edge: Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule, Newsweek journalist Didi Kirsten Tatlow, and for the first time as a guest, Louisa Lim, whose book Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong is now out. 

    Image: Black Bauhinia with wilted petals, c/- Jacky CTensd, Wikimedia Commons, 2019

     
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    • 47 min
    Shanghaied: Living with Zero Covid

    Shanghaied: Living with Zero Covid

    After two long months, Shanghai's brutal lockdown is over in name, but Xi Jinping is telling officials to ‘unswervingly adhere’ to Zero COVID, despite the costs. Shanghai’s lockdown brought chaos to global supply chains and torpedoed China’s once-sacred economic growth targets. It’s also taken a toll on the city’s residents; once the nation’s most privileged, they had a front row seat to the arbitrary nature of government decrees. To unpack what happens next, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Jennifer Pak, the Shanghai-based correspondent for Marketplace and Victor Shih, political economist at the University of California, San Diego whose new book Coalitions of the Weak: Elite Politics in China from Mao’s Stratagem to the Rise of Xi is just out.  

    Image: c/- Wikimedia Commons. Hubei medical team aid Shanghai COVID-19 community testing on 4 April 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzrsLxGy9Gg

     
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    • 45 min
    Gimme, gimme, gimme a Han after midnight: China’s masculinity crisis

    Gimme, gimme, gimme a Han after midnight: China’s masculinity crisis

    For the past year, China has been in the grip of a crackdown on niangpao, or ‘sissy men’, with the People’s Daily warning that effeminate men are ‘corrupting a generation.’ It’s a movement that is having a chilling effect well beyond influencers having their social media accounts closed, with the Ministry of Education even issuing guidelines on how to ‘cultivate masculinity’ in boys from kindergarten onwards. To discuss what lies behind the masculinity crisis, Louisa and Graeme are joined by UNSW’s Kam Louie, the author of Chinese Masculinities in a Globalising World, Ting Guo, researcher of gender and politics at the University of Toronto and co-host of the podcast Shicha, and Xiaogang Wei, a filmmaker who is also a board member of the Beijing LGBTQ centre.

    Image: Screenshot of Feng Xiaoyi, c/- Neihin Ng, YouTube
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    • 38 min
    Kevin Rudd: Is War With China Inevitable?

    Kevin Rudd: Is War With China Inevitable?

    As Australia’s Defence Minister warns his nation to ‘prepare for war’ with China, there’s a growing feeling of inevitability about a future conflict between China and the United States. Against this rather bleak backdrop, we hear from one global figure who has had unusual access to China's leaders: Australia's former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The President and CEO of the Asia Society, he describes himself as a Sinologist at the tables of power.  He's probably the only Mandarin-speaking world leader to have one-on-ones with Xi Jinping and hear Jiang Zemin's rendition of O Sole Mio at Sydney Opera House. Rudd is publishing a book called The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict Between the United States and Xi Jinping’s China. This episode is a live recording of his Melbourne book launch, hosted by Louisa. In it, Rudd unpacks the logic of a future war, warns of Xi's biggest vulnerability and predicts a rocky few months ahead.  This event was co-hosted by the Asia Society, the Wheeler Centre and RMIT Live. 

     

    Image: Kevin Rudd and Louisa Lim at the Capitol Theatre c/- The Wheeler Centre, 2022
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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

jayinyo ,

Dems are all talks

Democracts still all talks, they certainly can’t stand that Trump’s cabinet is actually doing push backs instead of lip services of previous administrations.

MattM8649 ,

Great to get the perspective from down under

I’m listening from the US. I enjoy the discussion and perspective on China’s current affairs and foreign relations from experts in Australia.

WhiteGuyCircleJerk ,

White people

I love white people’s analysis of China, it’s always from a “us vs them” perspective, it’s always without any input or agency from Chinese people themselves. Instead the Chinese people are presented as an alien, voiceless, unimportant mass of drones.

White people analyzing China always devolves into a group of white guys who studied Mandarin in China but lacking deep understanding of China circle jerking each other. As a Chinese American, I usually translate these types of media and then explain it to my relatives, then we proceed to laugh at the superficial white man’s understanding of China.

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