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Sinica - Cooperation or Exploitation: Howard French on China in Africa

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:00

Exactly how exploitative are Chinese development activities on the African continent? What exactly is motivating the various resources-for-development deals inked by African governments over the last decade, and what strategies are these governments now adopting in the face of power imbalances with China? What is driving the mass migration of Chinese workers to the African continent, and why does everyone from Senegal seem to come from Henan?

This week on Sinica, we ask these questions and many more as Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined in conversation with Howard French. If you've spent a while in China, you may have head of Howard as the author of a well-known book on Shanghai's architectural legacy, and lecturer on the subject. What you may not know is that he is also an expert on African development, and the new author of China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.

Want more Sinica, but frustrated at your biological limitations that force you to have to download each episode one-by-one (hint: standalone mp3 link)? Why not join the 21st century and set your computer to the task by subscribing to our Sinica RSS feed. If you have ideas on topics you'd like to hear covered or suggestions on guests we should feature on the show, please feel welcome to write the team at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Qing Wen - Towards 向 朝 往

ChinesePod - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Band of Brothers: China and South Africa

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 01:00

You'd be forgiven for thinking that China and South Africa weren't actual neighbors given all the pomp and ritual that surrounded South African President Jacob Zuma's recent state visit to China, a trip that saw China roll out the red carpet in a very uncritical fashion not often seen these days, with even Xinhua getting into the spirit of international camraderie with fulsome editorials praising the South African people and their international spirit.

And in the spirit of confusing co-host Kaiser and changing the balance of power in the studio, Jeremy is delighted to have invited a "real" South African to join us this week. And so our guest is John Bailey, Asia Correpondent of ENCA, the 24-hour television news broadcaster focusing on South African and African stories. In this hour-long show, John joins us to talk about what is happening in South Africa, and why the country's relations with China have taken such a rosy turn.

Enjoy Sinica? If you like this show and would like more to show up automatically on your iPhone as we publish them, subscribe to Sinica manually by selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast" from the File menu in iTunes and providing the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica when prompted. We also welcome everyone to download this show directly from our server as a standalone mp3 file, and to send comments and suggestions for future shows to us at sinica@popupchinese.com. Enjoy!

Qing Wen - 赶得上 or 来得及

ChinesePod - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Domestic Abuse in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 01:00

It doesn't take a lot of time in China to see household violence play out in supermarkets, in schools, or even in the streets. But exactly how common is domestic violence in China? In the face of recent evidence from Peking University that more than 70 percent of all children suffer from some form of physical or emotional abuse, not to mention the never-stopping stories of spousal abuse (by both men and women) that pour out in the press, we wanted to take an episode to look into the issue and ask what the hell is going on?

That's why this week, Sinica is delighted to host Su Wenying and Cai Yiping, two leading advocates of women and children's rights who join us for a discussion of domestic violence in China. Our conversation starts with a discussion of the current legal landscape, and moves on to the prevalence of domestic abuse with some surprising stats about how education and social status does and does not affect the prevalence of violence in this country, before we look at public awareness of the problem, and ask to what extent it seems likely to change anytime soon.

Enjoy listening to Sinica? We invite everyone to download this show as an standalone mp3 file for listening offline or sharing. If you have any feedback on the show or suggestions about topics you'd like to hear covered, please feel welcome to leave a note in our comments section, or send us an email at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Qing Wen - 标志 and 表示

ChinesePod - Sat, 11/29/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Internet Wrangling in Wuzhen

Popup Chinese Lessons - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 01:00

With Jeremy Goldkorn conscripted into family duties as father of lucky newborn Felix Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo hosts alone this week as we turn our attention to the World Internet Conference last week, when a last minute attempt by Chinese organizers to foist the so-called Wuzhen Declaration on participants provoked an international backlash over concerns it was attempting to make the international community complicit in even sharper restrictions on Internet usage China seems poised to impose under the country's new Internet Tsar, Lu Wei.

Missed the news? Joining us to bring everyone up-to-date with a combination of insider-gossip and academic analysis is Rogier Creemers of Oxford University, founder of the China Copyright and Media Blog, and one of the unsung heroes of China-watching given his penchant for producing rapid and accurate translations of important Chinese policy documents and speeches that tend to be ignored by the rest of the press. Welcome Rogier!

Qing Wen - 出色 and 优秀

ChinesePod - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Banned but Booming: Golf in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 01:00

"If you're not working in China, you're probably not working at all...."

Despite China's legal moratorium on the development of the golf industry, a policy driven by concerns over illegal farmland seizures and the potential misallocation of agricultural land and water resources, the golf industry has experienced an unprecedented frenzy of development over the past thirty years, with the very government organs that overtly disapprove of the luxury sport often promoting its growth, leading to a situation where not even the central government has more than a vague inkling of how many courses actually exist in the country.

With rumors of an impending crackdown on the industry circulating in the industry though, and questions of whether this kind of growth will or can continue, we are delighted to be joined in the studio by Dan Washburn, former founder of The Shanghaiist, and now Chief Content Officer for the Asia Society in New York, where Dan has lived while working on his latest book: The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream.

Like Sinica? Don't forget that you can download this show and all of our previous shows as a standalone mp3 file. And if you have any suggestions on topics you'd like to see us tackle or just feel like yelling at Kaiser or Jeremy, feel welcome to write us anytime at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Sinica - Behind the Curtain at APEC

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 01:00

With tensions between the West and Russia running high over Ukraine, China and Japan still wrangling over the Diaoyu islands, and America and China fighting over pretty much the same old petty stuff, it's easy to be cynical about APEC. But this year's summit seemed to accomplish quite a lot, and not just cleaning up the air in Beijing for a week or so. This week on Sinica, we look behind the public politics with an insider's guide to what was really going on.

Joining Jeremy and Kaiser for this analysis of the scene-behind-the-scene are two great political analysts and commentators tied closely to American geostrategy in Asia: Evan Feigenbaum, Vice President of the Paulson Institute and adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, along with Damien Ma, fellow at the Paulson Institute and author of In Line Behind a Billion People.

Like Sinica? As always, let us remind you that we have a special RSS feed that feeds out nothing but Sinica shows if you're interested in subscribing to the podcast that way. We also welcome comments and feedback by email at sinica@popupchinese.com and are pleased to make this show available as a standalone mp3 file for everyone interested in downloading it, or passing it along to friends. And thanks for listening!

Absolute Beginners - 10 signs you may have an asshole for a husband

Popup Chinese Lessons - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 03:40

As the whirlwind romance that preceded Mary's honeymoon faded, it became increasing clear that her ill-fated marriage had thrust her into a conjugal death march. Yet despite her husband's passive aggressive hostility, Mary lived in the hope that sheer enthusiasm could somehow break through his frustrated silence, and so continued to ask after him and express an interest in his affairs, and all despite the fact that -- let's face it -- the man was an unremitting asshole.

Sinica - Damned Lies, Statistics and China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 01:00

In a country where every single province frequently reports annual growth rates exceeding the national average, and the country's premier is applauded for publicly ignoring his own National Bureau of Statistics, it isn't hard to take Mark Twain's famous aphorism about "lies, damned lies and statistics" to heart as practical advice for navigating the complexities of life in China.

But since this raises the question of how anyone is supposed to know anything at all about this place we live, this week on Sinica Jeremy Goldkorn is delighted to be joined by Matthew Crabbe, author of the recent book Myth-Busting China's Numbers, who brings us a lot of delicious anecdotes on just how crazy Chinese statistics can get, along with practical advice on sorting out the reliable from the purely fantastical. And just when you would think the podcast can't get any better? That's when the surprise guest happens.

Final Note: the standalone mp3 download is here if you need it. If you've been listening to Sinica for a while you may also remember our recent interview with Sascha Matuszak about martial arts in China. As mentioned in that podcast as well as this one, Sascha is running a Kickstarter to fund a documentary video on the subject. If you're interested in checking it out or supporting the project, you can find details of the project online right here.

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