BDM: Not As Sexy As The SharkThe Little Red Podcast add
Reviled in the West, the slimy bottom-feeders known as sea cucumbers or bêche-de-mer (BDM) have recently been described as the ‘the gold of the sea’. Skyrocketing demand for this prized feature of Chinese wedding banquets has driven up the price of bêche-de-mer (lit. ‘worm of the sea’), causing knock-on impacts ranging from sea cucumber smuggling rings to a collapse in sea cucumber stocks to starvation in some parts of the world. In this episode we examine the cautionary tale posed by the fate of the sea cucumber with Kate Barclay and Michael Fabinyi from the University of Technology Sydney. China’s growing appetite for these slow-moving slugs has sparked ecological and social crises, with at least 24 countries trying to close their sea cucumber fisheries following the sudden collapse of stocks. Photo credit: Sarahhsia, flickr.
Party Poopers: Can Art Bring Down the Government?The Little Red Podcast add
A new brand of Chinese political artists is using the once borderless expanse of cyberspace as a virtual studio, a collaboration space and a digital museum, crowdsourcing and sharing work about China that could never be shown there. But as Beijing’s influence - and censorship – extends beyond China’s borders, being in exile is no longer is a guarantee of safety. As these artists struggle to find ways to vault the Great Firewall, the Chinese government is developing increasingly sophisticated censorship methods. In this episode, Graeme and Louisa talk to the mysterious Chinese artist, Badiucao, who works under a pseudonym, and Sampson Wong from Hong Kong’s Add Oil Team about how the Chinese state corrals and controls the imagination of its people.
Muzzling the Academy: Policemen, Spooks and Vanishing ArchivesThe Little Red Podcast add
Beijing's failed attempt to force Cambridge University Press to censor its own catalogue is just one prong in an escalating campaign to tighten control over China's recent historical record. Western scholars of China are struggling to function in an environment with little access to historical records and increasingly sophisticated censorship of electronic archives, as well as more overt surveillance of their activities and pressure on their Chinese research partners. With censorship and intimidation reaching ever-greater levels of intensity, some are even drawing comparisons with Emperor Qianlong's literary inquisition of the 18th century. Louisa and Graeme are joined by Glenn Tiffert from the Hoover Institution, Dayton Lekner from the University of Melbourne, and Timothy Cheek and Morgan Rocks from the University of British Columbia to discuss their recent experiences researching China.
Haters Gonna Hate: Nationalism on Demand in China and JapanThe Little Red Podcast add
Under Xi Jinping, history in China is a moving feast. This year, China’s Ministry of Education increased the length of the Second World War by six years, to ‘place a greater emphasis on China’s ‘red revolution.’ And from September, China's rolling out new school textbooks which claim disputed islands in the East China Sea as their own. To drill down into bitter history between the two countries, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Richard MacGregor, who is releasing a new book called Asia's Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century and a scholar of Chinese nationalism, the University of Melbourne’s Sow-Keat Tok. In this episode, we unpick the toxic relations between China and Japan, and ask what role the United States has played in fueling tensions. Could the world’s three largest economies be sleepwalking towards war in the East China Sea?
Cooking the News: Xi’s Digital FutureThe Little Red Podcast add
The Chairman of Everything is tightening his grip over the media, pushing control into new spheres ahead of the 19th Party Congress. As the state-run media – traditionally the tongue and throat of the party – moves onto digital platforms, innovations in control include a welter of new regulations and theoretical concepts like the idea of cyber-sovereignty. Louisa and Graeme are joined by David Bandurski and Qian Gang of the China Media Project to discuss innovations in news production and control in China. Also the question of Xi: he’s no longer Xi Dada, but will President be Xi be defined by a Theory, a Thought or an Ism?
Class: the new dirty wordThe Little Red Podcast add
Chairman Mao urged the Chinese people to never forget class struggle. But they not only forgot, they stopped using the word at all. Louisa and Graeme talk to Wanning Sun from the University of Technology, Sydney and and Yingjie Guo from Sydney University about how class has become a dirty word in China. So much for the workers, peasants and soldiers; in today's China, everyone wants to be middle class, even the new rich. Class anxiety is rife as class mobility is ever harder as traditional routes of advancement shut down. And class is at the heart of one of the Communist party's biggest conundrums: how to square its official Marxist-Leninist ideology with the consumption-centered society that's emerging on the ground. Will President Xi Jinping, who often finds himself compared to Mao, ever be tempted to revisit this part of the Chairman's legacy?
Hong Kong: the new Tibet?The Little Red Podcast add
As Hong Kong gears up to mark the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty, the country's number 3 leader Zhang Dejiang has made clear Beijing's intention to tighten its control over Hong Kong. He has spoken recently of the need to enact anti-subversion legislation and warned against any attempts to turn Hong Kong into an independent entity. But Hong Kong localists made a strong showing in the September 2016 election, winning six seats and securing 20 percent of the vote. In this episode, we look at the roots of the localism movement, and what impact China’s approach is having. As Beijing signals greater control, are parallels emerging between the Basic Law and the 17-point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet signed in 1951? Louisa and Graeme discuss Hong Kong’s future with Kevin Carrico of Macquarie University, who is writing a book on Hong Kong's localist movement.
Feng Chongyi: Research Is Not A Dinner PartyThe Little Red Podcast add
Sydney academic Feng Chongyi, whose detention in Guangzhou created international headlines, warns that his experience is designed to intimidate academics researching topics deemed sensitive by Beijing. He describes heightened surveillance by China's state security apparatus and increasing curbs on his research into human rights lawyers. Feng, who is still a Chinese citizen and Communist Party member, attributes his release to the fortuitous timing of Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia, combined with media attention and a high-profile campaign. He firmly rejects the notion that backroom negotiations were instrumental in securing his release. Feng is issuing a warning that China's influence risks influencing academic and press freedom in Australia.
The best officials money can buy: China's crony capitalismThe Little Red Podcast add
Is President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign working, or is it simply driving corruption underground? This episode we're joined by Minxin Pei from Claremont McKenna College, who's released a forensic analysis of China's corruption market, with insights gained from an examination of court cases. Among his insights are the fact that 84% of convicted officials were promoted while engaged in corruption, those caught taking bribes had been doing so for an average of nine years, and the higher the level of corruption the longer officials get away with it. Pei not only argues that China has reached the late stage of regime decay, he's even willing to estimate how much longer he believes Communist rule can last.
To Be Demolished Is Glorious: China's Resettlement IndustryThe Little Red Podcast add
China is a world leader in resettlement, having resettled 80 million people since 1949. Before 2020, a further 100 million people will be moved for environmental protection, poverty relief and development. So who ultimately benefits from China's massive resettlement programmes? And has China invented an entirely new academic discipline - resettlement science - to provide academic respectability to its far-reaching resettlement campaigns. This episode we're joined by Brooke Wilmsen, an expert on the Three Gorges Dam from LaTrobe University and Sarah Rogers from the University of Melbourne, who has worked extensively in Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi, to drill down into China's resettlement industry.
China's Little Emperors: Art Vs ScienceThe Little Red Podcast add
In this episode we visit a theatre, a prison and an analyst's chair to ask: are China's little emperors really spoiled and lonely, or is this just lazy stereotyping? We meet Wang Chong, who's directing Little Emperors; a play written by Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott about how one family has been affected by the One Child policy. It's now playing at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. We're also joined by Lisa Cameron, a behavioural economist from Monash University, who has tested how altruistic, risk loving and neurotic the little emperors are, and come up with surprising findings that suggest the One Child policy could be one factor driving China's lonely hearts to crime.
China, East Timor and the New Great GameThe Little Red Podcast add
In this episode, Graeme and Louisa talk with Michael Leach from Swinburne University about China's increasingly close military and diplomatic ties with Asia's newest country: East Timor or Timor Leste. Unresolved maritime boundaries, aid on tap, and millions of barrels of oil make for a new Great Game on the boundary of Asia and the Pacific.
Trashing The Brand? Australian universities and the lure of Chinese moneyThe Little Red Podcast add
Graeme and Louisa are joined by James Leibold, Paul MacGregor and Louise Edwards to discuss the impact of mainland Chinese money on Australia's higher education sector. What happens when a cash-strapped university sector meets mainland Chinese investors with deep party connections and even deeper pockets?
Control and Capture: Taming Overseas Chinese MediaThe Little Red Podcast add
“China’s not trying to influence, it’s trying to change Australia.”
This week we hear from insiders about the range of strategies used by the Chinese government to tame the Chinese-language media in Australia, from cooption to intimidation to outright censorship. Speakers: Raymond Chow, Sameway Magazine; John Fitzgerald, Swinburne University; Yan Xia, Vision China Times
Correction: During the podcast, Professor Fitzgerald mentions a deal between "Fox" and CCTV. He was referring to Sky News, an Australian 24-hour news channel.
The Politics of Language on the Tibetan Plateau, RemasteredThe Little Red Podcast add
Gavin, our sound maestro, couldn't live with the distortion on the intro music any long, so here's an updated version. It's even catchier than the first time around!
The politics of language on the Tibetan plateauThe Little Red Podcast add
In this episode, Graeme and Louisa talk with anthropologist Gerald Roche about the prospects for the survival of non-Tibetan languages in the Tibetan areas of the PRC. You can follow Gerald's research at https://twitter.com/GJosephRoche
Have China's greenhouse gas emissions peaked?The Little Red Podcast add
For the first episode of The Little Red Podcast, Graeme interviews Fergus Green, former research assistant to Prof. Nicholas Stern, who explains how changes in the Chinese economy are affecting China's greenhouse gas emissions