This week on Sinica, Chinese economic growth is on the rocks, ASEAN tensions are breaking through the facade of East-Asian political unity, a major Chinese telecom company is implicated in an international trade scandal, and man-eating fish have escaped into the wilds of Guangxi, prompting a profusion of local get-rich-quick schemes and threatening our plans to take a break from it all with a swimming vacation in southern China.

Joining host Jeremy Goldkorn for this week's wide-ranging show is public relations expert and amateur ichthyologist Will Moss, a frequent Sinica guest you might also recognize through his other life as a blogger on Imagethief and We're also delighted to be joined by Tania Branigan, Beijing correspondent for The Guardian and now-connoisseur of fish-eats-man stories.

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 said on
July 20, 2012
Hi Jeremy!

Nice one. I've read so much garbage on this piranha story, but you guys nailed it. The story was amusing on one level, but I'm glad you followed up with the whole invasive species issue.

But I still haven't seen anyone mention the real reason the local government panicked. It was certainly not out of concern for the welfare of octogenarian swimmers, but more about the upcoming 2nd International Water Sports Carnival in which they have invested millions. The city has been promoting the river as a major international sports centre for the last few years, with some success, and I'm sure they saw all of that (and their careers) being chewed up by the piranha.

Ken (Liuzhou Laowai)
 said on
July 21, 2012
Ken, great perspective on the story. The Guardian needs you on the Liuzhou beat!
 said on
July 24, 2012
Can you list the recommendations again? I couldn't catch Ms. Branigan's. Thanks.
 said on
July 28, 2012

GDP growth dips below 8%, China Real Time Report

South Africa: Chinese Account of Attacks on Foreign-Owned Businesses, Global Voices

Meltdown for Asean over South China Sea, Asia Sentinel

~Piranhas in Liuzhou~

Chinese piranha attack leads to fish hunt, The Guardian

Attack of the Eat People Fish, Liuzhou Laowai

¥1000 Bounty per Piranha, Liuzhou Laowai

Piranhas on Probation, Liuzhou Laowai

Piranhas become get-rich-quick scheme, Global Times


China’s Booming Economy Is Sparking and Accelerating Biological Invasions by Jianqing Ding, Richard N. Mack, Ping Lu, Mingxun Ren, And Hongwen Huang (BioScience, April 2008 / Vol. 58 No. 4 )

Invasive species in China – an overview by Xie Yan, Li Zhenyu, William P. Gregg And Li Dianmo (Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 2001)

~ZTE Iran gate~

Coverup? Huawei Should Send Its PR Bill to ZTE,


Jeremy's recommendation

Hadrian's Wall - Melvyn Bragg 'In Our Time' podcast

Tania's recommendation

From the Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra – review by Julia Lovell

Will's recommendation

Hamish McKenzie's China reporting for Pando Daily

Mark Lesson Studied