It may be because we've yet to finish Kissinger's latest book on the subject, but we'll admit to having found life in China a bit more inscrutable than normal these past few weeks, and all evidence suggests we're not alone. Seen through the prism of Yahoo's mounting frustration with Alibaba's financial contortions or own own escalating difficulty accessing Gmail, we now wonder if - as Vice-Premier Wang Qishan commented in a recent interview on Charlie Rose - our Western perspective is too simple-minded to understand the strategic complexity of life in the Orient.

Feel the same way? Then why not join host Kaiser Kuo this week for a baffled look at the latest China news. Joining Kaiser to talk about these issues are regular Sinica stalwarts Jeremy Goldkorn from and Gady Epstein, whom we officially congratulate for his upcoming shift from Forbes to the Economist. Way to go, Gady!

On a final note, are you tired of constantly refreshing Popup Chinese to see when Sinica is released? For a more convenient way to listen, create an account on Popup Chinese and subscribe to the Sinica show in your list of podcasts, or subscribe to the Sinica show on iTunes using our standalone RSS feed: We also still have the show available from our site as a standalone mp3 file.
 said on
May 21, 2011
Oops, as someone pointed out, my recommendation at the end should be for, not Go directly to the Sanlitun Diary collection there at

- Kaiser

And sorry about my lame Kissinger impression!
 said on
May 22, 2011 guys pointed something out that has bothered me for some time. It's the shamefully low standard for Americans when it comes to speaking Chinese. This phenomenon is unfortunately self perpetuating. Chinese people act so amazed at the most pathetic attempt at Mandarin by an American that they tend to get an over inflated sense of their (cough) fluency. Americans, on the other hand, have much higher expectations for Chinese speaking English. Some are downright tyrannical in their expectations that Chinese in America should speak English, and speak it well. Chinese have withstood (slightly tongue in cheek analogy in progress) heavy linguistic selective pressure and they've adapted quite nicely. Americans, however, are the linguistic equivalent of the boy in the bubble.

 said on
May 24, 2011
For anyone else interested. Here's the link to the excerpt from Henry Kissinger's latest book in the WSJ:
 said on
May 26, 2011
So you finally said the 'f' word without bleeping it out--twice. That made me happy. Then you bleeped something out later on in the show.


Guess the Chinese government isn't the only one implementing unpredictable, confusing censorship.
 said on
May 26, 2011

Apple doesn't like us swearing at the kiddies, that's all.


 said on
May 27, 2011
Just finished the Sanlitun diaries on the site - gimmie more!
 said on
May 31, 2011
You know, I was just thinking recently about the whole "you don't understand China" defense and the way it's thrown around to brush off any kind of foreign criticism. I think it's kind of similar to saying that something has "Chinese characteristics" - i.e. which is usually just a way to justify halfheartedly copying the superficial aspects of something with none of the substance. But I'm just a 单纯 American, so what do I know?
Mark Lesson Studied