Anyone living in China doubtless has a sense of the unholy number of people who seem to be involved in the trash trade here, and who will ferret away everything from your cardboard boxes to plastic bottles faster than you can consume their contents. And maybe you've seen the opposite end of the supply chain, in televised shots of cities like Guiyu which seem to resemble nothing so much as the inner circles of Dante's inferno, upended and ripping apart consumer electronics with all of hell's fury.

But what is the real story behind the trash trade in China, and why does it remind us of the Godfather movies at times? Today on Sinica we find out the answers to these questions and many more in an interview with Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade. We recorded this a few weeks ago during the Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival, and have been looking forward to today - the day we can finally bring it to your attention - for some time!

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 said on
May 12, 2014
I was allured by the title Trash Talk assuming it's about English/Chinese badmouth slang. But it's genuinely about TRASH! What a trash! The trash trade business is surely mind-blowing though:)
 said on
May 18, 2014
Here's a link to the Phillip Adams, Anwar Ibrahim discussion recommended in the podcast.

Although, I feel this discussion on Ukraine and 'irredentism' is rather more pointedly evocative of China today.

And if you're not sure what 'irredentism' is, leading Chinese general, Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, offers a nice example when he tells a Pentagon press briefing (Pentagon?) that China, "cannot afford to lose an inch" of what Feng claims is "ancestral territory". - Guardian online 18 May.
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