As the southern Yangtze region struggles with its worst drought in a century, China's grand plans for water diversion projects and its Three Gorges Dam have come under renewed scrutiny, as have expectations Beijing can maintain economic stability. For beyond the environmental disaster wracking southern China, questions are growing of whether Beijing is veering towards a similar fate itself, with city planners expecting a thirty percent increase in the capital's population in a region that's already far beyond its carrying capacity.

Joining Sinica host Kaiser Kuo to discuss this year's China drought are Sinica stalwarts Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei and Gady Epstein of Forbes magazine. China entrepreneur and frequent guest Bill Bishop also joins to share his thoughts on a situation that "is a game changer". Join us for a podcast that talks about China's ongoing water problems, and then moves on to other flashpoint issues: environmental unrest in Inner Mongolia, and a tragic bombing in Fuzhou.

We've reminded you countless times that you can signup for an account and get Sinica to download automatically to your computer every time it's release. So let's do something different today. If you use Twitter and want to join the constant stream of discussion about China news, we cordially invite you to follow Kaiser Kuo at @KaiserKuo, Jeremy at @danwei, Gady Epstein at @gadyepstein and Bill Bishop at @niubi. Oh yes, and @relevantorgans. And here is the standalone MP3 file.
 said on
June 5, 2011
Hold the I to understand that Johnathon Watt's house was raided by the police.... in China...while he was naked? Was this incident discussed on past Sinica episodes. I am rather interested in the specific article and/or statement made to rouse such attention.
 said on
June 6, 2011

If I remember correctly, in an earlier show that featured Jonathan, Kaiser and crew kept making fun of him for either taking off his shirt in the studio or threatening to do so.

That said, it doesn't surprise me he had this experience, especially since his work touches on an area (environmental degradation) that is politically sensitive by virtue of being a threat to regional economic interests. I have a friend who was doing research into labour unrest in northern China who had the police force their way into his hotel room at two in the morning and keep him up for three hours while they looked through his computer and all of his research.

This was in a second or third tier city. What made the story interesting is that the next day this guy got a visit from a high-ranking local official to "apologize" for the intrusion and "offer assistance" with his research.

 said on
June 7, 2011

That's interesting. It sounds like the Chinese government first strong arms the journalists with the underlings and then sends in the high-rollers for damage control. one of my Chinese friends from 青岛 went with her American husband on a trip back home to see her family. They were both questioned in customs for several hours about the Fa Lun Gong, a group they have absolutely nothing to do with. Afterwords, they were invited to a government dinner in Beijing where the Chinese equivalent of the FBI cordially milked them for more info (info they did not have) on the going-ons of Fa Lun Gong in the U.S. over a plate of 饺子。

Still, I'm proud to say the U.S. holds the record for embarrassingly unsubtle intelligence gathering. When the Nation of Islam gained major traction with African Americans in the 40's the FBI sent an undercover agent to one of their meetings. Well that sounds like a fairly reasonable tactic, right? Instead of highering an African American, the FBI sent one of their white agents in black face. Needless to say the "under cover" agent didn't do to much intelligence gathering that day, much less get admitted into the meeting. At one point in the U.S. we were so dumb that we sent Al Jolson to do recon.
 said on
July 10, 2011
Sinica, where are you?
 said on
July 11, 2011
hey jeffro73,

Jeremy and Kaiser have been out of town and swamped with work. Gady's also been traveling for work, so things have been pushed. Should be back up and running before the end of the month.


 said on
October 28, 2011
what is the name of the movie that you guys discussed in this podcast? the one about the PLA officer who blows himself up.

Mark Lesson Studied