Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow earlier this week, his first journey abroad as China's new head of state, has raised interesting questions about China's ambitions in Asia, and coupled with Washington's "pivot to Asia" is resurrecting the spectre of a strategic standoff between southern and northern Asia around the world's two leading superpowers. How realistic is this vision? In today's show, we try our best to find out....

Joining Kaiser Kuo for this discussion are two longstanding followers of Chinese foreign policy: Ananth Krishnan who reports for The Hindu, and Jane Perlez who works as the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for the New York Times. We are also delighted to have Jeremy Goldkorn back in the studio again this week following his month-long trip to the Southern Hemisphere for some fresh air.

Enjoy Sinica? On a final note, if you want to download all of our shows to your computer you have two options. The first is to download them manually through links like this one that point to standalone mp3 files for each show. The second is to open iTunes, and click on "File" and then "Subscribe to Podcast". Provide this URL when prompted: http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica and iTunes will take care of the rest. Let us know if you run into any problems.
 said on
March 29, 2013
This just in:

China and Russia have reiterated the importance they attach to the status of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and are supporting their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

So much to "China and Russia opposing India and Brazil in UN reform". I was surprised by the way this issue was mentioned in passing without any elaboration, as if it were a well-known and clear-cut doctrine of Chinese foreign policy -- which would be new to be, because AFAIK, China has only voiced clear opposition to Japan's UN ambitions (and it had a fairly supportive attitude towards Germany's UN bid -- right up to the point when Merkel decided to have a photo-op with the Dalai Lama in her office).

Then, less than a hour after listening to the podcast, I came across the news above. So, what gives?
 said on
March 30, 2013
Err... but news including the Guardian, ChannelNewsAsia and Spiegel (Deutsch version) http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/leute/china-first-lady-peng-liyuan-von-einheimischem-exception-label-eingekleidet-a-891338.html wrote about Peng LY... I must say, she's remarkably photogenic for her age.
 said on
March 31, 2013
Recommendations

Jeremy:

Beyond Ricci, Rare books from the Jesuitica Collection at Boston College

http://ricci.bc.edu/

Kaiser:

Vietnam: A History, by Stanley Karnow

http://www.amazon.com/Vietnam-History-Stanley-Karnow/dp/0140265473

Jane:

A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, by Norman Lewis

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Apparent-Travels-Cambodia-Vietnam/dp/090787133X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364740633&sr=1-1&keywords=an+apparent+dragon

Ananth:

Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific

, by C. Raja Mohan

http://www.amazon.com/Samudra-Manthan-Sino-Indian-Rivalry-Indo-Pacific/dp/0870032712/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364740736&sr=1-1&keywords=sino-indian+rivalry+indo-pacific
 said on
April 1, 2013
Another great podcast. I would have to raise one objection though -- Kaiser's definition of "containment" doesn't appear to match the Cold War definition, i.e. preventing the expansion of Communist control (usually by the use of trade embargoes and military alliances).

While the U.S. may not be trying to "actively take down" the Chinese government, you can't deny that there are plenty of American politicians who argue that the U.S. should be trying to constrain any _territorial_ expansion by China, which would definitely fit part of the Cold War definition of containment, minus the usual economic embargoes.

Unfortunately, China's attempts to reclaim Qing Dynasty territory are inevitably going to be seen as expansionist by other countries, something that just can't be reconciled with the attitudes of regular Chinese citizens. And so, even though U.S. politicians may make claims they are not trying to contain China, from China's viewpoint they most certainly are!

 said on
May 19, 2013
Jeremy is right nobody cares about Chinas first lady.

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