Chartbook Audio #3: China edition

Talking China with Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Cliffe and Emily Tamkin

Back in July I did a long piece for the New Statesman on China and its relations with the West.

One of the pleasures of doing this kind of writing is that it provokes further conversation and one of the pleasures of our new world of digital media is that these conversations can take place in public in a relaxed, unstructured podcast form.

The New Statesman China piece spawned two podcast episodes.

One with Jeremy Cliffe and Emily Tamkin of NS on their regular show.

The other – a particular privilege – with Kaiser Kuo of Sinica and SupChina.

The two conversations made for an interesting contrast. Jeremy, Emily and I, are none of us die-in-the-wool China experts, so the conversation goes to all sorts of interesting places.

Kaiser on the other hand is one of a cohort of brilliant folks devoted to the exchange of ideas and culture between China and the West. They face a break in their historical perspective and future outlook that is very profound – not a surprise, but nevertheless dramatic.

Uneven and combined development as a personal shock.

We saw one agonizing face of that shift on the runway in Kabul in recent days. You hear another version of it in conversations with someone like Kaiser. The tectonic plates of geopolitics are shifting and many are scrambling to adjust.

I hope the reference to Afghanistan is not taken as flippant or disrespectful. I mean it entirely seriously.

Delighted also to see that the New Statesman article triggered a response from the great China expert George Magnus. He insists quite rightly that China’s future is still very much uncertain.


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