Little Red Podcast

Hotpot Wars

Tensions bubble in the battle for China’s Culinary Soul

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

China has been engulfed by a controversy that strikes at the very heart of the nation—forget the South China Sea, rampant human rights abuses, even a looming economic crash. Last month food critic Chua Lam, otherwise known as the Food God, called for the end to the PRC’s most beloved dining craze: hot pot. The backlash has been immense, with enraged Weibo users calling for Chua Lam’s abolition. To discuss whether hotpot is indeed an uncultured blight on China’s rich culinary landscape, cookbook author extraordinaire Fuchsia Dunlop joins Louisa and Graeme. Also there's a chance to win a Little Red Podcast mug in our first ever competition. Snap a pic of the dish you'd like to disappear and send it to us on Twitter or Facebook to be a contender. ∎

Little Red Podcast

Power Shifts in Xi Jinping’s China

New balances of power, leveraged to the limit

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

The Chairman of Everything Xi Jinping has emerged from the annual parliamentary meetings facing a rough year ahead.  China's economy is growing at its slowest in nearly three decades, amid a massive trade war and spiralling local debt, with rumblings of discontent from delegates about everything from the Belt and Road Initiative to Made in China 2025.  Louisa and Graeme are joined by Andrew Collier of Orient Capital Research and Ryan Manuel of Hong Kong University, who argue that both political and economic decentralisation is underway, laying Xi vulnerable to forces beyond his control.

Little Red Podcast

China’s Challenge for the Pacific

Old rivalries and a new Great Game in the Pacific theater

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

The Pacific is seeing a flurry of diplomatic activity: Australia is “stepping up,” New Zealand has ordered a “Pacific reset,” and even Great Britain is reopening missions in its former Pacific colonies. The reason for their sudden interest is simple: China. If Beijing comes good on $4 billion in aid pledges, it could overtake Canberra as the largest donor to the Pacific. Often missed in this new Great Game are the concerns of Pacific Islanders, looking to make the best of this fresh interest in their blue Pacific. To discuss the Pacific’s China challenge, Graeme and Louisa are joined by Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Dame Meg Taylor, as well as Pacific academics Patrick Matbob and Transform Aquora and former Chinese diplomat Denghua Zhang. ∎

Little Red Podcast

#XiToo

Chinese Feminism and The Party’s Hyper-Masculine Reboot

China is becoming a more unequal place for women, in 2018 slipping for a fifth consecutive year in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap index.  Chairman Mao may have proclaimed that women can hold up half the sky, but the Communist party under Xi Jinping holds a far narrower view of female roles, cracking down on feminist activists and backing traditional values.  The impact is economic too, with research showing that being born female in China has a bigger impact on your earnings than any other variable, including family wealth. This month, Louisa and Graeme are joined by two experts on the origins of China's gender divide, Leta Hong Fincher, who's just published a book called Betraying Big Brother and economist Jane Golley from the Australian National University.