Little Red Podcast

China’s Debt Bubble

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme The World Has Ever Seen?

 

China's recent impressive economic growth has been built largely on massive debt. According to some estimates, in just over a decade China has managed to rack up debt in excess of 300% of its GDP, effectively placing a ticking time-bomb under the world economy. Is China heading for a financial crisis, and if so when? In this episode, Graeme and Louisa are joined by Dinny MacMahon, the author of China’s Great Wall of Debt, and Tim Murray, co-founder of J Capital Research, who make predictions about China's financial future and explain how Beijing's strategy may be driving a stealthy renationalization of the Chinese economy.

Little Red Podcast

Stranger than Spy Fiction

China’s Espionage Industrial Complex – Louisa Lim



*LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE*

In another existence, Adam Brookes was recruited as a Chinese spy. The initial approach happened on a Sunday afternoon, as he was desultorily checking the newswires for stories at the BBC Beijing bureau where he worked as a correspondent. Knocking at the door was an elderly Chinese man bearing a briefcase. Inside it were classified neibu, or internal documents, which he pressed upon Brookes. “I was a little leery of this,” Brookes said, “So I took a look at them, and handed them back.”

Little Red Podcast

The Han-opticon

China’s dystopian surveillance networks – Louisa Lim

Surveillance drones disguised as birds. Cameras in classrooms monitoring students for signs of distraction. Sensors embedded in hats transmitting brainwave data from workers on the production line, to scan for depression, anxiety or rage. A network of cameras across rural villages, with the longterm aim to “turn every television set and mobile phone in the countryside into a security monitoring terminal.” All of these technologies are being piloted in China, as the country harnesses artificial intelligence and cutting-edge tech to transform itself into a modern surveillance state.

Little Red Podcast

Shaken But Not Stirred

The Chinese State and the Sichuan Earthquake – Louisa Lim

A single word defined state media coverage of the tenth anniversary of the massive Wenchuan quake that left 88,000 people dead or missing: Thanksgiving. With a complete lack of irony, the state news agency declared the anniversary to be Thanksgiving Day, with exhortations to “let the gushing springs of love flow without end,” even as the parents of children killed in the collapsed ruins of their shoddily constructed schools were forbidden from raising tombstones to remember their loved ones.