Little Red Podcast

Keeping the Faith?

Xi's deal with the Holy See

The Vatican and China have signed a deeply controversial agreement on the appointment of bishops, ending the cold war that has frozen ties since 1950. That deep freeze led to schisms between the official and underground churches, with some clergy persecuted for decades and the church refusing to recognize Beijing's handpicked bishops. But the new agreement has divided the faithful yet again, with some fearing Catholicism is facing calamity as President Xi Jinping tightens control over religion. To explore what’s behind this sudden rapprochement and what it could mean for China’s 12 million Catholics, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Jeremy Clarke, a former Catholic priest who has researched China's historical relations with the Holy See.

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.

Little Red Podcast

Geopolitics on the New Silk Road

Is the Belt and Road Initiative China’s Marshall plan?

 

There’s no escaping China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It’s been written into China’s constitution, and more than 70 countries from Pakistan to Papua New Guinea have signed up. But what is it? A modern-era Marshall Plan, a geopolitical bid for China to build a new international power bloc, a new model for Chinese colonialism, or an all-encompassing bumper sticker for Chinese-brokered development projects? To unpack the motivations behind Xi Jinping’s highest profile foreign policy initiative, Louisa Lim and Graeme Smith are joined by Peter Cai of the Lowy Institute and Dirk van der Kley from the Australian National University, in this episode of the Little Red Podcast:

 

Little Red Podcast

War on the Uyghurs

An unfolding crisis in Xinjiang – Louisa Lim

The little boy sat mute beside his father. Just three years old, he was completely still, not fidgeting, just staring straight ahead. His sister, four years old, sobs uncontrollably through the night, and refuses to eat. There is no comfort for these children. Though they are in Adelaide, Australia, their mother – an ethnic Uyghur – is in a re-education camp in Xinjiang. Their father’s voice breaks when he says, through a translator, “I had to tell them your Mum has to be kept by Chinese authorities. A little child – what can he understand?”

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.