This week on Sinica, we bring you part 3 of Kaiser and Jeremy’s interview with Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (see part 1 here, and part 2 here). In the final stretch of the conversation, Ambassador Freeman talks about U.S.-China military cooperation in the 1980s and discusses some aspects of that cooperation that might really surprise you. He also shares his unconventional take on the “three Ts” — Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen.
Jeremy: Maka Angola, a website “dedicated to the struggle against corruption and to the defense of democracy in Angola,” which has recently been covering the scandals of Isabel dos Santos, the richest woman on the African continent. See this article from July 23 — Isabel dos Santos: The fall of Africa’s richest woman — and also a Financial Times lunch series piece from 2013 on dos Santos here (paywall).
Chas: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard, and a series of seven books on Julius Caesar — here is a link to the first one — by Colleen McCullough. Chas finds much about the collapse of the Roman republic and the rise to autocracy of Julius Caesar “relevant to our current situation.”
Jeremy mentions that Mary Beard also edited a series called “Wonders of the World,” of which the entry on the Forbidden City by Geramie Barmé is “the single best thing to read” about the subject.
Kaiser: AliExpress, the Alibaba site where you can buy a huge range of products directly from China for surprisingly cheap.
This week, Kaiser and Jeremy continue their conversation with Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (see part 1 here), and focus on how he got interested in China, his fascination with the Chinese language, his early diplomatic career, his extraordinary experience as chief interpreter during Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, and his prescient predictions of how China would evolve after the normalization of relations with the U.S.
Stay tuned for the third part of this interview, coming next week!
Few living figures of U.S.-China relations are as legendary as Charles W. "Chas" Freeman, Jr., the chief interpreter for Richard Nixon’s world-changing 1972 visit to China, and a former top American diplomat in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia. On this, the first of a two-part Sinica interview, Chas Freeman discusses grand strategy — and the current “strategy deficit” — in U.S.-China relations, as well as technological innovation, nationalism, xenophobia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and many other topics.
Recommendations: While waiting for the next part of the interview, check out Ambassador Freeman’s book, Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, and also this extensive 1995 interview with Ambassador Freeman done by Charles Stewart Kennedy for The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.
Today, we’re very proud to present a new podcast in the Sinica network on SupChina. It’s called NüVoices, and it’s a show all about women in China, with a focus on women in media and the arts. It’s hosted by Alice Xin Liu, a translator originally from Beijing, who grew up in the U.K. before coming back to Beijing, and by Joanna Chiu, a Hong Kong Canadian journalist whom you’ve heard on Sinica a couple of times in the last year.
Today's show is all about #MeToo and sexual harassment cases in China, and features Yuan Yang, a correspondent for the Financial Times in Beijing. We hope you like it, that it makes you think – and that you’ll subscribe (iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, RSS feed). And keep an ear out in the coming weeks as we introduce more great podcasts about various facets of China.
This week on the Sinica Podcast, Kaiser and Jeremy chat with Paul French, the best-selling author of Midnight in Peking. Paul has just written an outstanding new book called City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir, in which he tells a captivating story of two foreigners rising to prominence through conducting shady business in the underworld of Shanghai in the 1930s — a chaotic yet fascinating period, when the city was still known as the Paris of the Orient, leading up to the bleak realities of the war with Japan.
Kaiser: The Anatomy of Fascism, by Robert O. Paxton.