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It’s been a year since Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin announced the “no-limits” friendship between China and Russia. What drives the relationship and which side benefits from it more?In the first episode of a two-part series, The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, assess how the relationship between Mr Xi and Mr Putin has evolved over the past year and ask whether the friendship has any boundaries.They also speak to Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University, about how China sees Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and whether that view has changed over the course of this year.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
China is celebrating the lunar new year. The Ministry of Transport predicts that by February 15th over 2bn journeys will be made by Chinese heading to their home towns–and for some migrant workers, it'll be the first time they've returned since the start of the covid-19 pandemic three years ago. The Economist's Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, has a standing ticket for a train ride that’s part of the biggest annual human migration on the planet. He asks passengers on a two-day train from Guangzhou to Urumqi about the economic and emotional challenges involved in going home. He and Alice Su, our senior China correspondent, also hear from Han Dongfang, founder of the China Labour Bulletin, about a pay problem that's gripping the country's most vulnerable workers.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The recent surge in covid-19 cases has exposed the gulf between China's urban and rural healthcare system. How vast is the gap and what is being done to bridge it? The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, hear how doctors in cities and villages are coping with the rise in covid infections. Winnie Yip, professor of the practice of global health policy and economics at Harvard School of Public Health, assesses the Chinese government’s plans to revitalise healthcare. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Drum Tower: The new wave

Drum Tower: The new wave

2023-01-1037:512

Since the zero-covid policy was scrapped, the virus has spread across China at a blistering pace. The medical system and crematoria are overwhelmed, but official data on infections and deaths is hazy. With so little transparency, is it possible to discover the true scale of the crisis? And, could this latest wave have been prevented?The Economist’s Beijing bureau, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, speak to our China correspondent, Gabriel Crossley, who’s visited a hospital struggling to cope with the influx of patients. Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses why Chinese authorities continue to put politics above science.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
“Spring Landscape”, a poem written over 1,000 years ago, remains one of China’s most celebrated literary works. Composed by the 8th Century Tang dynasty poet Du Fu, it is still memorised by every schoolchild in the country. Why is the poem still so resonant today? The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, consider whether the ambiguity of classical Chinese makes it ideal for poetry. Our deputy editor Edward Carr explores how close he can get to the poem in translation. Nicolas Chapuis, a former ambassador to China who is translating Du Fu’s complete works into French, examines the meaning of one particular couplet of the poem. And Eileen Chengyin Chow of Duke University takes us outside China’s poetry canon. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
China’s energy security concerns are undermining its ambitious climate pledges. We try to understand the contradiction from the perspective of China’s leaders. And, in a country where activism can be dangerous, we find out how environmentalists are working within the system. Is China serious about climate change? The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, talk to Ma Jun from the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, an NGO. Our environment editor Catherine Brahic talks to Li Shuo of Greenpeace East Asia.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer.We hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as we enjoy making it. We're always thinking of ways to improve and to do that we would like to know more about our listeners. Please help us by filling out this short questionnaire.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Drum Tower: Zero no more

Drum Tower: Zero no more

2022-12-0542:249

The zero-covid policy, a source of pride for Xi Jinping, has sparked protests across China. Public frustration is growing, covid cases are rising, and confusion reigns. How did zero-covid turn into a trap? How can China escape it?  The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, talk to Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at Hong Kong University, about the lessons from the omicron wave there.We hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as we enjoy making it. We're always thinking of ways to improve and to do that we would like to know more about our listeners. Please help us by filling out this short questionnaire. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Protests in cities across China show there is real anger over the zero-covid policy and the party's intrusion into every corner of people's lives. A neighbourhood surveillance system is mobilising people to police one another. Could public unrest threaten Xi Jinping’s plans for total control? The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, hear from somebody who has lived through street-level surveillance in China's most tightly policed region of Xinjiang. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Xi Jinping and Joe Biden met face-to-face for their first time as national leaders. Both men spoke about feeling the eyes of the world on them. What does the world need from this relationship? The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, talk to Wang Yong of Peking University and Daniel Russell, a former adviser to President Obama who has been in the room with Mr Xi and Mr Biden. The Economist’s Banyan columnist Dominic Zeigler analyses how their relationship impacts South-East Asia.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
As China re-shapes the existing world order, its officials argue that the values behind it are Western and not universal. Western leaders worry that China is merely trying to make the world safe for dictatorships. Do universal values exist?The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, talk to Zhou Bo, a former senior Chinese army colonel, and to Zha Jianying, a Chinese writer in New York. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Introducing Drum Tower

Introducing Drum Tower

2022-11-0702:182

Two of The Economist's China correspondents, Alice Su and David Rennie, analyse the stories at the heart of this vast country and examine its influence beyond its borders.They’ll be joined by our global network of correspondents and expert guests to examine how everything from party politics to business, technology and culture is reshaping China and the world.For almost seven centuries the beats of China’s most famous drum tower, or gulou, kept people in Beijing to time. The Economist’s latest podcast keeps you up to date every Monday.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/drumoffer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Comments (4)

Mark Perkins

I love listening to your discussions. Thanks for providing us in depth information.

Dec 9th
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Chris Knowles

Stopped listening after about quarter of an hour, just boring chit chat

Dec 6th
Reply

Oliver

Excellent episode! It sometimes feels that the Chinese government's narrative of universal human rights being not universal but actually "western" is over-represented even in western media. It's a smartly made argument through, as it resonates too well in western societies which in recent decades became more self-refelective of the historical damages their cultural imperialism did to non-western societies. But universal human rights are NOT cultural ideas. And when people not governments are being asked, then almost everyone would agree. Best proof of that being Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Dec 1st
Reply

🤨

That policy fellow at the Asian Institute said both Biden and xi are patriots. Only one of them is. All I tell you is -- xi's father was prosecuted during the cultural revolution and then he (along millions of youth) were sent to the countryside by mao. That idiot still devoted himself to the damn party.

Nov 22nd
Reply
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