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Poking with Chopsticks (China Podcast)

Poking with Chopsticks (China Podcast)

By Qin Liwen & Marcel Grzanna
How dictatorships work -
Freelance writers Qin Liwen and Marcel Grzanna discuss Chinese government's authoritarian policies and strategies and put it into perspective with their own real-life-experiences
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#22 A political power game - Emperor Xi ist exercising his will whilst tens of millions are locked up in their houses
Lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities are apparently intended to combat the corona virus. But the main question is whether President Xi is powerful enough to become president for life. For that purpose nothing else matters. Not even more and more raging foreigners willing to leave the country.
April 29, 2022
#21 New World Order - Why Chinese censorship only applies one way
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a welcome opportunity for China's domestic propaganda to tell a story of a needled Russian regime. For that purpose it even accepts flooding of it's scoial media platforms with fake news.   
March 08, 2022
#20 The Games must go on - How CCP pulls athletes through the arena at five rings
For the Chinese government the Beijing Winter Olympics are less about sports. The event is a stage to demonstrate the superiority of its authoritarian political system. The IOC passionately helps to cover up all the dirt.
January 28, 2022
#19 Power, sex and punishment - What happens next with tennis star Peng Shuai?
A former Wimbledon champion goes missing in China after disclosing accusations of sexual coercion by former high-ranking party official Zhang Gaoli. The case displays the country's leadership's disdain of #MeToo. What will happen to Peng Shuai after the Beijing Olympics?  
December 02, 2021
#18 Authoritarian self-disassembly - Has China's rise already come to an end?
Tech-companies, fan culture, online gaming - for the Chinese government evil for society and threat to its power monopoly is couching everywhere. Instead of providing little spaces for society to breathe, Beijing prefers to opt for radical bans. The autocrats just never learned integrative politics. How long should this work?
October 11, 2021
#17 Lying flat - A relaxing concept that stresses Chinese censors
More and more Chinese youngsters prefer chill time to working hours. They are fed up with a system that demands them to totally submit their personal desires to a company that doesn't care for them. The government though sees another threat for its power monopoly. Although lying flat could support the plan to spur the birth ratio. 
August 17, 2021
#16 Quo vadis, Hong Kong? - One year National Security Law
The contours of the future Hong Kong are becoming increasingly visible. Beijing's political purge cuts freedom and tramples on civil rights. Quo vadis, Hong Kong?
July 18, 2021
#15 Look who's back - The return of the Lab Leak Theory
For a year Chinese government was successful in containing the Lab Leak Theory. Now that 18 month have gone and still no origin of the Corona virus has been detected tides are changing. 
June 10, 2021
#14 No girls wanted - The One Child Policy disaster
Chinese scholars propose single women move back to countryside to marry one of the millions of bachelors in the villages. It's only one radical idea to fight the symptoms of China's gender gap provoced by it's decade long birth control. To block women from better education is another one.
May 03, 2021
#13 Wake up on Xinjiang! - It's a genocide
Chinese government's policies to contain Uyghur's culture and population in Xinjiang is not simply a violation of human rights. Academics, politicians, and governments around the world start calling it a genocide.
March 18, 2021
Quick-Poke #1 - A glimpse into a "China-would-be"
In China for a few days opened a window for free discussions. It closed as quick as it had appeared.
February 14, 2021
#12 Spamouflage Dragon - Chinese softpower hit by regulators
China Global Television Network has been revoked its licence in the UK. One tool of softpower less for Beijing that pushes to enhance its influence abroad. Meanwhile a former Danish cultural minister experiences first hand how Chinese government's desire for control is reaching out to his doorstep.                                 
February 09, 2021
#11 People above the law - How Chinese negotiation skills are shaped
The EU and China signed an agreement on investment to further open up their markekts. While Europe gains less, it's China who stars on international stage. Some of Chinese government's concessions aren't even painful to Beijing.
January 24, 2021
#10 The China challenge - Soft power won't do it for US president-elect
Joe Biden has to deal with a determined opponent on the other side of the Pacific ocean. Hoping for engagement of an authoritarian Chinese government by good will is doomed to fail.
November 24, 2020
#9 Powder keg Taiwan - China's security issue with a beautiful democracy in its front garden
Taiwan is THE role model for 1,4 billion people in mainland that Chinese ethnic is very well able to run a functioning democracy althoug told otherwise by their leaders for decades. That's pain in the neck for Beijing that wants to get rid of this liberal abscess. Therefore military action against Taiwan is more and more likely.
October 16, 2020
#8 EU strikes back - Giving China's FM a hard time
Wang Yi's visit to Europe was pain in the neck for China's foreign minister. Criticism everywhere. No wonder since the Chinese government messed up 2020 quite a lot so far on the international stage. Namely Hongkong, Xinjiang and Corona
September 11, 2020
#7 Fun with the EU - Beijing enjoys Europe's cowardice over Hongkong
Chinese government implements a new security law in Hongkong and ignores its obligation for the city's autonomy. Still the European Union can't bring itself to take consequences and prefers to continue raising its concerns. Meanwhile Beijing might laugh out loud over Europe's cowardice.
July 07, 2020
#6 Does Germany really depend on China?
European leaders and enterprises are afraid to draw the Chinese government's anger towards themselves. They fear economical repercussions that might cost revenues and jobs at home. Still they seem to forget that China is vulnerable itself. 
June 18, 2020
#5 Are Chinese leaders driven by fear or ambition? China Podcast
Tensions are rising between the US and China in the Corona age. Where does it end? We're already entering a stage of cold war, while Chinese scholars even warn Beijing to prepare for an armed confrontation. The Communist Party seems more determined than ever to not give in. The memories of the century of humiliation shaped the nations will for vindication.
May 18, 2020
Are we racist when we criticize China?
Western societies too busy with themselves in their apologetic approach towards China oversee the great masterplan of the Communist Party that blames us of being racist and biased. The strategy works out well. Not only that we watch Beijing's autocrats successfully undermine the United Nations agencies. We are already too paralysed to block China's access to a powerful position in the UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group. Delivers Corona the wake-up-call for us? 
April 23, 2020
Production of what they call efficiency
Liwen explains why in China everybody has to take care of himself in times of crisis and remembers an interview with the director of the remake of the film drama "The Wave". Meanwhile Marcel feels the impacts of authoritarianism are coming closer and sees the time has come for democratically raised citizens to live up to their responsibilities to save us from backslides into dictatorship.
April 08, 2020
Propaganda warfare: Twist and shout
Chinese government's huge propaganda machine aims to replace facts with fantasy in the ongoing Corona crisis. Liwen and Marcel analyze the strategy and capabilities of the world's most powerful authoritarian regime to twist and invent news to it's favor and shout it out loud to the world.
March 24, 2020
A dictatorship's fear of a deadly virus
Freelancing writer Qin Liwen and former China correspondent Marcel Grzanna team up for their new podcast on the mechanisms in the largest and most perfectionist authoritarian system in the world. Episode 1 gives a realistic, detailed and exciting description on the current situation in China with an invisible enemy threatening millions of people and the power monopoly of the Communist Party. 
March 04, 2020