Alternative Voices on China — in English

Kaiser Kuo

Hosted by Kaiser Kuo, an American-born Chinese who has been living in Beijing for close to two decades, Popup Chinese’s Sinica podcast offers an interesting mix of topics.  I first learned about Kuo from a segment of “Americans in China” by “This American Life”.

The weekly hour-long show reminds me of Mark Maron’s WTF podcast, in that, it’s a bit rough around the edges and less structured than mainstream media.

Kuo invites guests who have either been living in China for extended periods or experts on the country.  Recent topics include:

Apart from the podcast, I find that Caixin provides a good source of financial news originating in China.  Sometimes even I have to remind myself not to only read the WSJ or FT.

There’s no shortage of coverage on China that seems to pit a rising China with superpower America.  You could call it the return of the Yellow Peril.


It’s reminiscent of how the US media portrayed the Soviets during the Cold War.  I distinctly recall playground taunts involving Russian women that described them as fat, ugly hags.  Who would want a Russian girlfriend?  Fast forward past the Fall of the Berlin Wall and even Ronaldo doesn’t mind one (for a while).


Irina Shayk with her clothes on


Just as there’s a danger to painting all Russian people as the Other, there’s a real danger in doing the same the America’s next frenemy.  Considering both the US and China have nuclear weapons, I find it hard to believe a direct confrontation will occur.  I hope both countries can cooperate rather than paint each other in alarmist tones.


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