Drum Tower

Share

Drum Tower: China v America

The China-US contest is entering a new and more dangerous phase.


The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, are joined by The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes. They discuss what the escalation means and what can be done to defuse the tensions.


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.



More Episodes

  • Drum Tower: The cage—part two

    39:36
    In this second episode of a special two-part series, The Economist’s senior China correspondent, Alice Su, investigates China’s repressions of Uyghurs at home and abroad.From 2017 to 2019 China locked up more than a million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in  "re-education camps" in Xinjiang. During that time most Uyghurs living overseas were cut off from everyone they knew in China. Recently the Chinese Communist Party has closed many of the camps. It wants the world to forget what happened in Xinjiang and what is still happening today. It wants Uyghurs inside and outside China to keep quiet.Alice Su explores how the Chinese state is able to control Uyghurs overseas through their families. She speaks to Nigara and Kewser, two Uyghurs who left China, about making the biggest decision of their lives; family or freedom?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.
  • Drum Tower: The cage–part one

    37:11
    Uyghurs inside China have long been persecuted. From 2017 to 2019, more than a million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities were locked up in "re-education camps" in Xinjiang. Many of the camps have now been closed but Uyghurs are threatened if they speak out. And the Chinese Communist Party is also trying to silence and control Uyghurs outside China.In this first episode of a special two-part series, The Economist’s senior China correspondent, Alice Su, meets two Uyghurs, Nigara and Kewser, who have left China. What price do they each have to pay to stay in contact with their loved ones in China?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.
  • Drum Tower: China’s LGBT crackdown

    25:59
    China’s gay communities are facing a campaign of repression. LGBT support groups are being closed down and pride events are being cancelled. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, examine what the crackdown reveals about President Xi Jinping’s China. Darius Longarino of Yale Law School recalls the first time a marriage equality case came up in Chinese courts. And Raymond Phang, co-founder of Shanghai Pride, discusses why marginalised groups are seen as a national security threat. 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.
  • Drum Tower: Cash into their chips

    29:02
     Unicorns are becoming a common sight in China. In 2022 there were more than 300 private firms valued at more than $1bn—more than double the number from just five years ago. Alice Su, The Economist’s senior China correspondent, and Don Weinland, our China business and finance editor, discuss what these valuable startups say about the country’s shifting industrial priorities and how they fit into President Xi Jinping’s plans for “self-reliance”.We would love to hear from you. Please fill out our listener survey at economist.com/drumsurveySign 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.
  • Drum Tower: Outbreak of bossiness

    28:13
    Xi Jinping wants to centralise power in China. Recently he’s created new law-enforcement agencies that are answerable to central-government ministries, as well as a new brigade of rural officials nicknamed nongguan. The public reaction has been loud and hostile. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, discuss the online backlash to the reforms and assess the driving force behind Xi’s focus on law and order. They also ask farmers in Henan whether the nongguan will end the deep-rooted corruption in the countryside. We would love to hear from you. Please fill out our listener survey at economist.com/drumsurveySign 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.
  • Drum Tower: Two Top Guns

    33:04
    “Born to Fly”, a new film made in collaboration with the People Liberation Army’s Air Force, recently jetted to the top of the Chinese box office. It’s drawn comparisons with “Top Gun: Maverick”, the Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, discuss what these two films say about how China and America see themselves?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.
  • Drum Tower: Long gowns and short jackets

    37:54
    The story of Kong Yiji, a miserable scholar-turned-beggar, written by Lu Xun in 1918 has gone viral among young Chinese. A record 11.6m of them are expected to graduate from university this year, but the unemployment rate for people aged 16 to 24 in cities is nearly 20%. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, discuss why the story of Kong Yiji has caused an argument between Chinese netizens and the state. They also hear from graduates about how they see their job prospects.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.
  • Drum Tower: Chairman of everything

    32:46
    Whenever Xi Jinping grabs more power for himself, critics compare him to Chairman Mao Zedong. But is it a fair comparison?The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, discuss to what extent Xi is emulating Mao’s strongman approach or whether Liu Shaoqi, China’s one-time president, provides a better model to understand Xi’s political ambitions.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.
  • Drum Tower: Islands in the Strait

    40:57
    Kinmen is caught in the middle. The tiny island is 187km from Taiwan, which administers it, but only 3km away from China, which does not. If a conflict were to break out between China and America, Taiwan would be the front line. And if a confrontation began between China and Taiwan, Kinmen would play that role. The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, and senior China correspondent, Alice Su, hear from Kinmenese locals about their history, their identity and their future. 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.