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Independent Radio Station based at SOAS, University of London. Broadcasting music and speech content with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. London UK · For our full content, go to www.soasradio.org
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The SOAS DevTraC Podcast Series offers episodes covering critical conversations in international development, with academics, researchers and practitioners. X: @SOASDevTraC LinkedIn: SOAS DevTraC Website: SOAS DevTraC Podcast Series
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Audio podcasts of public lectures, seminars and events from the SOAS Department of Economics. The SOAS Department of Economics is a leading centre for economic research. We have a vibrant research culture driven by staff working on a plethora of issues, but we specialise in the study of developing and emerging economies and our work covers an unparalleled range of countries and regions.
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China's leaders have taken a sharply critical tone against Israel over its war with the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. They have also suggested that the United States is exploiting and exasperating long-running conflicts in the Middle East. In this podcast, Richard Spencer, a correspondent for The Times newspaper, warns that a regional conflagr…
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China is becoming a dominant force in the online realm in Southeast Asia. Partnerships through a network known as the Digital Silk Road enable China to have extensive influence on how people access the internet in countries such as Cambodia, Nepal and Thailand. In this podcast, campaigner Michael Caster explains what he sees as a battle for free sp…
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The prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, regards China as a "pillar of the new world order." Mr Orban admires leaders such as Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, who are challenging the western-led system. Professor Hanns Maull from the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) believes that Xi Jinping’s visit to Hungary in May 2024 showed that …
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Xi Jinping is urging Chinese companies to compete vigorously with other countries in the development of advanced technology, including high end computer chips. There is an ideological basis to the strategy: Xi Jinping has spoken about China becoming much more self-reliant. But the battle for supremacy in tech causes tension in the realm of internat…
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Japan has taken a tough stance on China, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida firmly committed to upholding the American vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” But China is also a huge market for Japanese companies for which talk of “decoupling” from China is regarded as commercial folly. In this podcast, Duncan Bartlett, a Research Associate at th…
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China's factories have pumped out so many solar panels that other countries are complaining. Some people are said to be lining their garden fences with the panels, due to a global glut of the product. This is being held up as an example of a new type of "China shock". Previously, China’s economic rise caused a shock to trade and the labour markets.…
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China has emphasised its pro-Palestinian stance during the Israel-Gaza war. It has been critical of Washington’s handling of the situation, especially the American policy of arming Israel. In this podcast, Dr Mercy Kuo from Pamir Consulting considers how China’s role in the Middle East has developed since President Xi Jinping came to power. The hos…
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The introduction of advanced surveillance technologies has given the Chinese Communist Party powerful tools. It collects information related to people’s spending habits. It is also able to record how they act at work, and even in their homes. Is the state justified in using these tools to influence people’s behaviour? In this podcast, Professor Min…
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The escalating Houthi attacks in the Red Sea region are creating economic and security concerns globally. The US and UK have responded with airstrikes against Houthi sites in Yemen, in an attempt to prevent the group from endangering freedom of navigation and disrupting trade. The repercussions are also felt in China, a powerful maritime nation. On…
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China is quickly amassing weapons and systems to militarily overwhelm Taiwan, according to a senior US admiral. John Aquilino told a recent hearing in Washington that China could be poised to take such an action within the next six years. If conflict breaks out, it would be a grave matter to deal with, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the…
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The government of Anthony Albanese in Australia has sought to stabilise the relationship with China and avoid heated rhetoric. As a result, China has agreed to relax a 200% tariff on Australian wine, which was imposed during a period of diplomatic strife. Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong says: “We seek to cooperate with China where we can, d…
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The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee has been instructed by his superiors in mainland China to enact further strict security legislation in the city without delay. Pro-democracy advocates warn the move will have a detrimental impact on civil liberties. The proposed new laws cover treason, insurrection, incitement and collusion with external f…
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The authorities in China are trying to put an end to a three-year stock market decline and win back the confidence of overseas traders. It is not proving an easy process. Investors cite a range of reasons to be cautious about the Chinese market, including a slowdown in growth, doubts about the reliability of information and opaque policymaking. In …
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Just a few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that a Chinese company would disrupt the automotive industry by exporting vast quantities of cheap, reliable electric vehicles. But the Chinese company BYD has overtaken Tesla in terms of overall sales and it is determined to win market share from long-established car giants, such as Volkswagen…
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Protest art was everywhere in Hong Kong a few years ago. Then the Chinese authorities introduced tough new laws which they said were designed to prevent sedition. Most of the art was torn down and some of its creators fled the city in fear. However, memories are kept alive online, especially of a statue portraying a young female protestor, dubbed L…
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Chinese politics have been transformed since Xi Jinping became paramount leader in 2012. He has accumulated power in a way unprecedented since the era of Mao Zedong and he expects China's people to study his ideology, just as Chairman Mao's supporters studied his 'Little Red Book'. Professor Steve Tsang, Director of the SOAS China Institute, and Ol…
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Believers in the Chinese zodiac say that this could be an auspicious year for Xi Jinping. It’s been 12 years since he replaced Hu Jintao as general secretary of China’s Communist Party. Xi uses sophisticated media systems to ensure that all citizens study his thoughts. This has helped to ensure that he has overwhelming control of the Chinese politi…
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Giorgia Meloni - leader of a right wing party - has confounded her critics since becoming prime minister of Italy. She has taken on major diplomatic challenges and is currently enjoying attention as the president of the G7 group of industrialised nations. Ms Meloni has said that Italy will no longer be a part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BR…
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China's population is shrinking. The National Bureau of Statistics reports that it has fallen by about three million in two years. This puts pressure on the economy, as the number of people in work is also in decline, at the time as the group of retired and elderly people is increasing. One hope is that 2024 will see a bump in births, as it is the …
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China has sought to portray Taiwan’s new president Lai Ching-te Lai, also known as William Lai, as a dangerously pro-independence provocateur. The Chinese Communist Party has reiterated that there is only one China in the world and has claimed that Taiwan is part of China. In this podcast, historian Dr Gerrit van der Wees considers how the new pres…
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Xi Jinping and Joe Biden have exchanged greetings to mark the start of the new year, noting the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said cooperation between China and the US is an imperative. Nevertheless, many potential obstacles stand in the way of a smooth relationship, as James McGregor, Chairman of APCO Worldwide’s Gr…
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5 Avril 2023 "Afghanistan in Archives" is the first of a two-part episode, a group of SOAS scholars, Florence Shahabi, Zeynep Tuba Sungur, Barry Sadid, and Bismellah Alizada, examine the role of archives in shaping nationalism, identity and the state, both in the past and present. They explore the prospects of using archives to preserve the Afghan …
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28 February 2023 This episode features a conversation between Professor Carlos Oya from SOAS, and Khalid Abu-Ismail, Senior Economist at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and lead report author of “World Development Challenges Report: Development from a broader lens”. The report launch was hosted by SOAS DevTraC…
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19 May 2023 The latest conversation in the DevTraC Podcast Series is part two of the Afghan podcast where Bismellah Alizada, Reza Hussaini, Rabia Khan, and Zarifa Hosseini discuss the struggles encountered by Afghan migrants seeking a new home, both as individuals and as a group on the move. Through personal anecdotes and insightful analysis, the g…
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9 January 2024 'How might the lessons of history inform our choices in the present? Does a rules-based world order risk concealing informed discussions, potentially blurring the line between assumptions and reality? In a world shadowed by its history, Gilbert Achcar, professor at SOAS Development Studies as he discusses his latest book with Karabek…
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30 June 2023 Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate in Development Studies at SOAS discusses his latest book, “The Blue Commons: Rescuing the Economy of the Sea” with Chris Cramer, Professor at SOAS, highlighting the role of corporates in prioritising profits over planet, and de-commoning our seas. Find out more about SOAS Development for Tr…
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China has been trying to persuade the world’s super wealthy that it remains a good place to invest. It throws parties where the finest champagne flows to show its enthusiasm for international business. Yet confidence has been undermined by political interference in the affairs of many firms. In this podcast, Duncan Wrigley, Chief China Plus economi…
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In the early 1990s, China enjoyed a period of rapid economic progress, as the government emphasised the importance of so-called pillar industries, including construction. In this podcast, Rory Green, Chief China Economist, TS Lombard suggests it's time for China to concentrate on new pillars to support the next stage of its development. The host is…
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The FBI claims that spying by China represents the "defining threat of this generation". It says a vast network of agents in China and abroad are gathering secrets on an unprecedented scale, spreading disinformation and disrupting democratic processes. In this podcast, Calder Walton from Harvard University explains the conclusions of his new book '…
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The overall assessment of the historic summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden seems to have been positive. There was a softness in Biden’s tone, and Xi seemed happy during and after their long meeting. However, there were sticking points. Joe Biden described the Chinese leader as a dictator during a press conference. And according to the US side, …
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China’s currency, the yuan, has seen its value against the US dollar depreciate sharply this year. That may reflect foreign disillusionment with China’s economic prospects and policy making. Many investors are also unnerved by a regulatory crackdown on technology companies, with the Communist Party insisting on more centralised control. In this pod…
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China says it will do its utmost to restore peace to the Middle East and has called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. Its proposal has been rejected by Israel as the ground assault on Gaza continues. Meanwhile in China itself, feelings on the Middle East conflict are gathering intensity, with social media revealing an anti…
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For ten years, China has been pushing other countries to partner with it through the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). While some nations such as Russia are fans of the project, it has largely been snubbed by the West. In this podcast, Fraser Howie, a respected independent analyst on China, considers whether the BRI is becoming an obsolete concept. T…
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In a bid to strengthen ties with Western nations, Xi Jinping has issued a stern warning against "decoupling" from China's economy. He urged leaders to view China's development as an asset, not a threat. Nevertheless, official data reveals a sharp decline in Chinese imports to the United States. In this podcast, Thomas Gatley, China Strategist at Ga…
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Supplying state secrets to another country is a crime which carries a heavy penalty in China. TV reporter Cheng Lei spent several years in prison for espionage, although her family and supporters insist she was innocent. Now she’s been released and is back home in Australia. In this podcast James Laurenceson, Director of the Australia-China Relatio…
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China’s Communist Party has a particular way in which it wants its story to be told. However, some people challenge its interpretation of history. They’re keen that dark periods of China’s recent past - such as the Cultural Revolution - are not erased from memory. Some counter-historians are prepared to take great risks in the face of state-censors…
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Powerful military forces are amassed in East Asia and in war games, America and China role play deadly encounters. China says America is stoking the fire of regional tensions, while the US insists it is the duty of its armed forces to keep the peace through deterrence. In this podcast, Dr Zuri Linetsky, a research fellow at the Eurasia Group Founda…
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China is pushing hard to play a greater role in international affairs, often at the expense of the United States. It sees itself as a peace-broker and an initiator of dialogue between quarreling nations. But what is the ideology which guides grand plans such as Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative? Regular host Duncan Bartlett is joined by Steve…
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China is coming to terms with a worrying symbol of economic decline: deflation. Falling prices are linked to a slump in the property market and a decline in exports, hitting many businesses hard. In this podcast, Duncan Wrigley, Chief China Plus Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics explains why this represents a problem for the global economy. The …
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China’s spies are active in many countries and are sometimes intercepted and exposed. Meanwhile, Western countries, especially America, have developed sophisticated systems to monitor China through massive intelligence gathering. In this podcast, Jonathan Berkshire Miller from the Macdonald Laurier Institute explains how to measure the success of a…
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The Internet of Things has revolutionised how we interact with technology, seamlessly connecting people, devices, and data. China is making an enormous financial investment in this field of technology - aiming for unprecedented global reach. In this podcast, Charles Parton, an Associate Fellow at the Council on Geostrategy, explains to host Duncan …
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The UK government has taken a relatively hawkish approach to China, with the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, declaring that Beijing poses the “biggest challenge of our age to global security and prosperity”. Nevertheless, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly travelled to Beijing with the goal to stabilise relations. In this podcast Duncan Bartlett discuss…
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Throughout the course of history, China has exerted enormous influence over Korea. Korean kings were obliged to pay homage to Chinese emperors yet in the modern era, the relationship is in flux. The pro-US policies of President Yoon Suk-Yeol are causing some people in China to accuse the South Koreans of disloyalty. In this podcast, host Duncan Bar…
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The Pentagon says that China has repeatedly turned down its requests to hold high level talks between army commanders. Experts worry that the lack of dialogue heightens the risk of a miscalculation leading to conflict.In this podcast, Howard Zhang, China Editor at the BBC, appraises the situation in a conversation with regular host, Duncan Bartlett…
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Russia and China claim to have a “no limits” partnership. Nevertheless, the invasion of Ukraine has created a rift. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that China would uphold an “independent and impartial position” on Ukraine and will seek a political settlement. In this podcast, Dr Moritz Rudolf, f…
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China is on course to reach its targets for wind and solar power five years ahead of time, helping shore up its position as the world leader in renewable energy. However, the Chinese government is also building many new coal-fired power stations and fossil fuels are expected to make up a significant proportion of the country’s energy mix for decade…
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Joe Biden has used tough language about Xi Jinping, saying he “does not have a democratic bone in his body” and describing him as a dictator. The Chinese complain they are being provoked. In this podcast, Bill Bishop, author of the Sinocism newsletter, shares his views on President Biden’s choice of language. He speaks with the podcast’s regular ho…
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The transatlantic alliance, known as NATO, is looking to the East. The leaders of Japan and South Korea joined its 2023 summit in Lithuania as observers and the meeting ended with a joint statement from NATO members which included many scathing remarks about China. In this podcast, renowned author and Sinologist Jonathan Fenby offers his analysis o…
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Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has been asserting itself as a confident and strong country. But how firm are the foundations of Xi’s power and what are the risks associated with a system in which one person has so much influence and authority? In this podcast, Bernhard Bartsch from the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) discus…
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China’s economy is struggling to regain momentum following the pandemic. Dwindling export demand has held back the manufacturing sector and there’s been a slump in property prices. In this podcast, Duncan Wrigley, Chief China Plus Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses the options available to help revive China’s fortunes with regular host…
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