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5 Podcasts for Your Summer Listening

I am an auditory learner and have become addicted to audiobooks and podcasts. I recently did a search for China-specific podcasts and Google served me up this page. I warned my co-workers that they might never hear from me again.

If you like to listen to podcasts as well, here are five that I recommend for your summer listening.

1. Power Shifts in Xi Jinping’s China (April 16, 2019, Little Red Podcast, via China Channel)

Much has been written about Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent attempts to concentrate power in his hands. In this podcast, Andrew Collier of Orient Capital Research and Rayn Manuel of Hong Kong University suggest that decentralization is going on as well, with local officials being pressured to make more and more decisions.

2. Keeping the Faith? Xi’s Deal with the Holy See (February 19, 2019, Little Red Podcast, via China Channel)

In this podcast, Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim discuss the recent provisional agreement between the Vatican and China regarding the appointment of Catholic bishops in China with Jeremy Clarke, a former Catholic priest and China researcher. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of the Catholic church in China, and how this new agreement may affect the religious life of Catholic believers.

3. Mark Roswell a.k.a Dashan Live at the Bookworm Literary Festival (April 18, 2019, Sup China)

Anyone who’s been around China for a while knows who “Dashan” is—the Canadian who is considered by 1.4 billion Chinese people to be the standard of how a foreigner should speak Chinese. If you speak Chinese, my guess is that, at some point, someone in China has compared your Chinese abililty (negatively) to Dashan’s. In this podcast, Mark joins David Moser for a fun and interesting discussion about Chinese and learning Chinese. If you’ve learned or are learning Chinese, you will love this conversation. And for those of us who have had a love-hate relationship with “Dashan” over the years, it’s good to know that behind that character is a real (and quite funny) person.

4. Hotpot Wars: Tensions Bubble in the Battle for China’s Culinary Soul (March 4, 2019, Little Red Podcast, via

Lovers of hot pot will love this podcast, with Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim talking about Chinese food with cookbook author Fuschia Dunlop. The conversation was triggered by a controversy that broke out in China a few months ago after a famous food critic said that if he could ban one Chinese dish, it would be hot pot. Even if you are not a hot pot fan yourself, I think you’ll enjoy this podcast, as Graeme, Louisa, and Fuschia discuss, among other things what baffles westerners about Chinese food and what baffles Chinese people about western food.

5. Do We Need a "Standard" English? (With Professor David Crystal)  (April 22, 2019, TEFL Training Institute)

This is a new podcast I stumbled across recently run by a site called the TEFL Training Institute. It is an interesting discussion of the concept of standard English (is there even such a thing?), the issue of accents, and the role of culture in teaching English. If you’re an English teacher, you’re going to enjoy this one.

All of these podcasts are available on a variety of podcasting platforms (iTunes, Google, Stitcher, etc.).

Happy listening!

Image credit: William Iven from Pixabay
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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