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The Best Podcasts on China

With more and more radio stations uploading their archives to the Internet, we’ve taken the opportunity to highlight the best one-off programs and regular podcasts on China.

Our listening habits are Anglocentric, but we’d like to later add a poll of our readers' favorite China podcasts, so please email us with the names of any other programs that we ought to include.

We’ve grouped the podcasts into four categories:


China news programs
 Sinica - Recorded on Fridays at intervals ranging from once a week to once a month. Hosted by Baidu’s head of international relations, Kaiser Kuo, and Jeremy Goldkorn, author of one of China’s best-known English-language blogs, the shows usually last around 45 minutes and bring together journalists and academics to talk through issues in the news.
China Economic Radio published about once a month, the shows normally last around 20 minutes. As on Sinica, guests tend to be well-informed, but the recording quality is sometimes poor.
China Policy Pod
; AmCham China; McKinsey on China; China Money Podcast

China Talking Points
hasn’t been updated since March 2011. It has also been a few months since freelancer Tom Hancock last recorded Caixin Weekly for the magazine of the same name. 
Government-controlled China Radio International occasionally carries interesting interviews on programs such as People in the Know

General news programs that often feature China
The BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent, one of the British broadcaster’s oldest programs, frequently has dispatches from its staff in China.
Similarly, the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator is usually on the phone to the newspaper’s Beijing bureau in World Weekly with Gideon Rachman.
The U.S.’s Public Radio International also has regular dispatches from China correspondent Mary Kay Magistad in The World and American Public Media’s Marketplace has Rob Schmitz, who exposed a fabricated account of life in Foxconn’ factories. You can find NPR's China reports from the webpage for its Beijing corrpesponent, Louisa Lim.

One-off broadcasts on modern China
The BBC’s Documentaries Archive has dozens of programs addressing Chinese themes over the last decade - they include The Lost Voices of Tiananmen Square, in which the Economist’s James Miles, who was then a BBC correspondent, looks back at the killings twenty years on. The BBC’s world affairs editor also recorded a two-part series to mark the twentieth anniversary, Simpson Returns to China.
More recently, Philip Adam from Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC, spent the summer of 2011 profiling people and regions that he visited during his Travels in China.

One-off broadcasts on Chinese history and culture
The BBC’s In Our Time, perhaps the English-speaking world’s most highbrow radio program, has devoted a few of its weekly editions to Chinese themes. Lord Bragg of Wigton has chaired panels of British academics discussing The An Lushan Rebellion, The Ming Voyages, The Taiping Rebellion, The Great Wall of China, The Needham Question, China’s Warring States Period, Daoism, Confucius, The Han Synthesis and Tea.
Another BBC series available for free download, A History of the World in 100 Objects, also has entries on Chinese pots and bronzes, and the country was the subject of the 2008 edition of BBC’s annual lecture series, the Reith Lectures, where Yale University professor Jonathan Spence gave four 45-minute presentations on Chinese Vistas.
Finally, you can listen to Jonathan Fenby, Martin Jacques, Julia Lovell & Ou Ning talking about their books in a recent edition of Start the Week and, if you're an especially diligent China-listener, you'll find plenty of useful interviews on the New Books Network's page for East Asian Studies, including one with Ai Weiwei translator Lee Ambrozy.

Of course, if you want something in Chinese, you should try the Economic Observer's own podcast

Apologies to any broadcasters whose content has been overlooked – if you think that your content ought to be on the list, feel free to email us at

Compiled by Will Bland. 



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The Economic Observer's editorial staff are always on the look out for interesting, fresh and high-quality China-related content. Whether it's the latest buzz on Weibo, links to insightful articles or updates on the latest books and reports, through China Buzz we'll keep you in the loop about what's going on in the world of Chinese politics and economics.

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