Each week since the severity of the coronavirus crisis became clear, Lowy Institute experts have been sitting down for COVIDcast, a podcast to discuss the implications of coronavirus for Australia, the region, and the world. Episodes one and two are already online, and this is the third instalment in the series, which we’ll be continuing on a weekly basis as this crisis unfolds.
In Episode 3: The China Story, Lowy Institute’s Director of Research, Alex Oliver, sat down with Richard McGregor, our resident senior China expert and author of several books on China’s politics and government.
They discussed US-China great power competition, including the recent expulsion of American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post from China and Hong Kong, and what this means for the future of Western knowledge about China. As McGregor explains:
I think America is vastly over reported. China is vastly under reported, even more so after this expulsion. So it’s a real pity that the US decided to fight on this battleground because we all lose … As China comes out of the doldrums of coronavirus, they feel powerful, they feel emboldened, they feel angry, and most of all, they don’t think they need the foreign press anymore and they’re happy to have a fight with the US over that issue.
This episode also features a discussion on Chinese disinformation and propaganda; something we’ve dubbed the “geopolitics of infection etymology”; the apparent capacity of a centralised state authority to respond effectively and rapidly to the spread of the virus; and more.
COVIDcast is a pop-up podcast for anyone interested in understanding the effect of coronavirus on global politics, hosted by our resident experts and powered by the Lowy Institute.