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John Pomfret

11 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Sep 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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John Pomfret | The Biden Administration's Approach to China

The Negotiation

Topics Discussed and Key Points:●      Where the recent shift in perception of China’s global power originated●      The future of U.S.-China relations as China increases its manufacturing capabilities●      How the Biden administration’s attitude toward China compares to that of Trump’s●      How economically-tied the U.S. and China currently are●      What Biden’s return to multilateral institutions (i.e. WHO) means for U.S.-China relations●      Ways in which China is trying to surpass the U.S. as a world power●      How the rest of the world views China today●      What many in the West do not understand about China’s internal challenges Episode Summary:Today on The Negotiation, we speak with John Pomfret, foreign correspondent and contributor to the Washington Post. He is the author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China from 1776 to the Present (2016).Xi Jinping’s rise to power in 2013 was the beginning of a new phase in China’s evolution as a nation. Up until that point, the CCP believed that “China was becoming increasingly infected by ideas from the West.” Xi Jinping galvanized the party against Western thinking, cracking down against dissidents and human rights lawyers. He then accelerated a relatively aggressive foreign policy against the rest of the world, but specifically within China’s neighborhood in terms of the South China Sea, pushing back against Japan, India, and others in the region.China’s first push to decouple from the West also came with the announcement of the ten-year “Made in China 2025” plan. It is another aggressive plan to bolster the nation’s own sovereignty by severing its alliances with Western technology companies that it has heavily relied on in the past.The failure of America and Western Europe to effectively deal with certain problems in today’s world, particularly with regard to COVID-19, when China claims to have done a better job dealing with the pandemic within their borders, has also led to a dramatic shifting of China’s image on the world stage.John says that, with America currently trying to get their own house in order, the U.S.-China relationship is not going to be a priority of the Biden administration until Biden can really concretize his position as a relatively successful president in his first two years. China’s aggressive, imposing diplomacy in other parts of the world, in the meantime, continues to negatively impact how China is viewed by other nations. Key Quotes:“The Chinese Communist Party would like to deal with a world in which America is irrelevant. The reality is, though, it can’t. Even in terms of technology, it’s going to be a long while before China can have potential in any way, shape, or form to become independent from the United States, specifically high-level chip technology.” “The idea that decoupling on a massive scale is going to happen is just a non-starter. The issue is: How do we make the relationship while you also have an understanding that it’s going to be increasingly difficult and the competition is going to be increasingly fervent between the two systems and the two economies?” “By trying to get the American house in order—which is a Herculean task, mind you—Biden is going to follow the ideas of many people around him saying, ‘We cannot really deal with China from a position of weakness. The only way we’re going to be able to get things done with China is if we come to China from a position of relative strength.’” “China’s trade surplus with the United States was breaking records over the last four years. The amount of business that continues to be conducted between the two sides is extraordinary.” “The Chinese are uncomfortable with the American-led system but they don’t quite know how to lead themselves.”


27 Jan 2021

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Jennifer Ho, John Pomfret | The Coronavirus, Anti-Asian Racism in the United States, and Sino-American Relations


With the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, reports of racism against Asian-Americans have risen sharply, drawing renewed attention to issues of bias, immigration, and the place of Asian-Americans in society. The current surge of anti-Asian incidents highlights a troubling history, and reinforces the urgent need to examine, understand, and confront these issues that affect the lives of Asian-Americans, influence American perceptions of China, and ultimately affect Sino-American relations on the global stage.  On June 2, 2020, the National Committee hosted a virtual discussion with Jennifer Ho, professor of ethnic studies at University of Colorado and president of the Association for Asian American Studies, and John Pomfret, former Washington Post correspondent and author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present, on the history of anti-Chinese/Asian racism in the United States, the impact of coronavirus-related racism, and the importance of uniting across our communities to stand up against all forms of discrimination. For more on the coronavirus and its social impacts on the people of the United States and China, please visit ncuscr.org/coronavirus.

1hr 14mins

10 Jun 2020

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Amanpour: Timothy O'Brien, John Pomfret and Timothy Snyder


Timothy O'Brien, senior adviser for the Bloomberg 2020 Campaign, joins Christiane Amanpour to answer key questions about billionaire businessman Mike Bloomberg's late entrance to the election race. He confirms exclusively that Bloomberg will disclose her tax returns and sell his company if elected. John Pomfret, former Washington Post Beijing bureau chief, and Elizabeth Cohen, CNN senior medical correspondent, asses the global fallout from coronavirus and the implications for Chinese President Xi. Our Ana Cabrera speaks to Timothy Snyder, the historian and bestselling author, to discuss the rise of tyranny across the world and the threat to American democracy.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy


19 Feb 2020

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Trump versus China: John Pomfret Reacts

The Pacific Century

Hoover Institution fellows Misha Auslin and John Yoo interview John Pomfret, the former Washington Post and Associated Press reporter in China.  Pomfret discusses his response to an open letter in the Washington Post, signed by dozens of leading US foreign policy and China scholars, criticizing the Trump administration for making China “an enemy.”  He explains “why the United States doesn’t need to return to a gentler China policy." Did you like the show? You can rate, review, subscribe, and download the podcast on the following platforms:Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Overcast | Spotify | RSS


29 Jul 2019

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Elizabeth Economy and John Pomfret: As US Leadership in Global Affairs Recedes, is China Stepping in to Fill the Void?


As the US continues to abdicate its leadership role in global affairs, China’s international influence continues to grow – diplomatically, economically and politically. Will it, can it, fill the void? And how will its role on the world stage influence domestic policy? Elizabeth Economy, senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and John Pomfret, former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing, and author of “The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present”, discuss the ramifications of America's absence in global leadership with Ray Suarez, former chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour. We want to hear from you! Please take part in a quick survey to tell us how we can improve our podcast: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWZ7KMW


14 Aug 2018

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Ballasting the US-China Relationship - John Pomfret & Paul Pickowicz

China 21

Historian Paul Pickowicz interviews acclaimed author John Pomfret about patterns in the long history of US-China relations, and how it informs the controversies in the current moment of Sino-American relations ranging from the impact of Chinese students on US universities, Xi Jinping’s end to presidential term limits, and trade and business relations. Dr. Paul Pickowicz is one of the country’s leading historians of modern China with 15 books engaging across disciplines that investigated the impact of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese peasants, the history of Chinese cinema, Cold War propaganda strategies and Chinese soft-power initiatives. John Pomfret is an award-winning journalist with The Washington Post and is currently a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Beijing. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Chinese Lessons, and has won several awards for his coverage of Asia, including the Osborne Elliot Prize. He holds degrees from Stanford University and was one of the first American students to study at Nanjing University. This episode was recorded at UC San Diego Host & Editor: Samuel Tsoi Production Support: Mike Fausner Music: Dave Liang/Shanghai Restoration Project Illustration: Daniel Haskett


26 Mar 2018

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John Pomfret - The Background To The Coming Crisis In US - China Relations

Notre Dame International Security Center

Recorded: March 1, 2018Hosted by: Victoria Hui

1hr 32mins

6 Mar 2018

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Trump Meets Xi: the Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom with John Pomfret

Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

This week, President Donald Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time.Will their meeting herald a new era in U.S.-China relations? Probably not, and in fact we may see a lot of short term instability between Washington and Beijing. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be optimistic about the future of this vital relationship.The "Harvard on China" podcast spoke with John Pomfret - former Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post from 1996 to 2003, and author of "The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present" - about how he sees the Trump-Xi meeting in the historical context of U.S.-China relations.The "Harvard on China" podcast is hosted by James Evans at Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Listen to more podcasts at the Fairbank Center's SoundCloud page.


3 Jul 2017

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Author John Pomfret: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom


Award-winning author John Pomfret discusses his newly published The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom, tracing the history of Sino-American relations, in a conversation with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on January 23, 2017 in New York. Although the contemporary U.S.-China relationship has grown out of Nixon and Kissinger’s visits to China in the 1970s, the foundations of Sino-American exchange are hundreds of years old. Since the establishment of the United States, missionaries, traders, scholars, and laborers have formed bridges between the two cultures, tracing familiar patterns of interaction that continue to play out today. As points of contact between the U.S. and China have proliferated over the last two centuries, the relationship has consistently been characterized by enormous promise and deep ambivalence. John Pomfret, former reporter for The Washington Post, and a long-time resident of China, takes a new look at the long history of U.S.-China relations in his recent book, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present. He describes cycles of mutual understanding and collaboration, and bitter disappointment. As U.S.-China relations approach a new inflection point, Mr. Pomfret’s account of the history of the relationship provides illuminating perspectives on the present. 


9 Jun 2017

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The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: a conversation with John Pomfret on his new book

Sinica Podcast

John Pomfret was 14 years old when Henry Kissinger began interacting with China in secret. He took his fascination to Stanford University’s East Asian Studies program, where he was among a select group of exchange students invited to spend a year at Nanjing University in 1980, shortly after Nixon established diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China. John went back to China as a reporter for the AP in 1988, nine months before the Tiananmen demonstrations, and was expelled from the country after covering the protests’ violent turn. He returned to China again in 1998 to head up the Washington Post’s Beijing bureau. John has also reported from Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. In this week’s episode, Kaiser and Jeremy talk to John about his new book, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom, which charts the history of America’s relationship with China. John explains that the countries have been intertwined long before the ping-pong diplomacy often credited for ushering in U.S.-China relations in the early 1970s.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


15 Dec 2016