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Ten things you might not know about China

14 September 2016
So you want to know more about the world's most populous country?

What happens in China today – from economic changes and political events, to cultural and social movements – has a huge impact on the rest of the world. As its global influence increases, what does the future hold?

Sydney Ideas has hosted many talks and forums on different aspects of China in the last 10 years. From politics and foreign policy, to philosophy, art and history – University of Sydney academics and leading international scholars, journalists and writers have shared their insights and ideas about the aspects of change in China that they believe have had a profound impact on the nation.

Ahead of the upcoming Understanding China Today and Tomorrow forum on Wednesday 21 September, listen back to some of the highlights from 10 years of Sydney Ideas lectures via this curated soundcloud playlist.

Not sure where to start? Here are ten great listens from Sydney Ideas so far:

1. How can Australia meet the China challenge?

Listen to Meeting the China Challenge: Australia's China Policy in a New Era, a panel discussion with Australia’s leading China commentators from the Lowy Institute, Fairfax Media and the University of Sydney.

2. Has reality TV transformed China's dating scene?

Listen to If You Are The One, a panel discussion with seven contestants from the popular Chinese TV dating show of the same name.

3. What's it like to be a foreign correspondent in China?

Listen to The Joys and Difficulties of Being a Foreign Correspondent in China and hear Michael Bristow recount his experiences as the BBC's correspondent in China for five years.

4. Who was Confucius and what were his ideas?   

Listen to Confucius and the First Emperor, a presentation by Director of the China Studies Centre Professor Jeffrey Riegel about the larger-than-life historical figure.

5. How has China's art scene changed in recent years?

Listen to Modernism or Realism? The question in China’s quest for modernity through art, a discussion of Chinese art practice by Dr Yiyan Wang, Chair of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney.

6. How does the Sci-Fi genre place in China's literary landscape?

Kaifang book market in China.

Listen to The Future of China Through Chinese Science Fiction, an interview with Liu Cixin, leading contemporary Chinese science fiction writer and winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

7. How can we understand China's experience of World War II?

Listen to How China’s Wartime Past is Shaping its Present and Future, a presentation by Oxford University's Professor Rana Mitter about how the battered China of wartime became today's superpower in the making – and why.

8. How is Mao's legacy still relevant today?

Listen to Mao Zedong and his thought, a presentation by Professor of Chinese Politics David Goodman about the different and often competing strands in the political leader’s ideology, which remain an important legacy for China today.

9. Who will lead the Chinese Communist Party in future?

Listen to China and the Fifth Generation Leadership: China Moves into the Era of Socio Political Change and learn more about the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in China, including how the future leaders may deal with a transition into an era in which the greatest challenges will be socio-political.

10. Do Europeans truly understand China?

Listen to The Chinese Enigma: China through European eyes 1700-1900, in which Professor Yixu Lu, Head of School, School of Languages and Cultures talks about the images of China tantalised the European imagination in the 18th and 19th centuries, and still do today.

Jennifer Peterson-Ward

Media and PR Adviser (International)

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