Cindy Yu

Cindy Yu

Cindy Yu is an assistant editor of The Spectator and presenter of our Chinese Whispers podcast. She was brought up in Nanjing. She tweets at @CindyXiaodanYu

Richard Dawkins, Douglas Murray and Cindy Yu

31 min listen

On this episode, Richard Dawkins explains how to convert an atheist like him to a Christian (00:37), Lisa Haseldine says the German army is in a dire state (05:53), Douglas Murray looks at the return of the Trump show (12:44), Cindy Yu reviews a Chinese intelligence officers account of life under the CCP (20:14), and

An insider’s account of the CCP’s stranglehold on China

All families have secrets, but few family histories are classified by the state. After the death of Snow’s father, his study is cleared out by officials from the Chinese Communist party; but Snow discovers letters and unmarked hard drives hidden in hollowed-out dictionaries that they’d missed. The material reveals that her father was a high-ranking

Was China’s economic boom ‘made in America’?

53 min listen

Today, the US and China are at loggerheads. There’s renewed talk of a Cold War as Washington finds various ways to cut China out of key supply chains and to block China’s economic development in areas like semiconductors and renewables. There’s trade, of course, but the imbalance in that (some $370 billion in 2022) tilts

Is the ERG a spent force?

12 min listen

After much back and forth, the Rwanda Bill passed last night with only 11 votes against while other critics, such as Lee Anderson who resigned his party role, abstained. Rishi Sunak can celebrate a small victory as it appears that the Brexit ‘Spartans’ of yesteryear are something of a spent force today. Cindy Yu talks

Cindy Yu, Mary Wakefield and Natasha Feroze

18 min listen

This week: Cindy Yu reads her piece ahead of the Taiwanese elections (00:54), Mary Wakefield discusses the US opioid crisis which she fears has come to the UK (07:13), and Natasha Feroze tells us about the rise of relationship contracts (13:26).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

Taiwan can’t escape China’s shadow

The Taiwanese rock band Mayday – ‘the Beatles of the Chinese-speaking world’ – are being investigated by the Chinese Communist party for the crime of lip syncing. Local authorities are combing through recordings of Mayday’s Shanghai concerts from November looking for evidence of ‘deceptive fake-singing’, as the CCP calls it, which has been illegal in

What lies at the root of the India-China rivalry?

45 min listen

India is the fifth largest economy in the world, and now has a population larger than China’s. It’s no surprise, then, that officials in Washington often see India as a powerful non-western bulwark to growing Chinese power. On this podcast, I look at where China and India’s rivalry comes from. How much have long-lasting skirmishes

2023: The year in review

27 min listen

How well did Rishi Sunak do on his five pledges? Are we any clearer on what Keir Starmer stands for? Is the SNP done for in Scotland? On this episode, Cindy Yu, Katy Balls, James Heale and Coffee House Shots regular Stephen Bush look back on the past year in British politics. Produced by Cindy

Who will be Taiwan’s next President?

43 min listen

Taiwan goes to the polls in just over a month. This is an election that could have wide repercussions, given the island’s status as a potential flashpoint in the coming years. The incumbent President, Tsai Ing-wen, is coming to the end of two elected terms, meaning that she cannot run again. Her party’s chosen successor

Is Rishi’s Rwanda Bill doomed?

10 min listen

Rishi Sunak is stuck in a migration quagmire and will be spending the weekend drumming up support from MPs ahead of the vote on his amended Rwanda bill on Tuesday. He will be hoping for a Christmas miracle in the form of support from both One Nation MPs and those on the right of the

Will Boris surprise at the Covid inquiry?

13 min listen

As Matt Hancock appears before the Covid inquiry for a second day, we take a look at the revelations from the former health secretary, including the allegation that involving the Prime Minister and former prime minister, Boris Johnson. Both are due to be up at the Covid inquiry in the coming weeks. Cindy Yu talks

Carbon capture: how China cornered the green market

30 min listen

On the podcast: In her cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s assistant editor Cindy Yu – writing ahead of the COP28 summit this weekend – describes how China has cornered the renewables market. She joins the podcast alongside Akshat Rathi, senior climate reporter for Bloomberg and author of Climate Capitalism: Winning the Global Race to Zero Emissions, to investigate China’s

How China cornered the green market

When Rishi Sunak announced that the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars would be delayed by five years, he framed it as a common-sense move. What he didn’t say is that he had been advised that, had the original deadline stuck, Britain’s electric vehicle (EV) market would have been handed over to China.

Dialect and identity: is Mandarin bad for China?

44 min listen

Across the span of China, a country as big as Europe, there are countless regional dialects and accents – perhaps even languages. Often, they’re mutually unintelligible. The Chinese call these ‘fangyan’, and each Chinese person will likely be able to speak at least one fangyan, while also understanding Standard Mandarin, the official language of the

Suella tells Rishi: ‘You have repeatedly failed to deliver’

15 min listen

When Suella Braverman was sacked on Monday she warned that she would have more to say in due course, and she has just released her resignation letter. It is predictably punchy, accusing the prime minister of backtracking on policy promises he made to her and especially on his commitment to stop the boats. Will Sunak

Battling the official narrative — China’s ‘underground historians’

35 min listen

Controlling history is key to the Chinese Communist Party’s control of the country. Whether it’s playing up the ‘century of humiliation’, or whitewashing past mistakes like the Great Leap Forward or the Tiananmen Protests, the Party expends huge effort and resources on controlling the narrative. That’s why it’s so important and interesting to look at

Why the Tories need the new Hong Kong voter base

With the Conservatives trailing around twenty points in most polls, the outcome of the next election seems all but set. However, even if Rishi Sunak will struggle to lead his party to a fifth term, the scale of a likely Labour victory remains unclear. Whether it’s a backlash from the Muslim community over Starmer’s position

Did Boris’s No. 10 have a women problem?

11 min listen

Today the Covid inquiry heard from Helen McNamara, former deputy cabinet secretary (who infamously supplied a karaoke machine for one of the government’s lockdown parties). Her evidence suggested that the government’s pandemic response had a women problem – from not properly understanding lockdown’s impact on domestic abuse to not considering that PPE is designed for

Rethinking Chinese food with Fuchsia Dunlop

50 min listen

All cultures care about their cuisine, but the Chinese must have one of the most food-obsessed cultures in the world. It may be because we have the best food… Those listeners of Chinese Whispers who’ve been to China will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, you may have come

Can Xi successfully stage manage Li Keqiang’s legacy?

Political deaths in China always carry the risk of social unrest. It was premier Zhou Enlai’s death that triggered the ‘democracy wall’ movement of the late 1970s, a student protest that was the precursor for the Tiananmen Square protest ten years later. In turn, the latter protest was triggered by former Chinese Communist party (CCP)