'The Economist' Debuts Podcast 'The Prince' On Xi Jinping


The Economist has launched a podcast titled "The Prince," on China leader Xi Jinping’s rise to power, in time for the Chinese Communist Party Congress, starting Oct. 16 in Beijing. Xi is expected to grab a third term during the Congress.

All eight episodes of the series were available on Wednesday. 

The 40-minute podcasts are hosted by Sue-Lin Wong, China correspondent for The Economist.

"The Prince" covers Xi’s traumatic childhood and the lessons he learned, and his subsequent rise to power.

It was not easy to research. “Chinese politics is a black box,” says Wong. “Nobody at the top talks. Even ordinary people are afraid to express their opinions. Despite those challenges, I was able to gain access to fascinating people who illuminate Xi Jinping’s story.”

“Chinese journalists making a podcast like this would risk jail,” adds Editor in Chief  Zanny Minton Beddoes. “Our team has spent months cutting through the propaganda and the censorship to tell the story of the world's most powerful man in eight gripping episodes.” 



According to The Economist, the episodes ask such questions as (and we quote):

  • Why did Xi retain such faith in the Communist Party even as bitter struggles tore apart his childhood? 
  • What lessons did he learn from the collapse of the Soviet Union? 
  • How did he rise through the ranks to take control of a regime on the brink of collapse? 
  • How did he build the world's most sophisticated surveillance and censorship machine? 
  • How is he exporting the brutal lessons he has learned about power politics to the rest of the world?
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