Weekly discussion on China and Silk Road, history, culture and current events
Embark on great audio adventures with a rich collection of Chinese folk legends and historical tales.
Weekly discussion on Clash of civilizations and empires around the world and across time. At the moment focused on impact of China and US-China competition in East Asia. Hosted by Carl Zha and Nate Meyers. Thank you for subscribe!
I talked to returning guest "Mr. T" about the latest in US China tech war front: geopolitics of semiconductor supplies and Taiwan's chip diplomacy. Support Silk and Steel Podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/silknsteelBy Carl Zha
Have you been to the Great Wall in Beijing or the Pyramids in Egypt? Have you ever wondered how these were built, one stone on top of another, without any modern machinery? These wonders of the world are so awe-inspiring to look at, but on the other hand, they were also built with the lives of so many. Here is one sad legend about the Great Wall.…
If you feel like you've had enough of fairies, monsters and magical beasts, don't go away, because today's show will be about ancient weapons, some with magical powers of their own. Swords, daggers and tales of revenge!
If you have the opportunity to travel around the countryside in China, you might notice these fierce looking gods painted on red paper pasted onto the family gates. Who are these and what are they for?
Have you ever wished that you could live like a fairy or some sort of immortal? The immortals are known to live a carefree life in Chinese culture, but there was this really famous gang of Eight Immortals that actually got into a lot of trouble. What happened?
What would it be like to live for 800 years? As far as I know, only a few historical characters could know about that. A man named Peng Zu was among them. What was his secret?
How much damage can a little boy do? Well, a lot I suppose. But this little boy called Ne Zha trumps them all. What kind of waves did he make? Big and mess ones for sure.
Jiang Ziya was an unusual old man, a household name in China, even though he lived some three thousand years ago. Many remember him as this kind and wise old man from the TV series in the 1990s, someone who always knew the right thing to do and also had a clever plan.
People have been celebrating Valentine's Day since the year 496 in the west. Is there a similar celebration in China? Yes and no. We do have a Valentine's Day but it all started with a rather sad story, involving once again, the Queen Mother of the West.
Would anyone like to learn a thing or two about becoming an immortal? What about some pills from the Queen Moather of the West and throw in some doughnut peaches too! Interested?
After stories of evil monsters, I would like to introduce a nice and good one called “Xie Zhi”. The mythical creature looks a bit like a goat, or at least initially it did, except that it has only one horn. Xie Zhi loathes liars, and his horn was reserved for people who did bad things and then lied about it, basically criminals.…
What do you say to a gold-stuffed piggy bank? Yes, please! That's what I would say. There was such a monster according to Chinese folk tales. Its name is Pi Xiu and it didn't look quite as cute as a pink pig.
In the past few episodes, we've talked about some magical creatures in Chinese mythology, have you ever wondered if there were any magical plants? Today, I will introduce two fascinating plants that I hope had really existed. Actually, I wish they were still around.
I'm not sure if other cultures have their symbols for greediness, in China, we have the monster named Tao Tie, the two characters also stand for a "big feast"! I guess you can make that connection. So what's he like?
I talk to returning guest "Mr. T" on new evidence of US COVID Response coverup at the highest level and future of US-China relationship under Biden Trump Deputy NSA Matt Pottinger COVID response ass-covering piece in New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/04/the-plague-year Previous Silk and Steel episode w Mr. T on Trump Deputy NSA…
Monsters come in all shape and sizes, but you probably haven't heard of one like this! With a name of Hun Tun, or Chaos, the monster can't be good.
Sure you've heard of the magical bird that arises from ashes, yes, the phoenix. But that's the ancient Greek species. In this episode, we will talk about the Chinese phoenix and also another kind of giant bird. Intrigued?
Today we turn our attention from emperors and giants to magical creatures in Chinese history. The one leading the way is of course the dragon. Hard to say whether or not they actually existed, but it's certainly a crucial symbol for the Chinese people. Have you ever thought about keeping a dragon as a pet? Someone did.…
Thirty-one episodes into our podcast we are approaching the end of the ancient part of Chinese history and the start of the first known dynasty in China, called Xia. The founder of the Xia Dynasty was the son of the Great Yu and he was born out of a rock. How did that happen?
Great Yu spent years of his life taming the floods, only to have his work eaten up by a monster with nine heads...of snakes! Would it help to chop off those heads? Yes, but that led to problems of another kind. How did the Great Yu deal with all this?
The great man Yu is so important in Chinese history that we are devoting three episodes related to him. Today's story is about how he tamed the floods and how he passed his own house three times and never went in. Why didn't he?
In some sense, history is a record of the great disasters that have befallen the human race, one of which is flooding. How did ancient Chinese combat the floods? That story would have to start with the Great Yu, and that in turn would have to start with his father, Gun, who fought flood with magical mud. What is that?…
Although it took many years, in fact decades, for Shun to eventually become the emperor, it was all worth it. There was finally peace under heaven. How did Shun manage that and who came after Shun?
What is an ideal leader like, in the minds of the Chinese people? I think the answer can be best demonstrated by learning about the two ancient Chinese emperors, Yao and Shun. Today we will talk about Emperor Shun, who had a quite unfortunate childhood. Why is that?
I interviewed "Temur" who goes by Twitter handle @steelmuslim about growing up Chinese Muslim in Australia, media portrayal of China and growing Sinophboia Down Under, nefarious Aussie think tank ASPI and failson of Australia's ex-Prime MinisterBy Carl Zha
How great would someone have to be, to be remembered as virtuous, kind and magnanimous thousands of years later? In this episode and the next, we will introduce Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun, who have been admired and loved by the Chinese people and looked up to by Chinese leaders. What is a perfect leader like in the eyes of the Chinese people?…
What did your Mom say when you asked her "Where did I come from"? The stories about the births of the founders of Shang and Zhou Dynasties might come handy when your child asks you the same question. So where did they come from?
Separating heaven and earth, wait a minute, didn't Pangu the giant already do that? Yes, he was the first one to do so but not the last. Who else tried to separate heaven and earth and why?
Being an emperor was no easy job, especially at a time when giants and monsters roamed the land, too. In this episode, a giant fought with the Yellow Emperor with his head cut off. How did he manage that?
The first major battle in Chinese history was the one between the Yellow Emperor and Chi You. It wasn't just a simple mortal affair though. Some interesting supernatural creatures were involved, too. What were they like and what did they do?
Why do Chinese people call themselves the descendants of the Yan and Yellow Emperors? Were these emperors real or mystical?
We've spent some time talking about the great hero Hou Yi. Was this handsome archer single or already taken? In fact, he was very happily married, to a fairy that was even more famous than he is!
I talked to London-born Chinese British poet, writer and broadcaster Anna Chen about growing up Chinese in UK, Imperialism, racism, Sinopobia, Western media depiction of China, new Cold War between US and China. Anna Chen's blog: https://madammiaow.blogspot.com Anna Chen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadamMiaow…
Hou Yi is a very familiar name to the Chinese people and not just because he shot down the extra nine suns. Monsters of various sorts were out there haunting humans. Guess who stood out to tackle the challenge?
Did you know there were once ten suns in the sky? At least according to Chinese mythology. That couldn't have been good. Who saved the day? It was a hero named Hou Yi.
In the Silk and Steel US election special double feature, I sat down w returning guest "Mr. T" to talk about the man behind Trump Admin's War on China and the real Chinese influence in the US election story.By Carl Zha
Today's story is about some Chinese fairies, who look nothing like Tinker Bell. What do they look like and what do they do all day?
This story is mainly about the God of Spring and the God of Autumn, but it's much more than that. The God of one thing in ancient China could be the God of so many things.
There is a saying in China that all the major rivers flow to the east. Why is that? Are there magical powers that draw them to the sea? Well, the story has to start with the Chinese God of Water and all the fights that he managed to get into. Click on the play button to listen to his stories.
People everywhere worship the sun, but maybe only the Chinese once had ten suns instead of one. How did that work out? The story starts with their Sun Goddess, the mother of the ten suns.
Every child in China has heard of Yu Gong, the Foolish Old Man. I mean, he was 90 years old when he decided to remove the two mountains in front of his house. Hmm...so how did that go？You might be surprised to hear how that ended.
Today I want to tell you about the Forest Gump of ancient China, a man not really known for his sharp wits but revered for his courage and persistence. Why did he chase the sun? Did he get there? Let me tell you all about it!
Growing up in China, I often heard of the story of a little bird named Jing Wei that tried to fill the ocean, one beakful of rocks and twigs at a time. But not until I was grown did I fully understand the fury and spirit of that legendary bird. Why did she want to fill the ocean? Let's listen and find out.…
We continue our coverage of US-China tech on Silk and Steel podcast, this time looking at China's response to US actions. I invited "Mr. G" who shares with us his knowledge of Chinese tech development and also a different take from our previous guest "Mr. T" on future of US-China tech competition. In a bonus patron only segment, we discuss the futu…
The difficulty of learning Chinese characters might be frustrating for foreigners, but you got to admit, it's better than drawing everything out in pictures like they used to do during the cave-dwelling days. How were Chinese characters invented? And by whom? We'll find out today. And, if it's of any comfort, they are not easy for Chinese to learn …
For some odd reason, raising silkworms as a "pet" was in fashion when I was in second grade and for someone who gets goose bumps from seeing worms, it was a difficult time. But, I have no problem with wearing silk, so shiny, smooth and cool to the touch. Who first made the connection between silkworm cocoons and the making of silk? You will find ou…
With better housing and fire for cooking, life was a lot better. As a result of that, population grew and food supply ran short. Hunting and berry picking couldn't cut it anymore. Luckily, Mr. Curious the Botanist came along. What did he discover? Well, much more than you can imagine!
I talked to tech industry insider "Mr T" again about the latest escalation in US-China tech war after Trump admin slapped sanction against Chinese semiconductor chip maker SMIC and vetoed TikTok deal.By Carl Zha
What would you say to sashimi everyday? Sounds fantastic! But wait, what if it's sashimi roots, vegetables, bloody raw kills, everything except salmon and tuna and the other yummy stuff? Then I think having fire would be a grand idea! So how was fire discovered according to Chinese mythology? Let me introduce Mr. Courageous!…
It's no surprise that humans lived in caves back in the ancient times. But did you know that some also lived on trees? They were not quite tree houses but at least human nests. Join us on this episode and get to know the first architect in Chinese history, Mr. Youchao.