In this episode we explore the story of Chinese soccer, or football. As China continues to develop, the country and its leaders are constantly seeking metrics to measure their growth and demonstrate their power to both to their own citizens and the world. Like the Beijing Olympics, the growth of the Chinese soccer league, coupled with the performance of China’s national teams in attempting to qualify for the World Cup, is another benchmark of China’s re-entry to the global stage.
This episode features in-depth insights from John Duerden, a journalist covering Asian football for The New York Times and The Guardian, who describes the environment behind the scenes as millions of dollars flow into the Chinese Super League. Dr. Scott Kennedy of the CSIS Freeman Chair and Dr. Victor Cha of the CSIS Korea Chair provide the economic and geopolitical context for President Xi Jinping’s efforts to jumpstart the Chinese beautiful game and elevate China’s soft power. Hosted by Will Colson. Audio editing by Lauren Abuali. Written and produced by Jeffrey Bean.