The China History Podcast

The drama continues with the final arrivals of European Jewish refugees into Shanghai, 1941-42. Afterwards, the China option, that had previously served as a safety net for Jews seeking refuge far from the Nazi's, was no longer available. Sugihara Chiune, Tadeusz Romer, Laura Margolis and others are also introduced in this episode. The series will conclude in the next episode.

Direct download: CHP-212-The_History_of_the_Jewish_Refugees_in_China_Part_5.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:10pm PDT

Laszlo looks at Japanese attitudes towards the Jews and how it affected their treatment in Shanghai.  The focus will be on the year 1939, when the the greatest wave of Jewish refugees arrived in Shanghai. Then we will look at a little known tidbit from history concerning a plan championed by Sun Ke (son of Sun Yat-sen) to  rescue of Europe's Jews.

Direct download: CHP-211-The_History_of_the_Jewish_Refugees_in_China_Part_4.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

This third episode in a series examining the history of the Jewish refugees who found sanctuary on the east coast of China, focuses on escalating events in Europe around 1938-1939. With the consolidation of Hitler's rise, it didn't bode well for many Jews. As the countdown to Kristallnacht gets closer the situation becomes more urgent and Shanghai as a destination becomes more popular. The great humanitarian He Fengshan (何凤山) will also be introduced.

Direct download: CHP-210-The_History_of_the_Jewish_Refugees_in_China_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:47pm PDT

With the story of the Harbin Jews mostly out of the way, Laszlo moves on to the smaller and less known Jewish community of Tianjin.  Then as the 1930's unfolds and after Hitler came to power, our story shifts to the European Jews. In this episode we'll look at the events leading up to Kristallnacht November 1938. In Part 3 we'll focus on 1938 and 1939.

Direct download: CHP-209-The_History_of_the_Jewish_Refugees_in_China_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:51pm PDT

Laszlo is back with a new series that looks at the history of the Jewish refugees who came to China during the first part of the twentieth century. In this episode, after a long drawn out intro that examines a bit of background on Jewish history, Laszlo explains how many Jews made their way to China to escape hard times back home. In the next episode the story will continue with more from Harbin, Tianjin and Shanghai. All Yiddish and Jewish terms from this episode can be found in the usual list of terms that accompanies each episode.

Direct download: CHP-208-The_History_of_the_Jewish_Refugees_in_China_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

In commemoration of the American Labor Day Holiday, Laszlo brings you a rather forgotten tale from the annals of Chinese modern history. Discussed in previous CHP episodes, the Chinese Labour Corps played a thankless but critical role in the allied victory over Germany in WWI. Who could have predicted the series of events that would happen as a result of the story of these men and the subsequent peace treaty that didn't recognize them or their country. When it was over in early 1919, the Chinese people woke up and took appropriate action. Happy Labor Day!!!

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Direct download: CHP-207-The_Forgotten_Chinese_Labour_Corps.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:06pm PDT

In this episode Laszlo introduced the great Nederlander Robert van Gulik. In his relatively short life van Gulik made a name for himself as a scholar, diplomat and writer. His sixteen novels featuring the "stern but fair-minded" Judge Dee offered his worldwide readership a peak into 7th century Tang China society. Judge Dee was based on the historical person Di Renjie, an important official and minister of state during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian. Van Gulik was fascinated with the Chinese "gong'an" detective novel genre of literature and did a lot to popularize it around the world.

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Direct download: CHP-206-Robert_van_Gulik_and_Judge_Dee.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT

Laszlo presents another story from the annals of Chinese-American history. This one takes place during the Exclusion years and spotlights the Chinese colony of Eastern Oregon. This is the story of Ing "Doc" Hay and his lifelong friend and business partner Long On, two Toi Son immigrants who built their American dream on the frontier. Ing Hay was a trained Chinese herbal doctor and pulsologist and he brought this unique skill to the American West. This isn't your typical American immigrant story but then again, Ing Hay and Long On weren't your typical immigrants.

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Direct download: CHP-205-Ing_Doc_Hay_Lung_On_and_the_Kam_Wah_Chung.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:56am PDT

We continue on from last episode's overview of the Chinese martial arts history timeline. Today we zero in on the history and (mostly) legends behind the Wing Chun style of king fu.  We'll also look at Grandmaster Ip Man and all those Wing Chin greats who came before him going back to the founder Ng Mui (Wu Mei).I wanted to emphasize that almost all of what we know about Wing Chun today was passed down orally before it was written down late in its history.  We only know the names of the great masters mentioned in this episode, through the stories and legends that were told and re-told to successive generations of Wing Chun martial artists.

Thanks to Detroit attorney and unofficial Wing Chun ambassador Michael Benkstein for all the support and input that went into this series. And thanks also to Peter Söderbaum for his kind comments

Direct download: CHP-204-Chinese_Martial_Arts_Wing_Chun_Ip_Man_Part_2RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:30pm PDT

Don't be fooled by the title. Wing Chin and Ip Man will be covered next episode. Today's the first in a two part series that offers up a survey of the development of martial arts in China from the mythical times of the Yellow Emperor to the present day. Let's look at the China history timeline once more, with feeling, and see how these martial arts embraced by millions and millions around the world slowly developed through the centuries. This will serve as the setup to next episode when we zero in on one particular style of martial arts and one of its best known masters.

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Direct download: CHP-203-Chinese_Martial_Arts_Wing_Chun_Ip_Man_Part_1YT.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:51pm PDT

From Zhao Tuo to the present day, the history of the relations of these two great countries and frenemies is a great story. In this episode we enter the 20th century and explore the end of French domination in Indochina, Vietnam's fight to unify the country and the most recent Sino-Viet history. All three Indochina Wars will be discussed and the outcomes they produced. Although this six-part series was only a simple 走马看花 overview of the subject, I hope anyone not schooled in the basics of this history is leaving the table satisfied. Cảm ơn đã lắng nghe!

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Direct download: CHP-202-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_6R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:39am PDT

The series picks up in the early part of the Later Lê and finishes off in the 19th century with the arrival of La France and the beginnings of Indochine. Many heroes from Vietnam history will make appearances in this episode. Be sure to come back next time for the exciting conclusion of this overview of China-Vietnam Relation.

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Direct download: CHP-201-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_5RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:44pm PDT

In this landmark two-hundredth episode Laszlo carries the story of China-Vietnam forward, beginning with the three Mongol invasions of Đại Việt during the Trần Dynasty. We'll get as far as the great (Later) Lê Dynasty founding emperor and resistance hero Lê Lợi.



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Direct download: CHP-200-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_4RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:10am PDT

The CHP series covering the history of China-Vietnam Relations continues with Part 3. This episode will take the history all the way up to the Tran Dynasty on the eve of the Mongol invasions from Yuan Dynasty China. Heroes from Vietnam history making an appearance in this episode include Ngô Quyền, Lê Hoàn, Lý Thái Tổ, Lý Thường Kiệt and Trần Thái Tông. Sorry about inundating everyone with this deluge of Chinese and Vietnamese names. I'll keep everything listed in the terms from each episode found on the webpage at

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Direct download: CHP-199-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_3RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:23pm PDT

Shi Xie's impact on bringing Chinese culture to the Jiao region is discussed. For most of this period, Vietnam remained under the direct administrative control of China. Aside from a few quiet moments, there was sustained local unrest to deal with. Either local Viets were rising up against their Chinese overlords or there was a constant battle being fought with Lao, Linyi, Champa and other tribes, states, and kingdoms that surrounded Vietnam to the west and south. It was also a period where great Viet national heroes and heroines start getting written into the record. Sorry once again for the wooden sounding Vietnamese pronunciation.

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Direct download: CHP-198-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_2RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:57am PDT

In this first of a multipart series, Laszlo explores the ancient relationship between China and Vietnam. In this episode, the earliest days going back to Zhao Tuo and the Nanyue Kingdom are discussed. A thousand apologies for the poor editing job splicing the Vietnamese pronunciation. I'm hoping for an A for effort at least. The remaining episodes will go off more smoothly. Thank you for your understanding.

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Direct download: CHP-197-The_History_of_China-Vietnam_Relations_Part_1RNov2018.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:52am PDT

Laszlo finishes off this brief overview of The Honorable Company as tea takes center stage in the history. It's a very rough landing for the East India Company as their commercial rivals and political enemies gradually put an end to their winning run going back to the 17th century.

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Direct download: CHP-196-The_History_of_the_British_East_India_Company_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:01am PDT

Maybe this isn't the most "China history flavored" topic but The Honorable Company did play a somewhat starring role during the Qing Dynasty starting from about the Jiaqing Emperor.  In this first of a two-part series, I am offering you an overview of who they were, where they came from and how they came to be so hated by so many.  I originally did this series for Cathay Pacific Airways' Inflight Entertainment system as an accompaniment to the "Taboo" miniseries starring Tom Hardy.  And now I'm taking these leftovers out of the fridge, taking the foil off and after sixty seconds in the it two easy to digest parts.  Enjoy!
Direct download: CHP-195-The_History_of_the_British_East_India_Company_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:58pm PDT

In this episode, Laszlo looks at U.S. Immigration during the bad old days of Chinese Exclusion. The subject will be examined through the telling of the stories of three rather plain and non-extraordinary brothers from Haiyang Village in Toi San (Taishan in Mandarin). These three Moy brothers were featured in Scott Seligman's 2013 book "Three Tough Chinamen" (Earnshaw Books). In addition to the Chinese Exclusion laws, Laszlo briefly introduces the life of another Toisanese, Ng Poon Chew. And at no extra price, Laszlo also gives the history of the Taishan region a nice neat overview. Check the links below for more great reading.

Direct download: CHP-194-The_History_of_Toisan_and_US_Immigration.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:55pm PDT

In this episode, Laszlo tries something new. This time we look at the life and times of Whitey Smith.  Who?   

Direct download: CHP-193-Whitey_Smith_and_Early_Shanghai_Jazz.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:59am PDT

Laszlo emerges from the post-holiday festivities to finish off the series, picking up from the last episode of the life and work of Wang Yangming. The differences between the two main schools of Neo-Confucianism is further discussed: the Lu-Wang School of the Mind (Xinxue) and the Cheng-Zhu School of Principle (Lixue). We also saved philosopher Zou Yan and the Five Elements (Wuxing) for last. And that completes this nine-part set course meal in the History of Chinese Philosophy. If anything spoke to you, you're now armed and ready to do as many deeper dives into all these schools of thought as your heart desires.

Direct download: CHP-192-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_9.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:26am PDT