China Insider

China Insider #9 | The Balloon Seen ’Round the World and the Boy Whose Disappearance Jolted China

Senior Fellow and Director, China Center
wilson shirley
wilson shirley
Former Media Fellow, China Center

The Chinese Communist Party’s spy balloon may be a Sputnik moment for the United States, as millions of Americans saw pictures of a surveillance device sent by the United States’ top geopolitical rival flying freely over the heartland. Miles Yu and Wilson Shirley discuss the history of Chinese spy operations and what the downed balloon means for US-China relations, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s postponed trip to Beijing. Then they return to a story that’s gone largely unreported in the US press but that continues to go viral in China—a missing boy whose body was found recently. The incident raises questions about human trafficking, organ harvesting, and how trustworthy the Chinese people think their government really is.

View Episode Transcript

On multiple fronts—from ideology to the economy, to the military, to technology—the Chinese Communist Party presents the United States and its allies and partners with their most serious threat since the Cold War—maybe since World War II. What does the emerging consensus about the China challenge get right, and what is it missing? And what will it take to compete to win?

China Insider is a weekly podcast project from Hudson Institute's China Center, hosted by Miles Yu and Wilson Shirley, who provide weekly news that mainstream American outlets often miss, as well as in-depth commentary and analysis on the China challenge and the free world’s future.