Covering the U.S.-China relations beat with the FT’s Demetri Sevastopulo


Play episode:

This week on Sinica, Kaiser welcomes veteran Asia reporter Demetri Sevastopulo, who covers the U.S.-China relationship for the Financial Times. They discuss some of Demetri’s scoops, like the news that Vladimir Putin had requested military aid from Xi Jinping, leaked just before National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meeting in Switzerland with State Councillor Yang Jiechi and just three weeks after Russia’s invasion; and the news that China had tested a hypersonic glide craft in October of last year. But the focus of the discussion is on the Biden administration’s China policy and its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework — an Asia strategy that, by all accounts, has met with a tepid response in the region.

1:47 – How Demetri landed a beat as U.S.-China relations correspondent

5:24 – How the FT scooped the story on Putin’s military assistance request to Xi Jinping in March 2022

12:05 – The Chinese hypersonic glidecraft

24:42 – The DC China policy scene: A dramatis personae

40:11 – The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: all guns and no butter

52:54 – The Quad and AUKUS: American-led security arrangements

A full transcript of this podcast is available at


Demetri: Gunpowder, an Irish gin from County Leitrim; and Roku, a Japanese whiskey by Suntori

Kaiser: Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back, a forthcoming book on how monopolies and monopsonies are ruining culture, by Rebecca Gilbin and Cory Doctorow