NüVoices Podcast Episode #105: Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian on her new book, Beijing Rules

This week, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China reporter at Axios, joins host Joanna Chiu to dive deep into her latest book, Beijing Rules. In its pages, Bethany details China’s sophisticated strategy of leveraging its economic prowess, manipulating both access and denial, to shape the behavior of individuals, governments, and companies globally. 

Bethany illustrates how entities are compelled not just to avoid crossing Beijing’s red lines, but also to actively support the CCP’s interests. Joanna and Bethany discuss the exclusive reporting covered in the book, including China’s interference in a Zoom memorial for the Tiananmen massacre and the misuse of the Sister City programs. The latter reveals how an initiative meant to foster exchanges between local governments has been exploited by Beijing to undermine US interactions with Taiwan.

Yet, as Bethany emphasizes, this situation isn’t set in stone. With the right policies, democracies can safeguard their values while still fostering economic relations with China. She critiques the prevailing assumption that economic freedom and democratic freedom are one and the same. One suggestion is to put sanctions on Chinese companies that execute Beijing’s authoritarian censorship.

Don’t miss this compelling episode where challenging questions are posed about democracy’s relationship with commerce in an increasingly interconnected world.


Guest Recommendations:

About Bethany:
“I am the China reporter at Axios, where I write high-impact investigations, exclusives, and analysis about China, with a focus on how China projects power and influence beyond its own borders.

I am the author of Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World, available on Amazon and your local bookstore.

Before joining Axios, I served as the lead reporter for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ China Cables project, a major leak of classified Chinese government documents revealing the inner workings of mass internment camps in Xinjiang. For my work on the China Cables project, I received the Robert D. G. Lewis Watchdog Award, the top prize awarded annually by the Society of Professional Journalists DC Dateline Awards, as well as the Investigative Journalism prize in the online category. The China Cables project was also a finalist for the Batten Medal for Courage in Journalism.

I was previously a staff editor and contributing reporter at Foreign Policy magazine, where I wrote investigations, deeply reported narratives, and analysis related to China.”