The podcast of La Trobe Asia which takes a critical look at the key issues facing Asia's states and societies.
#160: China's COVID-19 Exit Plan
While the rest of the world still struggles with a deadly pandemic, Beijing has suppressed the spread of COVID-19 and is executing an exit plan to make the most of its opportunities in a changing world, where "the east is rising while the west is declining".
A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast.
Chris Buckley (Chief China correspondent for The New York Times).
Recorded with a live zoom audience on 30th March 2021.
#159: The Chagos Islands Sovereignty Dispute
The Chagos Archipelago, a group of small tropical islands in the middle of the Indian ocean, has become a surprising location of strategic importance. Recent international legal rulings have invalidated The United Kingdom’s claimed sovereignty, and international groups are urging the UK to end its ‘unlawful occupation’, presenting interesting dilemmas for the United States and its allies.
A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast.
Nilanthi Samaranayake (Director of the Strategy and Policy Analysis Program at the Center of Naval Analysis in Washington D.C).
Host: Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)
Recorded with a live zoom audience on 9th March 2021.
Webinar: Fighting Fake News in a Time of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how the spread of fake news and misinformation online – even if shared without malicious intent – can weaken global public health efforts, contribute to social unrest and lead to real-life harms or even death.
In the Asia Pacific, Singapore and Indonesia are among the early adopters of fake news laws to crack down on the pernicious problem of online misinformation and disinformation. These laws aim to address COVID-19 misinformation and the real-world violence and hate speech aimed at minority and religious groups, but internet and human rights experts fear the laws are also open to political misuse.
A landmark report from La Trobe University details the harm caused by online misinformation, how it is being regulated in some countries, and how it might be tackled.
The launch of the report Fighting Fake News: A study of online misinformation regulation in the Asia Pacific.
A La Trobe Asia / Asia Centre event.
Associate Professor Andrea Carson (Journalism, La Trobe University)
Dr James Gomez (Regional Director, Asia Centre)
Kristen Han (Singapore-based journalist and activist)
Associate Professor Dirk Tomsa (Politics, La Trobe University)
Chair: Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)
Held as live zoom panel on 16th March, 2021.
#158: How COVID Impacts International Students in Australia
The covid pandemic has hit tertiary education in Australia hard, and for most of 2020 it prevented students from studying on campus. For international students they were unable to enter the country, which meant a drop in enrolments and a decrease in university revenue, a situation which will likely continue into 2022.
Australian international students are largely from Asian countries, with large numbers from China and India in particular, and how the pandemic affects enrolment numbers will have flow on effects throughout not just those societies, but Australia as well.
Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh (Lecturer at the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University)
Dr Stacey Farraway (Pro-Vice Chancellor (International), La Trobe University)
Webinar: Could Taiwan be the Next Global Flashpoint?
In late January 2021 China moved to intensify military activity in the Taiwan Strait, sending bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons and fighter jets into airspace just southwest of the island. Taiwan responded by scrambling fighters and broadcasting warnings, but there has been no subsequent comment from China.
Beijing has long regarded the island as a renegade province and strongly opposes diplomatic attempts by other countries to engage with it. The action is the latest in an escalation of tension around the independence of Taiwan, and it coinciding with the inauguration of new United States President Joe Biden has led many to interpret it as a clear warning and the first major test of the Biden administration’s foreign policy.
What do these heightened tensions mean for Taiwan’s dreams of independence? What are the Chinese Communist Party’s objectives for Taiwan? Will the Biden Administration stand up to China over Taiwan, and will it look to its allies such as Australia for support?
Professor Brendan Taylor (Strategic Studies, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University)
Natasha Kassam (Research Fellow, Lowy Institute)
Jessica Drun (Non-Resident Fellow, Project 2049 Institute)
Dr Bec Strating, Executive Director, La Trobe Asia (Chair)
Held as live zoom panel on 3rd March, 2021.
Webinar: Myanmar’s Military Coup: Challenging Democracy in Southeast Asia
Last month, the military upended years of quasi-democratic rule in Myanmar in a carefully orchestrated coup. Military leaders justified the takeover by alleging voter fraud in the 2020 November election, which the National League for Democracy (NLD) had won in a landslide. The civilian leader of Myanmar and the NLD, former Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, was detained by the military, along with dozens of officials, law-makers and aides.
The military announced that it will remain in power for one year, with ultimate authority resting with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Some suspect the military will stay in charge beyond that, returning to the time prior to Myanmar’s first democratic reforms in 2011.
What were the driving factors behind the military coup? Does Myanmar have a long-term future as a democratic country? What response should be expected from the international community, and what are the implications for regional stability in Southeast Asia?
Hunter Marston (Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University)
Christopher Lamb (President of the Australia Myanmar Institute; Honorary Associate Professor - The University of Melbourne; and, Former Australian Ambassador to Myanmar)
Wai Wai Nu (Peace, Human Rights and Women Rights Advocate, Founder of Women's Peace Network, Myanmar)
Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)(Chair)
Held as live zoom panel on 24th February, 2021.