In the CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.
The Philippines: A Family Business
At the end of June, the Philippines will formally inaugurate a new leadership – but it will feature two very familiar names.
There will be a second ‘President Ferdinand Marcos’; and another Duterte – Sara, daughter of the current president – will become vice-president.
The new President Marcos, generally known as Bongbong, is the son of the man who led the Philippines from the time he was elected in 1965 until he was deposed by a ‘people power’ revolution in 1986. During the two decades in between, Marcos Senior amassed billions of dollars in private wealth, oversaw the killing and disappearance of thousands of political opponents, imposed martial law and created a debt-fuelled economic boom which ended in a major recession.
Sara Duterte is the daughter of a man who has polarised the Philippines during the past six years, the current president, Rodrigo Duterte. His signature policy was a ‘war on drugs’ which has caused the deaths of somewhere between six and thirty thousand people.
Despite these chequered family backgrounds both Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte were elected with huge majorities in the elections on May 9th.
Now the dust has settled, we’re going to find out how they did it and what it means for the country.
Our first guest is Ronald Holmes, president of Pulse Asia, one of the Philippines' leading public opinion research companies. He's also Professor of Politics at De La Salle University in Manila.
Joining him is Maria Ela Atienza, Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of the Philippines.
Our guest host for this episode is Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at the London-based think-tank, Chatham House.
As ever, you can find out more about the episodes on our website.
Asia’s Response to the War in Ukraine
This episode examines the responses of three of Asia’s most prominent nations to Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Japan, India, and Korea.
The war has not only brought dreadful suffering to the Ukrainian people, as well as heavy losses for the Russian army - it has also upended many of the assumptions that have guided international relations for decades. Indeed, it's arguably the biggest change to the geopolitical order since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Joining Andrew Peaple to discuss the topic are two familiar voices from the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance: Eva Pejsova, senior Japan fellow at CSDS, and Ramon Pacheco Pardo, who holds the Korea chair at the Centre.
And to discuss the implications for India, Garima Mohan joins the show. She is a fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where she leads work on India.
As ever, you can find more information, including episode transcripts, on our website.
Close and nasty: South Korea's divisive election
South Korea’s closest presidential election since it became a democracy in 1987 has led to victory for the conservative Yoon Seok-yeol, who will now take office for a five-year term in May.
His win comes at a time of difficulty, with North Korea once again testing missiles and nearby Russia engaged in war in Europe. At home, Yoon faces pressing economic issues such as runaway house prices and an aging population, while he has faced criticism for his stance on social issues such as gender equality.
Joining us to discuss the hows and whys of the election and what Yoon’s win might mean for Korea and the broader region are three well-placed experts.
Ramon Pacheco Pardo holds the Korea chair at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance.
From Seoul we are joined by Timothy Martin, Korea bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, and CNN's Yoonjung Seo.
Women's Lives In Modern China
On the eve of International Women's Day, we're bringing you a special podcast in collaboration with King's College London's Lau China Institute, looking at the lives of women in China today.
In this episode we look at the challenges facing young Chinese women in balancing their jobs and home lives, and the prejudices they often face in the workplace, with a particular look at the effects of China's massive internal migration in recent years.
What kind of position do women hold in the modern Chinese state? How has the country's extraordinary economic growth over the last few decades affected them both professionally and socially? With the birth rate in China having dropped to its lowest level on record, what impact is the government's push to increase it having on women?
To answer these questions and more, we spoke to Ye Liu, a senior lecturer in international development at King's College London. Her research has focused on education and gender inequalities in China.
She was joined by Deborah Davis, professor of sociology at Yale University, whose 2014 book, ‘Wives, Husbands and Lovers’ focused on marriage and sexuality in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and urban China.
Over the course of the year we'll be bringing you a special series of China focused episodes, working with the Lau China Institute, the largest centre of its kind in the UK. It exists to build a greater understanding of China, both in the UK and across the globe through education, research and outreach. To find out more, please visit www.kcl.ac.uk/LCI.
ASEAN and the European Union - Kindred Spirits or Worlds Apart?
Welcome to the inaugural episode of CSDS-Asia Matters, in which we continue our mission to bring together policy experts and academics to dissect the factors shaping today’s Asia. It's a huge pleasure for us to be formally linked with the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance — an academic institution that's doing so much to promote understanding of the broad range of challenges facing us all in the 21st century.
This first episode examines relations between the European Union and ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations.
The two sides agreed to become strategic partners in 2020, but there are still big questions about their relationship. Does Europe have a role in South East Asia beyond being an economic ally? What do ASEAN nations want from the EU? And in an era of big-power competition and small-power security arrangements, how relevant are ASEAN and the EU anyway?
To discuss these questions and more, Andrew is joined by Eva Pejsova, senior Japan fellow at CSDS, whose research focuses on security issues in the Indo-Pacific region, and by Huong Le Thu, Senior Fellow at Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a non-resident fellow with the South East Asia program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Her research covers South East Asian security, and the region’s relations with China.
As ever, you can find more information on our website.
China's Politics and Economy as the Winter Olympics Open
The eyes of the world are on China as Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics.
A successful Games will be used by leader Xi Jinping to bolster his image and status at home and abroad; a status that was given a significant boost in November, when a major meeting of the Communist Party effectively enshrined his position in the party’s historical pantheon, alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
But while the opening ceremonies and stage-managed meetings played out without a hitch, there are still major tests for the Chinese leadership. This is especially true on the economic front, as growth slows, and concerns about a crisis in the property market persist. In this episode we look at the state of play in Chinese politics and economics with two well-placed observers.
Dr Ling Li teaches Chinese politics and law at the University of Vienna, where she was also a visiting professor. She has written extensively on topics related to corruption and anti-corruption in China.
And Dr Isabella Weber is an Assistant Professor of Economics and the Research Leader for China of the Asian Political Economy Program at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her recent book, ‘How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate’ provides a detailed history and analysis of the debates around economic reform in 1908s China.
As ever, you can find more information on our website
Brilliant new pod about the stories behind the headlines in Asia
I learned loads about the background behind what's going on in the Far East - really interesting for someone who's interested in Asia, but would also be super-useful and fascinating to a newcomer to the region. Andrew Peaple really knows what he's talking about - he's been Heard on the Street Asia Editor and Deputy Finance Editor at The Wall Street Journal.