40 episodes

In Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.

Asia Matters Podcast Asia Matters

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    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

In Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.

    North Korea: The View from the South

    North Korea: The View from the South

    We turn again to the Korean peninsula in this week's episode, in another collaboration with CSDS. 

    We often talk about North Korea's future in terms of how the issue plays out amid the region's broad geopolitical rivalries, and between the US and China. Less discussed is how the issue is viewed in South Korea - which technically remains at war with its northern neighbour - and whose interest in the matter is existential.
    Seoul's approach to the DPRK is set to come more sharply into focus in the coming months, with candidates gearing up for next spring’s presidential elections, where a successor to Moon Jae-in will be chosen. 
    So what shapes South Korean attitudes towards North Korea? How united has the country been behind Moon’s approach over the last few years? And what might change as the country enters a period of new leadership?
    Joining us we have Dr Jina Kim, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, who specializes in North Asian security issues and has also advised the South Korean government.
    Our other guest is Ramon Pacheco Pardo, the Korea Chair at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance. 

    CSDS is home to a rich expertise on Asia, and is working to enhance understanding of Asia’s security matters in Europe and promote greater engagement between the two regions. 

    You can find more information on the topic on their website, as well as on our own - www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 38 min
    Myanmar Six Months On: A Failed State?

    Myanmar Six Months On: A Failed State?

    The most shocking political development in Asia so far this year is arguably the seizure of power by the military in Myanmar, and the arrest of the country’s former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military’s crackdown on protests and other resistance against the coup has so far resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

    In this episode we discuss the impact of the coup on the South East Asian nation, which is also often known as Burma, and how the current situation may develop in the months ahead.

    Joining us to do so we are pleased to welcome back to the podcast Thant Myint-U, one of the best known historians of the country and the author most recently of ‘The Hidden History of Burma’.

    As ever - you can find out more on our website, www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 38 min
    The Olympics in Asia: Gold, Glory and Geopolitics

    The Olympics in Asia: Gold, Glory and Geopolitics

    Against all odds, and after much compromise,  the Tokyo Olympic Games are set to go ahead this summer.  With no foreign fans and most spectators banned, it's certainly not the event  Japan would have wanted. 

    In this episode we’ll assess the impact and significance of past Olympics in the Asian region, as well as what this summer’s event may mean for Japan. Previous Olympics in Asia have often held huge symbolic importance - from Japan's post WWII 'coming out' Games in 1964, right up until most recently in 2008, when a newly powerful and confident China hosted the Beijing games. 

    Indeed, throughout recent history, hosting the Games has been a chance for countries to not just show off their sporting prowess, but also to demonstrate their cultural and economic power,  and to shape powerful narratives about themselves both on the global and domestic stage. 

    Joining us this week is the man who literally wrote the book on the politics of sport in Asia - Victor Cha, currently the Senior Vice President and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and author of ‘Beyond the Final Score’.
    Our other guest is the University of Birmingham's Shushu Chen, an expert in sport policy and management who has published extensively on the legacies of various Games. 

    As ever - you can find out more on our website, www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 37 min
    How the EU Fits into Asia’s Security Puzzle

    How the EU Fits into Asia’s Security Puzzle

    This week we turn our attention to the Indo-Pacific -   the new geopolitical groupings emerging there, from multilateral trade deals to nascent security arrangements - and how Europe fits in to the picture. 

    The most well-known of these new security groups is probably the Quad, a grouping of the major democracies with skin in the game in the region -  namely India, Japan, Australia, and the US.  

    But what of Europe, the world's largest trading bloc? 

    Back in April, the EU published a strategy document aimed at boosting its presence in the region. But what does that mean in practice - what does the bloc hope to achieve, what limitations is it up against - and what do the major players situated in the region make of this renewed European focus? 

    This is Asia Matters' latest collaboration with the Centre for Security, Strategy and Diplomacy at the Brussels School of Governance - and its Senior Japan Fellow  Eva Pejsova is one of our guests as we discuss where Europe fits into the shifting geopolitical picture in the region. 

    Joining Andrew and Eva are Abhijit Singh, Senior Fellow and head of the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation; and Kei Koga, Assistant Professor at the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. 

    As ever - you can find out more on our website, www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 39 min
    Does China See Itself as a Great Power?

    Does China See Itself as a Great Power?

    In July the Chinese Communist Party turns 100. From humble beginnings in a small building in Shanghai's French Concession, the party would go on to seize power, retaining it into the present day, and fundamentally alter the course of China's history. 

    A century ago, the CCP's founders would probably not have been able to imagine the influence they would wield and the modern country their party would forge, even if they might have hoped for it.  China in 1921 was fracturing, impoverished, and often found itself at the mercy of the era's great powers. 

    But today's China is a global economic behemoth; and its international political influence is inexorably on the rise too, seen in its growing power in multilateral institutions like the UN. Many would argue that it's seen by the world's leading superpower, the United States, as its main rival. 

    But is China what we might call a great power? And crucially - whilst we certainly know a lot about what everyone else thinks about this - how does China perceive itself?  

    To answer these very big questions, we've assembled some of the biggest brains in the field. 

    The incomparable Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, is our guest host for this episode. He's joined by Professor Shaun Breslin of the University of Warwick and Suyan Pan, Associate Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. 

    As ever - you can find out more on our website, www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 48 min
    North Korea: Is Full Denuclearisation Still a Viable Goal?

    North Korea: Is Full Denuclearisation Still a Viable Goal?

    For this episode we're taking a look at one of the world’s most intractable geopolitical issues - North Korea - as the second of our collaborations with the Centre for Security, Strategy and Diplomacy at the Brussels School of Governance. 

    South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has just been in Washington for talks with President Biden, in part to discuss how to deal with the long-isolated country. 

    And in its first comments reacting to that meeting, Pyongyang has signalled it was not best pleased - warning that what it called the U.S.’s hostile policy against the North could lead to an “acute and unstable situation” on the Korean Peninsula. 

    The last few years have of course seen plenty of drama, but little resolution around the North Korean issue - Donald Trump's historic talks with Kim Jong Un being a prime example of both phenomena. 
    So has there been any real progress on the Korean Peninsula?  What is the best and most realistic way forward now? Is it time, for example, to give up the goal of fully denuclearising North Korea? 

    This week we are joined by CSDS's Korea Chair, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, who is also an associate professor at King’s College, London. Our other distinguished guest is Sue Mi Terry, a senior fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, her latest post in a stellar career following Korean issues in the worlds of intelligence, policy making and academia. 
    This episode is a collaboration with the CSDS, home to a rich expertise on Asia and is working to enhance understanding of Asia’s security matters in Europe and promote greater engagement between the two regions.

    As ever - you can find out more on our website, www.asiamatterspod.com

    • 38 min

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