42 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.

    Delta Damage: Asia's Continuing Covid Struggle

    Delta Damage: Asia's Continuing Covid Struggle

    For those hoping the coronavirus pandemic was under control in Asia, the summer has been a nasty shock. A resurgence of Covid-19 across Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and elsewhere, mainly associated with the spread of the Delta variant, has put paid to the idea the region was nearing the end of the health crisis. 
    Even in countries like China, where the virus seems to have been restrained, the way forward is not clear. Almost two years into the pandemic, as economies reel and populations chafe under continuing restrictions, questions are mounting over how sustainable a hardline approach may be.
    Joining us to discuss the current state of play in the region are Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Peter Mumford, a political risk analyst who is now the practice head for South East and South Asia at Eurasia Group in Singapore.
    As usual you can find more information at our website, asiamatterspod.com 

    • 35 min
    South Korea: The Tech Powerhouse on the Cyber Frontline

    South Korea: The Tech Powerhouse on the Cyber Frontline

    In any list of influential tech powers in the world, South Korea would undoubtedly be near the top. 

    In this episode we delve into how the country achieved this status,  transforming the nature of its economy and producing global industry leaders like Samsung and LG Electronics. 

    But  we'll also look to the future, and at how South Korea is working with the international community to build up the world's tech infrastructure. How is Seoul cooperating with other regions and countries when it comes to issues such as regulating the internet? How are issues of data collection and privacy being received in Korean society? 

    Like most globally connected powers, South Korea is also highly attuned to the risk of cyber attacks -  particularly given its volatile neighbour North Korea.  

    We are delighted to have Dr Michael Reiterer, former EU ambassador to Korea, and now the distinguished professor for international security and diplomacy at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy in Brussels, on the show. He has specialized in the EU’s relations with Korea and Japan during his career, particularly in the security realm. 

    Also joining us is Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra, a reader in International Political Economy at King’s College, London, whose research has focused on how east and southeast nations have developed their tech sectors. 

    For this episode, we are once again partnering with the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance. 

    • 37 min
    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

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