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Western governments, led by the U.S., have been taking a harder line on trade with China. At stake is global economic leadership, particularly in vital technologies from semiconductors to Artificial Intelligence to electric vehicles, as well as cooperation on climate goals. But how united are the U.S. and Europe on how to approach trade relations with China? What steps are big companies taking as tensions with Beijing rise, and how is Beijing responding?In this episode, Asia Matters’ Andrew Peaple is joined by Emily Benson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Alicia Garcia-Herrero at the European think-tank Bruegel.
A spy balloon and China’s presence in Cuba have put the spotlight on Beijing’s surveillance network around the globe this year, further fueling tensions with the U.S. But what do we know about China’s international intelligence operations? What are Beijing’s goals, and how is it using secret agents alongside satellites, TikTok and other hi-tech tools to monitor what happens in other countries?To answer these questions, CSDS-Asia Matters’ Paolo Bosonin spoke with former Pentagon official Kari Bingen – director of the aerospace security project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies – alongside Professor Chong Ja Ian from the National University of Singapore, and Liza Lin, Wall Street Journal reporter and co-author of the book, “Surveillance State: China’s quest to build a new era of social control”.
Cambodia’s longtime leader Hun Sen emerged as the winner once again in the country’s recent general election, with his ruling Cambodian People’s Party winning 120 of the 125 seats in the country’s national assembly. But if the election result was hardly in doubt, there is some change in the air. Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since the mid 1980s, has said he wants to pass his premiership on — though only as far as to his own son, Hun Manet. With that transition coming up later in August, this week we take a look at what it might mean for the South East Asian country. How much power will Hun Sen still hold? What do we know about Hun Manet? And what challenges lie ahead for the governance of Cambodia post-Covid, widely seen as the nation most tied to China in the region? To delve into these questions, our guest is Sophal Ear, associate professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and a long time commentator on Cambodian affairs. 
Cyberattacks are estimated to have caused trillions of dollars of damage to the world’s economy in recent years, and are now seen as a major national security threat by governments around the world. Some governments and private companies are looking to step up cooperation to fight the hackers, but nascent initiatives, such as a new pact between the EU and South Korea, face a number of hurdles. In this episode, CSDS Asia Matters’ Andrew Peaple speaks with three experts about the geopolitical forces – and rivalries – that are shaping the global cybersecurity landscape. His guests are Michael Reiterer, distinguished professor at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance, Prof. Seong-jong Song from the department of military science at Daejong University, in South Korea, and Wilhelm Vosse, from Japan’s International Christian University.You can find further analysis in this book, 'Cybersecurity Policy in the EU and South Korea from Consultation to Action' which contains contributions from Michael and Song-jong.
The triumph of the Move Forward party in Thailand’s election has highlighted young voters’ desire for change and reform. But with the party’s popular leader, Pita Limjaroenrat scrambling to form a government and facing political roadblocks, questions are mounting over what may happen next in the Southeast Asian nation. What’s the likelihood of a military intervention? Can the next government reform laws that prohibit criticism of the monarchy? Could there be a coup? Andrew Peaple discusses the risks and scenarios with Pongkwan Sawasdipakdi, an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Rattaphol Onsanit, Thai politics reporter at Voice of America. After this podcast was recorded, the country’s Election Commission said that it would investigate whether Pita Limjaroenrat had violated rules over eligibility.
There’s been plenty of coverage of the growing tensions between the U.S. and China, particularly when it comes to the Indo Pacific. In this episode we are going to consider how other countries are responding to that friction, and in turn, where that leaves the current balance of power in the region. Are countries feeling pressure to take sides? What impact are new alliances such as the Quad and AUKUS having? And how has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affected calculations in capitals across the Indo Pacific?Joining us to consider such questions we have two experts on international relations and strategy. Marjorie Vanbaelinghem is the director of France’s Institute for Strategic Research of the Ecole Militaire, and a diplomat who has previously served as France’s consul general in Bangalore. And Aries Arugay is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Political Science at the University of Philippines Dillman in Manila.
From K-pop superhits to Netflix shows and Oscar-winning films, South Korea has established itself as a global cultural powerhouse. “Squid Game,” “The Glory,” “Parasite” and BTS are only some of the names that make K-culture a multibillion dollar industry, with fans in the hundreds of millions. But how did the so-called Korean wave come to be, and what does it tell us about the small country’s changing role on the world stage? Asia Matters’ Andrew Peaple takes a close look at the phenomenon with his guests, Rosalie Kim at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and Ramon Pacheco Pardo from the Center for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance.
Arrests, sackings and resignations of top politicians amid a series of corruption scandals have dominated Vietnam’s news headlines in recent months. In this episode of Asia Matters hosted by Bill Hayton, political analyst Nguyen Phuong Linh and researcher Nguyen Khac Giang break down the stakes of the latest government shake-ups and explain what they mean for the future of the country, a key economic partner for both China and the U.S.
This episode Andrew is joined by Josh Kurlantzick, a senior fellow for South East Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. Josh's new book, entitled "Beijing's Global Media Offensive: China's Uneven Campaign To Influence Asia and the World", takes a deep dive into Beijing's soft power operations. What tools and techniques has it used to leverage influence over its neighbours and further afield? How successful have they been over the years? And what will the future of such operations look like in a post-pandemic world? 
This episode was recorded at the first ever Indo-Pacific Forum at the Brussels School of Governance, hosted by our partners, the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy. The forum was an opportunity for experts and policymakers from across both Europe and the Indo-Pacific to come together to talk about some really important issues - and for us to take them to one side to record them. Delegates discussed the geopolitical landscape - in particular, the US-China rivalry and how countries in the Indo-Pacific are responding to it - and what Europe's role in all of that might be. There was a session on the major security and defence trends taking place in the region, and one on the quickly changing landscape of technology and supply chains. To give you a flavour of the event, we talked to experts from each of the panels. Firstly Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of International Politics at Keio University, spoke on the balance of power in the region and how it's changed over time. Yoon Jung Choi, Director of the Center for Indo-Pacific Studies at South Korea's Sejong Institute, explained global supply chains and digital partnerships between Europe and Indo-Pacific countries. And lastly  Richard Tibbels, Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific at the European External Action Service, talked about how the EU sees its role in the region - and what the trends over the next few years might be.  
All eyes have been on China recently as the 20th Communist Party Congress drew to a close, and Xi Jinping was confirmed as leader for a historic third term. Joining us this episode to discuss the outcome of the congress and more is one of the UK’s leading academics on China, Kerry Brown. He's a prolific author, and started his career as a diplomat in the British embassy in Beijing in the 1990s. This show was recorded live in London about a week and a half ago in conjunction with the Lau Institute at King’s College, where Kerry is Professor of Chinese Studies.We talked about two of his most recent books: firstly, Xi: A Study in Power, which looks at the rise of China’s leader and where his rule might be headed. And secondly, a fascinating collection that Kerry has put together with Gemma Chenger Deng called ‘China Through European Eyes’. In it, they take excerpts from writings on China by thinkers from Marco Polo to Voltaire, and Karl Marx to Simone de Beauvoir, looking at the ways in which they have interacted with and interpreted the country.
South Korea has undoubtedly become a major player both in regional and — increasingly — global geopolitics. A remarkable period of economic growth in recent decades has led it to become the world’s tenth largest economy, home to global corporate giants such as Samsung and Hyundai. Yet the country’s post World War Two politics has been marked by drama, particularly as it transitioned to democracy in the 1980s, and more recently, as the threat from neighbour North Korea has intensified. Meanwhile South Korea’s growing influence on the world stage has been buttressed by its extraordinary cultural success, particularly with the rise of K-Pop and the popularity of Korean cinema.Our regular contributor Ramon Pacheco Pardo, the Korea Chair at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance, is our guest this week to discuss his new book, ‘From Shrimp to Whale’, in which he captures many of these themes. Joining him is Kim Eun Mee, Professor and Dean at the Graduate School of International Studies and the Director of the Institute for Development and Human Security at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
The assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on 8th July shocked the world, with tributes pouring in from all over the globe. Abe, Japan’s longest serving prime minister until he stepped down in 2020, was arguably one of the country’s most consequential leaders. He oversaw a programme of economic reform at home, which came to be known as Abenomics, as well as a reorientation of Japan’s approach to foreign policy and national security.In this episode we look at Abe's legacy, particularly when it comes to international affairs. We are thrilled to be joined by Eva Pejsova, senior Japan fellow at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance; and Dr Mike Green, chief executive of the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and the author of ‘Line of Advantage - Japan’s Grand Strategy in the Era of Shinzo Abe.’ 
This episode focuses on Japan’s role in Asia, and in particular its somewhat overlooked relations with South East Asia.While there is plenty of coverage of China’s increasing economic and diplomatic clout in the region, Japan — still, of course, the world’s third largest economy — has for decades been a major investor in the region. Not only that, it has also built strong diplomatic ties with southeast Asian nations and has recently been co-operating more closely on defence issues too, most recently signing a deal with Thailand.At a time when inter-state relations in Asia are evolving and becoming more complex, we wanted to look at Japan's significant presence in the region — and also to understand how countries there view that role. To do so, we have regular guest Eva Pejsova, a senior Japan fellow at CSDS with a research portfolio that focuses on security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. And we’re delighted to be joined for the first time by Maria Thaemar Tana, an assistant professor in international relations at the University of the Philippines. 
With tensions around North Korea starting to make headlines again, in this episode we look at relations between Pyongyang and its closest ally, China. The North Korean army has already carried out more missile tests this year than ever before, according to the US government - and speculation is mounting that the one-party state may be about to launch its first nuclear missile tests in five years. Despite their geographical and ideological proximity, China and North Korea have had an up-and-down relationship over the years. So how are the two countries co-operating now? What do both Beijing and Pyongyang want from their relationship, and how far would China go to defend its ally? Our guests this week are Tongfi Kim, Research Professor in Asian Geopolitics at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance; and Jiyoung Ko, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Korea University. 
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. 
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.
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. 
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
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. 
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