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24 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
#172: Anti-China Sentiment in India
In June 2020 there was a clash between India and China at a disputed border site in the Himalayan Galwan Valley, in which twenty India soldiers were killed. A wave of anti-Chinese sentiment swelled across India, with Chinese-made televisions thrown from balconies, restaurants boycotted and Chinese goods burnt. With the covid-19 pandemic devastating India the anti-Chinese sentiment has only worsened. While bilateral trade between the two countries is now recovering, there is a conscious effort of decoupling. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has banned hundreds of Chinese apps, slowed approval for Chinese investment and called for self-reliance. With Indian public discourse on China worsening, have the two countries have walked away from shaping the ‘Asian century’ together? Guest: Snigdha Poonam (Author and independent Journalist) Recorded on 14 October, 2021.
60 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Webinar: Asian Monarchies in the Modern Age
While the twentieth century saw the collapse of monarchies across Europe, recent events are a reminder that hereditary monarchies still matter in Asia. In some countries like Malaysia and Bhutan the institution is thriving, but they can struggle for relevancy given the pro-democracy movement in Thailand and fast-modernising landscape of Japan. In an era of autocratic populism, does constitutional monarchy provide some safeguards against the megalomania of political leaders? Are they just feudal relics and ceremonial figureheads which should be abolished, or does the division between ceremonial and actual power act as a brake on authoritarian politicians? A virtual book launch of God Save the Queen: The strange persistence of monarchies by Dennis Altman, published by Scribe Publications. Speakers: Professor Dennis Altman (Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, La Trobe University) Professor Kaori Okano (Japanese Studies, La Trobe University) Dr Wendy Mee, (Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University) Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia) (Chair) Recorded 12 October, 2021.
33 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
#171: Vietnam's Strategic Challenge
As strategic competition between the US and China increasingly shapes the region, Vietnam has reoriented its national foreign and defence policy. Vietnam has a major stake in the international rules-based order. One of its key priorities is defending sovereignty and maritime claims in the South China Sea, which are coming under challenge by an assertive Beijing. Vietnam has been increasingly vocal in its opposition to Beijing's coercive activities and claims in the maritime domain. It has also been deepening diplomatic and defence links with the US and other regional partners, such as Australia. How has strategic competition between the US and China influenced Vietnam's foreign and defence policy? Is Hanoi likely to move closer to the US, or "hedge" against choosing between either power? And what does this mean for Vietnam's relations with China and the wider region? Guest: Dr Huong Le Thu (Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Non-resident Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC) Recorded on 29th September, 2021.
61 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Webinar: The Shortest History of China
Modern China is seen variously as an economic powerhouse, an icon of urbanisation, a propaganda state or an aggressive superpower seeking world domination. From kung-fu to tofu, tea to trade routes, sages to silk, China has influenced cuisine, commerce, military strategy, aesthetics and philosophy across the world for thousands of years. China’s history is full of heroes who are also villains, prosperous ages and violent rebellions, cultural vibrancy and censorious impulses, rebels, loyalists, dissidents and wits. The story of women in China, from the earliest warriors to twentieth-century suffragettes, is rarely told. And historical spectres of corruption and disunity, which have brought down many a mighty ruling house, continue to haunt the People’s Republic today. Panel: Linda Jaivin (Author and co-editor of the China Story Yearbook) Dr Ruth Gamble (Lecturer, History, La Trobe University) Professor Baogang He (Alfred Deakin Professor and Personal Chair in International Relations, Deakin University) Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)(Chair) A virtual launch of Linda Jaivin’s book ‘The Shortest History of China’, available from Black Inc books. Recorded 28 September, 2021.
31 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
#170: Australia’s Relationship with India
India and Australia stand to benefit greatly through deep and ongoing engagement. But despite some share interests between the two states, there is a shallow public interest and understanding of India in Australia, and the coverage of the country is often cursory and limited in scope. How can we better promote understanding of India in Australia, leverage shared interests, and strengthen national, business and societal relations? Guest: Lisa Singh (Deputy Chair, Australia India Council and Former Australian Senator (2011-2019)). Recorded on 19th August, 2021.
32 minutes | Aug 13, 2021
#169: Gender and Security in Asia
Why does gender matter when thinking about security? In Asia, discussions and policies concerning conflict, peace and security remain dominated by male voices and views. The exclusion of women’s voices has significant implications for the types of ideas, strategies and policies that are proposed and adopted in security-related fields. A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast for 'India Week' - in collaboration with the Australia India Institute. Guest: Dr Meenakshi Gopinath (Director, Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace and member of the La Trobe Asia Advisory Board) Recorded on 11th July, 2021.
86 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Webinar: The Challenge of China
The recent emergence of China as an economic and military super-power, rivalling the United States, is one of the most significant and challenging developments of the present era. A La Trobe Asia / Ideas and Society event Speakers: - The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull AC (29th Prime Minister of Australia) - The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC (26th Prime Minister of Australia) - Professor John Dewar (Vice-Chancellor, La Trobe University (Introduction) - Dr Rebecca Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia) (Chair) Recorded on 10th August, 2021.
30 minutes | Aug 6, 2021
#168: Religious Tourism in India
India had more than 10 million foreign tourists arrive in 2019, and more than a billion domestic tourists. A large portion of these are religious tourists, visiting the multitude of Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist sites scattered around the country. Guest: Dr Kiran Shinde (Senior lecturer and Convener of Planning program at La Trobe University) Recorded on 22rd July, 2021.
63 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Webinar: Is Asia Going to War?
As Asia grapples with a global pandemic the region has become less secure. China's ambitions in Taiwan and Hong Kong are growing, North Korea is uncharacteristically silent, and the United States, a long-time stabilising presence, continues to slowly withdraw. In this webinar, an expert panel considers where conflict is likely, who could be involved, and what can be done to mitigate the situation. A La Trobe Asia / Asia Society event Speakers: Dr Oriana Skylar Mastro, Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University Professor Nick Bisley, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University Guy Boekenstein, Northern Australia Fellow, Asia Society Matt Smith, La Trobe Asia (Chair) Recorded on 4th August, 2021.
26 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
#167: China Panic
Australia’s relationship with China has been in sharp decline, fuelled by a critical government agenda and a hostile media environment. The trust, warmth and confidence towards China is at a record low, and the majority of Australians now see it as a major security threat. In his new book China Panic, David Brophy offers a progressive alternative to Australia’s relationship with China aside from paranoia and pandering, with solutions and strategies that strengthen Australian democracy. Guest: Dr David Brophy (Senior Lecturer in modern Chinese history, University of Sydney) Recorded on 22nd July, 2021.
61 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Webinar: Japan’s Evolving Security Policy
Japan has been expanding its military roles in the post-Cold War period. While the conventional security threats associated with China’s military rise and North Korea’s nuclear weapons are still present, Japan’s participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, the arms trade ban policy, regional maritime capacity-building and shaping international norms have become more influential in Japan’s foreign and defence policy. How have domestic norms and political interests contributed to this trend? How does Japan balance a desire to broaden its military role without violating the pacifist domestic norm? And how will it expand relations with other states to pursue its economic and security interests in a changing region? The book launch of Japan's Evolving Security Policy: Militarisation within a Pacifist Tradition by Kyoko Hatakeyama, published by Routledge. Panel: Professor Kyoko Hatakeyama (Graduate School of International Studies and Regional Development, University of Niigata Prefecture) Professor Nick Bisley (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University) Associate Professor Nobuhiro Aizawa (Department of Cultural Studies, Kyushu University) Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia) Held as live zoom panel on 8th June, 2021.
21 minutes | May 19, 2021
#163: Xinjiang's Falling Birth Rate
In April 2017, Chinese Communist Party authorities in Xinjiang launched a series of “strike-hard” campaigns against “illegal births” with the explicit aim to “reduce and stabilise a moderate birth level” and decrease the birth-rate in southern Xinjiang. The crackdown has led to an unprecedented and precipitous drop, and the largest declines have been in counties where Uyghurs and other indigenous communities are concentrated. Guest: Professor James Leibold (Head of Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University and a senior fellow at Australian Strategic Policy Institute). Professor Leibold’s report, ‘Family De-planning: The Coercive Campaign to Drive Down Indigenous Birth-rates in Xinjiang’ was co-authored with Nathan Ruser of ASPI. Recorded on 18th May, 2021.
28 minutes | May 12, 2021
#162: What to Expect at the Shangri-La Dialogue
The Shangri-La Dialogue is one of the premiere defence summits on the Asian calendar, where leaders from all over the region gather to discuss key global issues and security trends. James Crabtree, Executive Director of IISS-Asia, oversees the event and lays out what likely to be on the agenda at this year's dialogue.
27 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
#161: Social Justice in Japan's Education
Over the past two decades Japan has experienced slow economic growth, changed employment practices, population decline, an ageing society, and an increasingly multi-ethnic population resulting from migration. How all of these factors have influenced education will shape the society of the future. Guest: Professor Kaori Okano (Asian Studies and Japanese, La Trobe University)
58 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Webinar: China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order
The rise of China, Trump’s America First policies, division within Europe and successful defiance by authoritarian states are affecting the shape of the emerging new order. Human rights, rule of law, free media and longstanding global institutions all seem set to be weakened. Autocracies are exercising greater control over world affairs. Australia will need to engage heightened levels of diplomacy to forge relations with countries of opposing principles. It will need to be agile in pursuing a realistic foreign policy agenda if it is to be well positioned for this future. A La Trobe Asia 'China in Focus' seminar, held in front of a zoom audience on 22 April, 2021. Speakers: Geoff Raby (former Australian ambassador to China (2007–11); ambassador to APEC (2003–5); and ambassador to the World Trade Organization (1998–2001). Member of the La Trobe Asia advisory board.
65 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
Webinar: Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking in Asia
Human trafficking is an urgent human security issue in Asia. The abuse and exploitation associated with human trafficking have been documented across a range of sectors, including the sex industry, domestic work, construction, agriculture, and fisheries. Key drivers of human trafficking across the region include poverty and the desire for a better life. Increasingly widening economic disparities in Asia and the impact of climate change have become a focus of attention for organisations attempting to address peoples' vulnerability to human trafficking. Trafficking for labour exploitation outside the sex industry is now recognised as an equally significant concern in the region. The offshore fishing industry is beset by extreme cases of forced labour and human trafficking, exploiting migrant workers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar, and with countries like Australia benefitting from the import of this seafood only fuelling the problem. Speakers: Associate Professor Sallie Yea (Tracey Banivanua Mar Principal Research Fellow, La Trobe University) Jenny Stanger (Executive Manager at the Anti-Slavery Task Force, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney) Sunil Rao (Lecturer, La Trobe Law School, La Trobe University) Chair: Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia) Held as live zoom panel on 20th April, 2021.
34 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
#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. Guest: Chris Buckley (Chief China correspondent for The New York Times). Recorded with a live zoom audience on 30th March 2021.
33 minutes | Mar 17, 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. Guest: 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.
91 minutes | Mar 17, 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. Speakers: 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.
30 minutes | Mar 12, 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. Guests: 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)
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