Learn about and listen to our 2020 events and podcasts
Podcast: Vietnam and the Covid-19 Crisis
Countries in Asia are dealing with the Covid-19 crisis differently, and Vietnam has been widely praised in its apparent success. But is this success down to luck, or tight government control?
Bill Hayton (Author of Vietnam: Rising Dragon (2010), his forthcoming book is The Invention of China (2020).
Recorded 20 May, 2020.
Event: How Asia Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pandemic
While much of the world is still in the grips of a tumultuous pandemic, areas of Asia are in recovery and planning for the year ahead, albeit at a cautious pace. China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia are executing roadmaps for economic recovery, and there are signs that some countries will benefit at the expense of distracted western democracies.
How does the next year look for the region? Will Asia emerge from the pandemic region stronger, and have a bolder China to contend with?
Tanvi Madan (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute)
Bill Hayton (Associate Fellow, Chatham House Asia-Pacific)
Nick Bisley (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)
Chair: Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)
Webinar held on 14 May, 2020.
Podcast: Uyghur Forced Labor in China
Since 2017, more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minorities have disappeared into a vast network of ‘re-education camps’ in the far west region of Xinjiang in what some experts call a systematic, government-led program of cultural genocide.
Now it appears that plans have entered a new phase, as government officials now claim that all ‘trainees’ have ‘graduated’. There is mounting evidence that many Uyghurs are now being forced to work in factories within Xinjiang.
Associate Professor James Leibold (Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University)
Podcast: Asia in Lockdown
Asia has been coping with the coronavirus in a variety of ways. Some regions, such as China, Hong Kong and South Korea, have reached a point where they are living with it. Others, such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines, are just emerging with cases, and due to low testing it’s hard to get a full picture of the situation.
In this episode of Asia Rising, we will hear from three countries in lockdown.
Professor Paul Yip (Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention, Hong Kong University)
Sea-Young Kim (East Asia Institute, Seoul, South Korea)
Dr Sandesha Rayapa (Linguistic Empowerment Cell, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
Podcast: Rules-Based Order in the South China Sea
The South China Seas comprises a large international body of water south of Taiwan. There are island and maritime claims from a number of sovereign states in the region, and is economically important as a commercial gateway for merchant shipping.
While much has been said on the arena of competition between the US and China, much less ink has been spilt on comparing the approaches of regional non-claimant states - Australia, India, South Korea and Japan - who all make the South China Seas their business. These states are often described as 'like-minded states' - are they?
Guest: Dr Rebecca Strating (Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Executive Director of La Trobe Asia)
Recorded 19 March, 2020.
Event: Uyghurs for Sale
Since 2017, more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minorities have disappeared into a vast network of ‘re-education camps’ in the far west region of Xinjiang, China, in what some experts call a systematic, government-led program of cultural genocide.
The ‘re-education' appears to be entering a new phase, as government officials now claim that all ‘trainees’ have ‘graduated’. There is mounting evidence that many Uyghurs are now being forced to work in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.
In this La Trobe Asia webinar we will be joined panel of experts who have investigated and reported on the Uyghur forced labour.
Associate Professor James Leibold (Head of Department - Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University)
Vicky Xiuzhong Xu (Researcher, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI))
Anna Fifield (Journalist for The Washington Post)
Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)
Recorded 9th April 2020
Podcast: Reporting the Hong Kong Protests
What started as a protest against a proposed new law, which would see people extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China to face Beijing-style justice, has now turned into a battle for the future of Hong Kong.
Sophie McNeill, a Walkley award winning journalist for the ABC television program 4 corners, was on the frontlines of Hong Kong's democracy protests.
Sophie McNeill (Reporter, 4 Corners, ABC)
Recorded 18 February, 2020.
Podcast: Coronavirus and Asia
With the coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the world the long-term effects are hard to project, and many are starting to question how a global event like this could alter the Asian economy and the balance of power.
Professor Nick Bisley (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)
Recorded 13 March, 2020
Event: Contest for the Indo-Pacific (book launch)
The Indo-Pacific is both a place and an idea. It is the region central to global prosperity and security. It is also a metaphor for collective action. If diplomacy fails, it will be the theatre of the first general war since 1945. But if its future can be secured, the Indo-Pacific will flourish as a shared space, the centre of gravity in a connected world.
Not only is the Indo-Pacific the area where the growing China-US rivalry seems to playing out, it is also home to a host of large and middle powers. These countries have a stake in that Great Power contest, but they also have ambitions and growing economies of their own. How can other countries respond to a strong and coercive China without resorting to capitulation or conflict?
Professor Rory Medcalf (Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University) is in conversation with Dr Rebecca Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia) at the Melbourne launch of his new book Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won't Map the Future published by La Trobe University Press. Introduced by Penny Burtt, CEO of Asialink.
Recorded at the State Library of Victoria on 5th March 2020.
Event: Democracy in Hong Kong - A Challenging Road Ahead
For months the citizens of Hong Kong have been taking to the streets, protesting democratic deterioration and rights violations. There have been frequent clashes with police, outbreaks of violence and widespread disruption to the city.
As the new year begins the movement shows little sign of relenting, and while it has had some success it would take serious changes in mainland China for broader demands to be considered.
While many democracies have voiced support for the movement, even more have remained silent, wary of the damaging accusations of meddling or drawing the ire of Beijing. So what are the demands of the protest movement? What is a likely future for Hong Kong’s democratic movement, and what does it mean for both the island and mainland China?
In this La Trobe Asia public event, an expert panel will consider the future and potential of Hong Kong’s democratic movement.
Sophie McNeill (Reporter, 4 Corners, ABC)
Dr Kevin Carrico (Senior lecturer, Chinese Studies, Monash University)
Yun Jiang (co-editor of China Neican)
Associate Professor James Leibold (Head of the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University) (Chair)
Recorded at State Library of Victoria on 18 February 2020.
Podcast: Tourism in North Korea
North Korea is one the world's most authoritarian and isolated countries, cut off from global trade and Western influence. Yet, its doors remain open to tourists, who the government welcomes and is keen to show the North Korea it wants them to see.
James Scullin (Tour leader in North Korea, co-author: The Hotels of Pyongyang)
Find out more about the book: www.instagram.com/hotelsofnorthkorea
Podcast: Gender and online activism in Indonesia
Violence against women and gender activism became central issues in Indonesia during the 2019 elections. The growing importance of these issues and events is a sign of how successful they have been at rallying supporters in the digital media environment.
Dr Monika Winarnita (Honorary Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)