2020 Podcasts

Learn about and listen to our 2020 events and podcasts.

Sacred Geographies and Asia

Cultural and environmental conservation can be motivated by a number of factors, such as desire for resources, tourism, or perhaps just an appreciation for the environment. Perhaps there is no greater motivation for conservation in Asia than that of sacred geographies.

Dr Ruth Gamble (Environmental historian and lecturer, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University)

Recorded 30 November 2020

Book launch: Violating Peace: Sex, Aid and Peacekeeping

Sexual misconduct by military peacekeepers and abuses perpetrated by civilian peacekeepers and non-UN civilian interveners is a serious problem to local peoples and humanitarian efforts. It affects the capacity of the international community to achieve its goals related to stability and peacebuilding, and its legitimacy in the eyes of local and global populations.

In her new book 'Violating Peace: Sex, Aid and Peacekeeping', Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf draws on extensive field research in Bosnia, Timor-Leste, and with the UN and humanitarian communities, to investigate the impact of these behaviours.

A panel discussed the implications of the findings in relation to Asia.

Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf (Senior Lecturer in International Relations, La Trobe University)
Dr Helen Durham (Director of International Law and Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross)
Professor Susan Harris Rimmer (Director, Policy Innovation Hub, Griffith University)

Dr Bec Strating, (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)

Recorded live as a webinar on 24 November 2020

Live Podcast: How will the Biden Presidency Affect Asia?

The election of Joe Biden to serve as the 46th President of the United States comes at a critical moment of the country’s relationship with Asia. A global pandemic, frayed diplomatic relations and struggling economies make the next four years internationally significant, and Biden is assumed to reset many relationships and to bring an old-school sensibility back to diplomacy His actions will have a major impact on regional prosperity and security.

In this special episode of the Asia Rising podcast Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, speaks about the outcome of the United States election and what the Biden Presidency could mean for Asia.

Bonnie Glaser (Senior Adviser for Asia, Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Recorded 17 November 2020

Webinar: Australia-China Relations: A New Low Point?

In 2020, Australia and China relations appeared to hit new lows. Diplomatic tensions flared over a range of issues, including Australia’s unilateral calls for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, Beijing’s trade strikes on key industries, and raids on journalists.

In Australia, concerns about foreign interference and human rights violations have encouraged an increasingly hardline anti-China stance in some quarters, including among the so-called ‘Wolverines’. In Chinese media, Australia is presented as a lackey of the United States and a satellite of American interests in the Indo-Pacific.

Despite these challenges, China remains Australia’s biggest trade partner. Are Australia-China relations where they need to be? To what extent does Australia remain reliant upon trade with China? And is the Morrison government’s adoption of a more assertive, ‘sovereign first’ approach to Sino-Australian relations helpful, or likely to do more harm than good?

In this La Trobe Asia webinar a panel of experts discussed these questions.

Dr Gerald Roche (Senior Research Fellow, Politics, La Trobe University)
Assistant Professor Dan Hu (Deputy Director, Australian Studies Centre, Beijing Foreign Studies University)
Richard McGregor (Senior Fellow, Lowy Institute)
Mike Smith (China Correspondent, Australian Financial Review)

Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)

Recorded live via zoom on 11 November 2020

Webinar: India's Heritage: Preserving the Past While Embracing the Future

India has a long and unique history with a rich cultural heritage, but in the modern race for progress it can be difficult to conserve the past. The country boasts 38 recognised UNESCO world heritage sites with many more under consideration, ranging from natural wonders like the Himalayan National Park, to the cultural treasures such as the Agra Fort, the Taj Mahal, and the Historic City of Ahmedabad. These sites are treated with respect and pride by India, but many intersect with conflicting demands of tourism, religion, and everyday living.

How can India preserve its heritage while pursuing a ‘smart-city’ agenda? Who holds the responsibility for maintaining and preserving these sites? How does heritage status affect the local individuals and communities?

Dr Kiran Shide (Planning, La Trobe University)
Professor Utpal Sharma (Dean and Director at the Institute of Architecture and Planning at NIRMA University, India)
Dr Anita Smith (Archaeology and History, La Trobe University)

Dr Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia)

A La Trobe Asia event as part of the Australia India Institute’s 'India Week'.

Recorded live via zoom on 29 October 2020

Live Podcast: Assessing Australia and India's Strategic Partnership

Over the past five years India and Australia’s bilateral relations appear to be deepening. Both states agree that the future security challenges are likely to occur in the world’s oceans, and other common domains such as space. As a response to rising regional contestation, India and Australia have both expanded defence cooperation activities, including through the development of multiparty initiatives such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the ‘Quad’) and the new India, France and Australia trilateral grouping. Yet, differences in strategic outlook and trade relations remain that may hinder closer cooperation.

Are Australia and India’s strategic interests closely aligned? How does India’s leadership define its core national security interests, and seek to manage relationships with rising China and the US? And what practical steps can India and Australia take to further strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation?

A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast as part of the Australia India Institute’s 'India Week' via zoom.

Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan (Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)

Recorded on 27 October 2020

Symposium: Inclusive and accessible education and services to students with disabilities in higher education

The COVID 19 pandemic has forced educational institutions across the globe to rapidly embrace online learning. This has particular implications for teachers and students with disabilities.

Before the pandemic, access to education in Indonesia was already a significant challenge for its nearly 27 million people with disabilities.

At this online event we bring together experiences from Australia and Indonesia on how tertiary education institutions are responding to the changes currently underway.

It is critical now to consider what policies and practices can be put in place to ensure the rights of students with disabilities to quality and accessible education is not neglected.

Australia and Indonesia are both state parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), however, the different socio-economic, legal and political landscapes means that it is beneficial for both countries to learn from each other.

Professor drh. Aris Junaidi, Ph.D, Director of Learning and Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia
Professor Dr. Ir. Hendrawan Soetanto, M.Rur, Sc, Vice-Chancellor Office for Academic and Research, Universitas Brawijaya
Ir Achmad Wicaksono, M.Eng., Ph.D, Director of Educational Development and Quality Assurance
Alies Poetri Lintangsari, MA, Centre of Disability Services, Universitas Brawijaya
Slamet Thohari, Indonesia Chair of AIDRAN
Anthony Gartner, Manager, Equity and Diversity, La Trobe University
Beth Radulski, PhD candidate, La Trobe University
Ramas McRae, Auslan Coordinator/Lecturer, La Trobe University
Dr Dina Afrianty, Research Fellow, La Trobe University and President AIDRAN

Dr Rebecca Strating, Executive Director, La Trobe Asia

This online seminar continues the collaboration between La Trobe University and Brawijaya University under their Memorandum of Understanding which aims to strengthen mutual learning on equity and diversity in tertiary education.

Download the closed captions in English and Bahasa Indonesian

Recorded 21 October 2020

Live Podcast: Jokowi’s Challenge: Indonesia in a Time of Change

From a riverside shack to the presidential palace, Joko Widodo surged to the top of Indonesian politics on a wave of hope for change. However, six years into his presidency, he is struggling to deliver the reforms that Indonesia desperately needs. Despite promising to build Indonesia into an Asian powerhouse, Jokowi, as he is known, has been challenged by regular crisis, from COVID-19 to an Islamist mass movement. How does Indonesia balance the competing demands of democracy and authoritarianism, openness and protectionism, Islam and pluralism?

Guest: Ben Bland (Author of Man of Contradictions, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute).

Recorded with a live Zoom audience on 13 October 2020

Webinar: Trump vs Biden: the US Election and Implications for Asia

The 2020 United States presidential election is weeks away, and the stakes have never been higher. A global pandemic, frayed diplomatic relations and struggling economies make the outcome of the race between incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and stalwart democratic contender Joe Biden internationally significant.

Over recent years, China has increasingly asserted its stake in the South China Sea, North Korea has stepped into the international spotlight, and India has flexed its military might at borders in every direction. Despite the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, doubt has been cast on the long-term prospects of US leadership and presence in the region. The outcome of the election will likely shape the global balance of power and US-Asian relations for many years to come.

What might Asia expect from four more years of a Trump presidency? What does a Biden presidency promise for Asia, and is it likely to improve regional co-operation? Or will the nations of Asia find strength in pursuing greater strategic autonomy?

A La Trobe Asia/Perth USAsia Centre event

Frank Lavin (former White House Political Director; former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore)
Professor Gordon Flake (Chief Executive Officer, Perth USAsia Centre)
Dr Kyungjin Song (Director, FN Global Issues Center)

Chair: Dr Rebecca Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)

Webinar held on 7 October 2020.

Live Podcast: Japan after Abe

The retirement of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was met with concern and dismay in Japan. The long-serving leader had been in office since 2012, retained a strong popularity, and was well respected as a thoughtful and progressive leader in the international arena.

Following in his footsteps is Yoshihide Suga, a public face of the Abe administration who emerged as a leading favourite. The 71 year old is from a modest background and a self made man, and would be an unusual leader in a country that favours political dynasties.

Dr Shiro Armstrong (Director, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Australian National University)

Recorded 30 September 2020.

Live Podcast: An Asian-American in the White House

In its many successes and struggles, the Asian-American community can be seen as a microcosm of the nation. Despite often being treated as a monolithic community there is great diversity amongst the groups, and all are impacted by varying degrees to the current coronavirus emergency, the political climate and the inflammatory rhetoric directed at Asian nations.

As the United States approaches a divisive election during the year of a devastating pandemic, La Trobe University’s Asia Rising podcast welcomes Chris Lu to the 150th episode.

Chris Lu (Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia Miller Center)

Chris Lu served in the Obama administration as Deputy Secretary of Labor, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Recorded on 9 September 2020.

Webinar: Education and the Politics of Identity in East Asia

Despite their diverse histories and cultures, common tensions characterize debates about identity and nationhood across the Asia-Pacific. Homogenous visions of identity and nationhood sit uneasily alongside notions of citizenship that embrace cultural and ethnic diversity. In many societies, rising inequality feeds fear and resentment of immigrants, and legacies or memories of empire and colonialism have also fuelled resentment of foreign interference or ‘hegemony’. In stories of nationhood, what is forgotten or avoided is just as important as what is remembered.

What role, then, does education play in shaping ideas of identity and nationhood across the contemporary Asia-Pacific? To what extent are citizens taught to see political identity as something diverse and complex, and what are the implications of different approaches to citizenship education? And, should we see education as a potential tool for promoting national reconciliation, or as a dangerous weapon for inciting hatred and division?

Professor Tzu-Bin Lin (Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs, National Taiwan Normal University)
Professor Edward Vickers (Professor of Comparative Education, Kyushu University)
Professor Kaori Okano (Professor of Japanese Studies/Asian Studies, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, La Trobe University)

Dr Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University)

A joint La Trobe University/Kyushu University event for Asia Week at Kyushu University via zoom.

Webinar held on 9 September 2020.

Webinar: Pandemics and Public Health Systems in Asia

The covid-19 pandemic sweeping across Asia and the world has highlighted the strengths and limitations in the delivery of public health services within different states. While some states like Vietnam and South Korea are praised for their successful responses to the global crisis, the public health systems in other countries have seemingly struggled to manage surges in cases.

A well-developed and effective public health system is one that meets the needs of communities through the achievement of primary health care objectives. This requires recognising and accounting for the complex relationships between the delivery of health services and other national priorities in politics, economics, the environment, culture and education. What lessons can Asian states draw from Covid-19 and other pandemics in strengthening their public health systems? Which states have been successful in dealing with pandemics and why? And how are pandemics linked with other global challenges?

In this La Trobe Asia webinar a panel of experts discussed these questions.

Professor Vivian Lin (Public Health Practice, University of Hong Kong)
Professor George Liu (School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University)
Dr Susan Mercado (Special Envoy of the President for Global Health Initiatives, Philippines)

Dr Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University)

Webinar held on 2 September 2020.

Live Podcast: Singapore’s Place in Asia’s Pandemic Recovery

Singapore has long been a global hub of business, uniquely positioned in the world of economics at a crossroads serving multiple time zones and business interests. While the highly developed city-state is home to the world’s second busiest port, it has no natural resources and relies largely on international trade for its economic prosperity.

How does a new reality of limited travel and pandemic restrictions look from Singapore and what changes can we expect in the global marketplace? What role will it play in regional economic recovery, and is there still a place for a green economy?

His Excellency Mr Kwok Fook Seng, Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia.

From 2011 to 2014, Mr Kwok Fook Seng was Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. As Ambassador for Climate Change from 2014 to 2016, he worked on the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015.

Recorded 25 August 2020.

Live Podcast: DNA Harvesting and Policing in China

The Chinese Government is building the world’s largest police-run DNA database, profiling tens of millions of people across the country who have no history of serious criminal activity. Those individuals (including preschool-age children) have no control over how their samples are collected, stored and used. When combined with other surveillance tools it will increase the power of the Chinese state and further social control.

A live podcast recording of the Asia Rising podcast via zoom.

Associate Professor James Leibold (Head of the department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University)
Emile Dirks (PhD candidate in political science at the University of Toronto)

Recorded 12 August 2020.

Live Podcast: Taiwan's Ally or Wildcard? (Trump in Asia #4)

The United States’ approach to Taiwan has long been defined by ‘strategic ambiguity’. While it has never directly challenged China’s claim over the island, the U.S. has also never shied away from selling weapons to Taipei or making use of the Taiwan Strait for naval exercises.

The Trump administration has arguably provided more tangible and symbolic support for Taiwan than any previous U.S. presidency - but how much of that is related to China? Is Taiwan just a pawn in a diplomatic chess game between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, and what does the United States prioritise in the relationship?

A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast via zoom.

Natasha Kassam (Research Fellow, Diplomacy and Public Opinion Program, Lowy Institute)

Recorded on 21 July 2020.

Live Podcast: Is Trump making Asia a more unstable region? (Trump in Asia #3)

The election of Donald Trump was met with mixed emotions across Asia, and in the years since his presidency has had a marked effect on the stability of the region.

Countries are adjusting and re-evaluating their perspectives on regional security, alliances are being tested, and many countries are facing the reality of an Asia without a United States presence.

A live recording of the Asia Rising podcast via zoom.

Professor Nick Bisley (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)

Recorded on 15 July 2020.

Live Podcast: India's High-Maintenance Relationship (Trump in Asia #2)

The election of Donald Trump heralded a new era in the relationship between the United States and India. For India, America has become arguably its most important partner, and the new president represented a volatile unknown. In subsequent years, policy-makers have tried to limit disruption and move the India-U.S. relationship forward.

While the strategic side of the relationship has not been without differences, there is a lot at stake for India-U.S. relations. India has unpredictable neighbours in China and Pakistan, and the United States is critical to the maritime security of the Indian Ocean.

Has the Trump presidency been good for India and America? Do Narendra Modi and Donald Trump have a good working relationship, and how could things change for the two countries in the future?

A live podcast recording of the Asia Rising podcast via zoom.

Tanvi Madan (Director, The India Project, The Brookings Institution)

Recorded on 7 July 2020.

Webinar: Trump in Asia

Donald J. Trump’s win in the 2016 US elections was met with mixed emotions across Asia. Many in the region greeted the election with cautious optimism. They assumed that Washington would take a more pragmatic line, and that a man who prided himself on his business acumen would present new opportunities in trade and resource relations.

But the Trump presidency has proven to be unpredictable. His relationship with Asian countries has been wide-ranging, from flattering to negligent, and competition among the major powers, particularly between China and the United States, has intensified and is now the dominant feature of the region’s international relations.

So how has the relationship between the United States and Asia fared under the leadership of Donald Trump? Will the situation improve in the future, and what will it mean for the power balance in the region if they don’t?

The launch of the La Trobe Asia Brief Issue 4 - Trump in Asia: A More Dangerous Place.

Associate Professor Nicole Curato (Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra)
Professor Zha Daojiong (School of International Studies, Peking University)
Dr Huong Le Thu (Australian Strategic Policy Institute)

Dr Rebecca Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)

Webinar held on 1 July 2020.

Webinar: South China Sea and Maritime Rule-Based Order

Over the past decade the hotly disputed South China Sea has become increasingly used as example of the rising strategic competition between the People’s Republic of China and the United States.

Overlapping territory claims and maritime jurisdiction, strategic control over maritime domain, and differences in legal interpretations of freedom of navigation combine in a broader contest that affects multiple countries in Southeast Asia as they defend their maritime entitlements. Even regional non-claimant states such as Australia, Japan, India and South Korea claim stakes in the South China Sea, reflecting concerns about the shifting regional order and China’s intentions in the maritime domain.

How do these different countries approach the South China Sea disputes? How are concepts around sovereignty, history and the law of the sea used and abused in foreign policy discussions and discourses? And what capacity is there for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – the so-called Constitution for the Oceans – to resolve these complex problems?

Gregory Poling (Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies)
Dr Lynn Kuok (Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, International Institute for Strategic Studies)
Dr Rebecca Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University)

Professor Nick Bisley (Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)

Webinar held on 15 June 2020.

Podcast: A Wedge Between Koreas (Trump in Asia #1)

The United States and North Korea both share a desire to achieve a breakthrough in their relationship, but to very different ends. At one time there was the hope that strongman personalities of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un could push their way through diplomatic roadblocks, but with a year since their last significant meeting interaction has stalled.

Sea Young Kim, (Research Associate and Project Manager, the East Asia Institute (EAI), South Korea).

Recorded 24 April 2020.

Webinar: Women and Australian International Affairs

This La Trobe Asia event launched the newly released Australian Journal of International Affairs special issue “Critical Analyses in Australian Foreign, Defence and Strategic Policy”, a collection of essays by early- to mid-career Australian women researchers that arose as a response to ongoing issues around women’s visibility and representation in Australian International Affairs.

Webinar held on 3 June 2020.

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: Dr 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)

Dr Bec Strating (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia)

Recorded on 9 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 5 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)
Chair: Associate Professor James Leibold (Head of the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

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)