China’s Active Defense Explained, Hong Kong Shows Beijing, MERS, and more


Democracy advocates in Hong Kong stand their ground and send a clear message to Beijing. Is China’s “Active Defense” strategy anything new and just what does it mean? Plus was Washington’s OPM hack consistent with China’s cyber warfare plans? These stories and more in this week’s podcast.

MERS, MERS, and More MERS

The South Korean MERS situation continues to remain fluid. This week in the podcast, host Steve Miller shares the most salient bits of information, to help paint a comprehensive picture of the current situation. How many are affected, did the WHO throw the South Korean government under the bus, and why is Seoul’s mayor in hot water are all addressed.

Democrats Stand Ground in Hong Kong

Ahead of Hong Kong’s historic vote on universal suffrage, I spoke with Emily Lau, Chair of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party to get her thoughts on the proceedings and the future. What’s the general mood and what is she concerned about what might transpire? We cover that in this exclusive interview.

Where do we from here in the South China Sea

Recently, the United States urged China and claimants in the South China sea to pursue a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in accordance with international law. China, then fired back that attempts at building a coalition against it were serving only the selfish ambitions of other nations.

Just what does China’s “Active Defense” strategy mean and what may we see in the upcoming months in the South China Sea? Scott Harold, Deputy Director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy and a political scientist at the RAND Corporation breaks things down.

Is the OPM Hack consistent with Active Defense?

Briefly mentioned in last week’s Asia News Weekly podcast, the cyber attack on the US Office of Personnel Management is, by some accounts, unprecedented.The perpetrators haven’t been identified, but the source of the attack has been located: China.

That doesn’t mean Beijing is behind the attack, only that it originated there. This week, Martin Libicki, a senior management scientist at the RAND Corporation discusses if this attack is consistent with China’s concept of “Active Defense” and what an appropriate response would be from the United States could be if a state-sponsored actor carried out the attack.

The Asia Brief

Some say ISIS is winning the war on some fronts, is Australia participating in state-sponsored human trafficking? Plus the DPRK shoots some missiles, confirms a purge, and loses a conscript. As we move towards the 50th anniversary of normalized relations between South Korea and Japan, can the two finally burry the hatchet? Those stories and more in this update.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t, subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

South China Sea security, Calls for Abe to apologize, and more


The Asia Brief features a collection of stories from the Asia-Pacific region you may have missed. In this week’s podcast: Security deals for the South China Sea, the showdown in Hong Kong over democracy, and updates from the ill fated Eastern Star cruise ship. Plus the podcast dives into updates from the Mount Kinabalu earthquake, calls for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to apologize, Malaysia airlines restructuring plans, and what video blogger Amos Yee may face in while in custody.

The Asia Brief features extended content originally broadcast as part of the Asia News Weekly podcast.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

Solving the Asian Migrant Crisis


In previous podcasts, I’ve spoken about the Asian Migrant Crisis and the plight of what are commonly referred to as “The Boat People.” It’s nothing short of a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.

While regional leaders met towards the end of May to try and get a grip on the situation, little was accomplished. Joining me on the podcast is Jonah Blank, Senior Political Scientist with the RAND Corporation to try and sense of it all.

This is of course a complicated issue. There really is no simple solution, but my question for you is, “Do you think these governments can work together to end the crisis?”

Asia Now features extended content originally broadcast as part of the Asia News Weekly podcast.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

The AIIB and what it means for you and me


By the end of this month, it’s expected the Articles of Agreement for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be finalized and be ready for signing. The China-led development bank also believes it will be up and running by the end of the year.

More than 50 countries have agreed to join this endeavor, but the AIIB isn’t the only game in town when it comes to developing a region where 40% of the population is poor.

Returning to the podcast is Curtis S Chin, Asia Fellow with the Milken Institute to break things down and explain why we need these financial institutions.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

MERS Hysteria Updates, Cyber Security, Boat People, and the AIIB


Separate fact from hysteria with a week’s worth of updates from the South Korean MERS crisis. Will the US cyber defense umbrella make a difference for Japan? EastWest Institute’s Greg Austin discusses this week. Just what can be done the Asia Migrant Crisis? RAND Corporation’s Jonah Blank identifies the cause and steps needed to be followed for its solution. Milken Institute Asia Fellow Curtis S Chin returns to the podcast to answer the question, “What can the AIIB do for me?” Plus regional updates and why Shinzo Abe may not apologize for Japan’s WWII deeds.

MERS Cripples South Korea

Host Steve Miller kicks off this week’s podcast separating the facts from the hysteria. What are the latest numbers from the Korean peninsula? What are some of the strange remedies South Koreans are trying? Why did things get so out of hand? Miller has the answers.

US – Japan Cyber Defense

The United States announced last week it would extend its cyber defense umbrella over Japan. Then, two days after the announcement, The Japan Times reported that 1.25 million sets of personal data from its pension system were leaked in a huge cyberattack. Greg Austin, a cyber security expert and Fellow at the EastWest Institute discusses the new agreement.

Can we solve the Boat People crisis?

Regional leaders met towards the end of May to try and get a grip on the Asian Migrant Crisis. Jonah Blank, Senior Political Scientist with the RAND Corporation discusses why those leaders can’t make headway on a solution.

This is only a portion of the conversation. The complete interview is available on our website in the Asia Now podcast feed.

Developing Asia with Big Bucks

By the end of this month, it’s expected the Articles of Agreement for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be finalized and be ready for signing. The China-led development bank also believes it will be up and running by the end of the year. But what’s in it for you and me? Curtis S Chin, Asia Fellow with the Milken Institute returns to help make sense of all the financial gobbledygook.

There is more to that conversation on our website and in the Asia Now podcast feed.

The Asia Brief

Leaders gather in Europe calling on China to back down in the South China Sea. Hong Kong sets the stage for the final debate on democracy. Will Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heed calls to apologize this WWII anniversary?

Get an extended version of The Asia Brief is available on our website and in its podcast feed.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

Should you be afraid of MERS?


South Korea stares down the MERS virus, trying to contain its spread, updates from the Shangri-La Defense Conference, and China races to rescue those trapped on a cruise ship.

South Korean MERS Crisis

More than 30 confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been detected in South Korea causing great alarm. How did the disease arrive and should you really be alarmed? Host Steve Miller breaks it down.

Shangri-La Defense Conference Updates

The Shangri-La Defense Conference, which took place in Singapore last weekend. This week, a recap of some of the conference’s highlights, which have found their way into number discussions on Asia News Weekly and Asia Now.

Chinese Cruise Ship Disaster

Monday evening, the Eastern Star sank in China’s Yangtze River following a storm in the area. Some 450-plus were on board when disaster struck. This could be the worst accident in 70 years and strangely parallels South Korea’s Sewol tragedy last year.

India’s Heat Wave

More than 2200 people have died as the nation suffered from extreme temperatures in the mid 40-Centigrade range (about 115F).

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

Australia strips ISIS fighters of passports and more


This week on The Asia Brief, as it begins its new format: South Korea become big brother by requiring minors to install monitoring applications on their smart phones, a visit to the Yasuki Shrine stirs trouble from China and South Korea, and Australia gets tough on ISIS supporters. Plus more news from China Xinjiang region, historians take issue with Prime Minister Abe, Joshua Wong’s quest for democracy gets him banned from Malaysia.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

Is the South China Sea Now a Cold War


For the past year, there’s been a steady build-up of activity on China’s part inside its self-declared Nine Dash Line. There was the deployment of an oil rig inside Vietnam’s established Exclusive Economic Zone, the bullying of weaker ASEAN members, and of course, the unprecedented land reclamation efforts that have quadrupled in recent months.

The United States has recently been making a push in the region challenging China, leading some to wonder if some sort of confrontation with Beijing will be unavoidable. Returning to the podcast is Jonathan Miller, Fellow on East Asia for the EastWest Institute to discuss.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

North Korea, South China Sea, Boat People and more


What the heck is going on with North Korea?; Is conflict unavoidable in the South China Sea, and the plight of the boat people. Plus stories from Thailand, South Korea, and more are coming up next.

What’s up with North Korea?

In 2013, we saw Kim Jong-un create a worldwide sensation despite being the head of a small, 25 million strong society. In recent months, we’ve seen an uptick in activity: missile launches, threats against South Korea, top level culls, and once more, problems at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Joining me is Adam Cathcart, a historian focusing on Chinese and North Korean relations the University of Leeds. He’s also the co-editor of Sino-NK, a collective of young scholars focusing on Korean and Chinese sources.

You’ll be able to hear the entire conversation on our website and in the Asia Now podcast feed.

Is confrontation in the South China Sea Unavoidable?

For the past year, there’s been a steady build-up of activity on China’s part inside its self-declared Nine Dash Line. There was the deployment of an oil rig inside Vietnam’s established Exclusive Economic Zone, the bullying of weaker ASEAN members, and of course, the unprecedented land reclamation efforts that have quadrupled in recent months. We may now be entering a new phase as tensions in the region increases.

Returning to the podcast is Jonathan Miller, Fellow on East Asia for the EastWest Institute to comment on what may be coming in the months to come. You’ll be able to hear the entire conversation as part of Asia Now here.

The Plight of the Boat People

It started off with finding a mass grave in Thailand. Those exhumed were Rohingya muslims or Bangladeshi migrants. Since that grizzly discovery at the beginning of May, the situation has become a crisis for ASEAN member states. Host Steve Miller breaks down the latest.

If you’d like to hear that entire conversation with Phil Robertson that’s referenced in this story, it’s the April 18th episode of Asia Now.

Thailand – One Year Later

More than one year has passed since Prayuth Chan-ocha staged a bloodless coup and assumed control of Thailand. While the former general has retired from the military, he’s still in charge and shows no sign of relinquishing control after putting in place a hand-picked national legislature and invoking the sweeping powers afforded to him under Article 44. Miller runs down the latest.

The Asia Brief

This week on The Asia Brief, as it begins its new format: South Korea become big brother by requiring minors to install monitoring applications on their smart phones, a visit to the Yasuki Shrine stirs trouble from China and South Korea, and Australia gets tough on ISIS supporters. Plus more news from China Xinjiang region, historians take issue with Prime Minister Abe, and Joshua Wong’s quest for democracy gets him banned from Malaysia.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.

What’s up with North Korea?


It’s the redheaded stepchild of East Asia: North Korea. The dictatorial regime sandwiched between reluctant allies China and Russia; and a host of other concerned parties including South Korea, Japan, and by proxy, the United States.

In 2013, we saw Kim Jong-un create a worldwide sensation despite being the head of a small, 25 million strong society.

In recent months, we’ve seen an uptick in activity: missile launches, threats against South Korea, top level culls, and once more, problems at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Joining me is Adam Cathcart, a historian focusing on Chinese and North Korean relations the University of Leeds. He’s also the co-editor of Sino-NK, a collective of young scholars focusing on Korean and Chinese sources.

Asia Now is a featured excerpt from the Asia News Weekly podcast, which is released every Friday.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please share it with your friends and if you haven’t subscribe. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you. You can subscribe on our website, AsiaNewsWeekly.net, or in your favorite podcast application.

You’ll be able to keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter and if you have comments, questions, or feedback, be sure to drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net.