CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast-logo

CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

In the CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.

In the CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.


United Kingdom


In the CSDS-Asia Matters Podcast, we go beyond the headlines with experts from around the globe to help explain what's shaping the region.




The Philippines: A Family Business

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...


Asia’s Response to the War in Ukraine

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...


Close and nasty: South Korea's divisive election

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...


Women's Lives In Modern China

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...


ASEAN and the European Union - Kindred Spirits or Worlds Apart?

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...


China's Politics and Economy as the Winter Olympics Open

The eyes of the world are on China as Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics. A successful Games will be used by leader Xi Jinping to bolster his image and status at home and abroad; a status that was given a significant boost in November, when a major meeting of the Communist Party effectively enshrined his position in the party’s historical pantheon, alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. But while the opening ceremonies and stage-managed meetings played out without a hitch, there are still...


Is there a Transatlantic Approach to China and the Indo-Pacific?

We’re heading to familiar territory again on this week's podcast - the Indo-Pacific. Increasingly, the area is becoming the centre of the geopolitical conversation being had all around the world. China's showcasing of its increasing might there is a big reason for this of course. But the sheer size of this complex region and the wealth of its resources means the Indo-Pacific's many other diverse players cannot be overlooked. How can the United States and its European allies best manage...


Good COP? China, Asia and Climate Change

This week we take stock of COP26, the latest major international meeting on climate change which just wrapped up in Glasgow - billed beforehand as the "last best hope for the world to get its act together". Asia, of course, is crucial to the debate over climate change. It’s home to some of the world’s biggest polluters, but also some of its fastest-growing economies, that are at the forefront of the world’s shift to cleaner energy. The 197 countries involved in COP26 did at least agree on...


China Tackles Its Tech Titans

This week we look at China's tech industry - few sectors have been more dynamic or grown as fast in recent years, with the likes of e-commerce giant Alibaba and video games maker Tencent rising to become among the world’s most valuable companies. Until recently, that is. Over the past year China’s government has taken a series of steps that together have come to be seen as a crackdown on the tech sector, from restricting big companies’ plans to float on the stock market to limiting the time...


Delta Damage: Asia's Continuing Covid Struggle

For those hoping the coronavirus pandemic was under control in Asia, the summer has been a nasty shock. A resurgence of Covid-19 across Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and elsewhere, mainly associated with the spread of the Delta variant, has put paid to the idea the region was nearing the end of the health crisis. Even in countries like China, where the virus seems to have been restrained, the way forward is not clear. Almost two years into the pandemic, as economies reel and...


South Korea: The Tech Powerhouse on the Cyber Frontline

In any list of influential tech powers in the world, South Korea would undoubtedly be near the top. In this episode we delve into how the country achieved this status, transforming the nature of its economy and producing global industry leaders like Samsung and LG Electronics. But we'll also look to the future, and at how South Korea is working with the international community to build up the world's tech infrastructure. How is Seoul cooperating with other regions and countries when it...


North Korea: The View from the South

We turn again to the Korean peninsula in this week's episode, in another collaboration with CSDS. We often talk about North Korea's future in terms of how the issue plays out amid the region's broad geopolitical rivalries, and between the US and China. Less discussed is how the issue is viewed in South Korea - which technically remains at war with its northern neighbour - and whose interest in the matter is existential. Seoul's approach to the DPRK is set to come more sharply into focus in...


Myanmar Six Months On: A Failed State?

The most shocking political development in Asia so far this year is arguably the seizure of power by the military in Myanmar, and the arrest of the country’s former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military’s crackdown on protests and other resistance against the coup has so far resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests. In this episode we discuss the impact of the coup on the South East Asian nation, which is also often known as Burma, and how the current situation may...


The Olympics in Asia: Gold, Glory and Geopolitics

Against all odds, and after much compromise, the Tokyo Olympic Games are set to go ahead this summer. With no foreign fans and most spectators banned, it's certainly not the event Japan would have wanted. In this episode we’ll assess the impact and significance of past Olympics in the Asian region, as well as what this summer’s event may mean for Japan. Previous Olympics in Asia have often held huge symbolic importance - from Japan's post WWII 'coming out' Games in 1964, right up until most...


How the EU Fits into Asia’s Security Puzzle

This week we turn our attention to the Indo-Pacific - the new geopolitical groupings emerging there, from multilateral trade deals to nascent security arrangements - and how Europe fits in to the picture. The most well-known of these new security groups is probably the Quad, a grouping of the major democracies with skin in the game in the region - namely India, Japan, Australia, and the US. But what of Europe, the world's largest trading bloc? Back in April, the EU published a strategy...


Does China See Itself as a Great Power?

In July the Chinese Communist Party turns 100. From humble beginnings in a small building in Shanghai's French Concession, the party would go on to seize power, retaining it into the present day, and fundamentally alter the course of China's history. A century ago, the CCP's founders would probably not have been able to imagine the influence they would wield and the modern country their party would forge, even if they might have hoped for it. China in 1921 was fracturing, impoverished, and...


North Korea: Is Full Denuclearisation Still a Viable Goal?

For this episode we're taking a look at one of the world’s most intractable geopolitical issues - North Korea - as the second of our collaborations with the Centre for Security, Strategy and Diplomacy at the Brussels School of Governance. South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has just been in Washington for talks with President Biden, in part to discuss how to deal with the long-isolated country. And in its first comments reacting to that meeting, Pyongyang has signalled it was not best...


Japan and South Korea: Navigating an Era of Competition

This week we set our sights on Japan and South Korea, East Asia's most prominent middle powers. With the United States and China showing no sign of backing away from confrontation, we look at what it means for two countries caught between them geographically and politically. What roles do they see themselves taking on as the Asia-Pacific becomes ever more fractious? Both are major economic players, with important clout both in their own sphere and further afield. The decisions they make...


Biden Post-100 Days: The View from Asia

US President Joe Biden has steamed past his first 100 days in office, typically a stage where we can look back and take stock of where a new administration is headed. For those of us outside America there’s a particular focus on Mr Biden’s foreign policy - and for us and our listeners of course, a particular focus on his Asia policy. In this episode we have partnered with the IAFOR Research Centre's Korea Foundation project on "Korea and Japan in the evolving China-US relations" and...


Dealing with Disinformation: A Global Challenge

This week Asia Matters joins forces with the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance, home to a rich expertise on Asia and working to enhance understanding of Europe's security challenges in the region. Our first in what will be a series of episodes is on disinformation. Disinformation has become somewhat of a buzzword over the last few years, particularly in the wake of Russian interference into the 2016 US election. But what exactly do we mean when...