Tea Leaves Podcast

© 2021 The Asia Group

January 1, 2019

Evan Medeiros Pt. 1

Evan Medeiros, the former senior director for Asia at President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, joins Kurt and Rich for a special New Year’s Day episode commemorating the 40th anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. In the first of a two-part series, the three discuss the last forty years of ties, paying particular attention to the challenging moments in the relationship. Medeiros also comments on how the Trump administration’s China policies fit into the broader narrative of 21st century U.S.-China relations, since President Richard Nixon formalized ties. The conversation will continue in a second episode released later in January.

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December 5, 2018

Sam Vinograd

CNN analyst Sam Vinograd, the former senior advisor to White House national security Tom Donilon, joins Kurt and Rich for a conversation about her career in foreign policy and her views on U.S. policy in Asia. After witnessing 9/11 during her freshman orientation in college, Vinograd began years of study of the Middle East, eventually finding her way after graduate school to Baghdad, where she served as the U.S. Treasury Department’s deputy attaché. She shares insights and stories from her time working at both the Treasury Department and at the White House. Recorded before the G20 Summit, she, Kurt, and Rich discuss contemporary issues affecting Asia and around the world. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Vinograd also emphasizes the importance of supporting child refugees in such volatile moments.

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November 26, 2018

Kishore Mahbubani

Kishore Mahbubani, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Singapore’s former permanent representative to the United Nations, joins Kurt and Rich for a conversation about Asia’s role in the international order. Mahbubani, who recently published Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation, explains his views on the changing role of China and India. The three debate the role the United States has played in Asia and the world.

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November 13, 2018

Elizabeth Economy

Dr. Elizabeth Economy, the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, joins Kurt for a conversation about her career and the way that Chinese domestic politics is shaping the country’s approach to its international affairs. Economy explains how she went from serving as Soviet analyst in the U.S. intelligence community to becoming one of the foremost China experts in the United States. The two discuss Economy’s new book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, and share their own perceptions of Xi. Looking to the future, Economy highlights the struggles that Xi will face, including labor protests, increased internal dissent, and potential criticism from the entrepreneurial sector, as China continues to change.

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October 29, 2018

Tom Donilon

Former White House national security advisor Tom Donilon joins Kurt and Rich to discuss his experience serving as one of President Barack Obama’s closest advisors and the current challenges facing the United States. After decades of service at the highest-level of the national security establishment, Donilon shares his insights on the importance of process in foreign policymaking. Finally, Donilon, whose first job out of college was in President Jimmy Carter’s White House, provides his perspective on the importance of mentorship and shares how former Secretary of State Warren Christopher served as his mentor during the early days of his career.

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