Tea Leaves Podcast

© 2021 The Asia Group

July 23, 2018

Joseph Yun

Joseph Yun had an accomplished career as a U.S. diplomat, serving in multiple posts from Hong Kong to Paris to Bangkok before becoming U.S. ambassador to Malaysia in 2013. He then went on to serve as the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy prior to joining The Asia Group as a special advisor. In this episode, Kurt sits down with Ambassador Yun to discuss his career in the Foreign Service, particularly the role Yun played in renewing U.S.-Myanmar ties and his tenure as ambassador in Malaysia, during which President Barack Obama visited twice. Having shaped U.S. policy towards North Korea before his retirement, Ambassador Yun shares his perspective on the Singapore summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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July 16, 2018

Robert Roche

After growing up in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Robert Roche went on to build successful businesses in Japan and China. Roche is known for his strategic investments and business acumen across the Indo-Pacific region. Kurt sits down with Roche to discuss his business and personal experiences, including his first internship in Japan and raising a family in both Japan and China. Based on his vast expertise, Roche provides listeners his perspective on the current U.S.-China trade challenges, environmental challenges facing China, and how Chinese people perceive President Xi Jinping.

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July 9, 2018

Michael McFaul

In this episode of the podcast, Rich sits down in Palo Alto with Stanford Professor Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, to discuss his new book on U.S.-Russia relations, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. McFaul tells Rich about how he became President Barack Obama’s ambassador, after previously serving at the National Security Council, and the challenges that awaited him in Moscow. McFaul comments on Russia’s place in the current U.S. National Security Strategy and the continued problems facing the bilateral relationship. The two also examine Russia’s relationships with several countries in Asia including India, Afghanistan, and China.

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June 24, 2018

Amitabh Bachchan

Rich sits down in Mumbai with one of India’s biggest stars, Amitabh Bachchan, to discuss Indian cinema and the actor’s legendary career. Bachchan, who began acting in 1969 and has since continued to maintain A-list status, explains how he got his start. The actor and film producer breaks down the changing dynamics of the Indian film industry and how studios have sought to expand distribution into the Chinese market. At a time when institutions around the world seem to be weakening, he discusses the power of global cinema to bring people together. Bachchan, a vocal proponent for public health awareness, also discusses his involvement in reducing the social stigmatization of tuberculosis and hepatitis B.

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June 11, 2018

Kevin Rudd

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – who is also the current President of the Asia Society Policy Institute – sits down with Kurt and Rich to discuss his distinguished career in Australian politics, the changing dynamics at play in the Australia-U.S. bilateral relationship, and the rise of China as an Asia-Pacific power. From his humble beginnings growing up on a farm in Queensland, Prime Minister Rudd explains how his mother and literature got him interested in the foreign service – and China in particular – and what drove him to ultimately get involved in public service. Moreover, as one of only a handful of foreign leaders to ever be able to converse with Chinese leaders in Chinese, Prime Minister Rudd remains uniquely suited to breaking down the rise of China and what it means for Australia, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region.

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