Jamie Metzl, currently a senior advisor to Cranemere LLC & a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, joined us to dissect the economical and geopolitical landscape of Asia. Drawing from his illustrious career and experience in foreign relations and international diplomacy (Asia Society, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senator & now Vice President Joe Biden, Department of State, National Security Council and United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), we discuss the slowdown of the China economy and the recent equity bubble burst, the eventual fate of North Korea and how it affects South Korea if reunification ever happens, and Japan’s population decline & its impact to the region as a whole. Last but not least, we have a short chat on Jamie’s fiction novels and yes, there is a sequel to “The Genesis Code”.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Jamie Metzl (@jamiemetzl, LinkedIn, personal site and newsletter)
  • The story of Jamie Metzl (senior advisor, Cranemere LLC & senior fellow of the Atlantic Council) [0:40]
    • What inspired Jamie to enter into foreign policy and international diplomacy? [1:16]
    • How did Jamie get started with his career and eventually worked in the area of international relations?
    • In his various roles (US Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senator & now Vice President Joe Biden, Department of State, National Security Council and United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), what are his reflections on international relations? [3:00]
    • What is his perspective on the Asia pivot policy initiated by the Obama’s administration with Hillary Clinton leading it during her tenure as Secretary of State? [5:04]
    • His perspective on Asia as a whole: paraphrasing Jamie’s view, Asia is just an artificial construct by the West but a diverse landscape distributed with many cultures, nationalities and political structures. [7:10]
  • Asia Society
    • What is Asia Society and what is their mission & history of the organization? [10:20]
    • What initiatives do the Asia Society organize in Asia? For example, Asia 21 Young Leaders Initative. [11:30]
    • What are his thoughts in his tenure as the executive vice president from 2005 to 2011? [11:58]
  • Reflections on Economics and Politics in Asia
    • China’s Slow Down & Equity Bubble burst [12:45]

      • China’s economy has been slowing down, and is it moving towards a more sustainable economy or if it represents a financial crisis? [13:00]
      • Before Xi Jinping become President, the year on year growth as promised by the former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao under Hu Jintao is 8% GDP growth. The Chinese economy has grown with earning valuations of Chinese stocks tripled to those of any other significant market such as the US, and recently, the stock crashes, what do you think are the forces responsible for the market crashes in China stock market? [17:55]
      • Do you think that China is overreacting to its market correction? (Ref: The problem with China’s efforts to prop up the stock market – NYTimes) [21:00]
      • Jamie’s prediction that China will end up in the state of economic stagnation similar to Japan, and understand how he came to this conclusion. [22:55]
      • What is the impact of the new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) towards the existing structures such as IMF and World Bank? [23:38]
    • North Korea
      • As Jamie traveled to North Korea last year, in his views, what has changed since Kim Jong Un’s rise to power? [25:05]
      • In a recent article, you make the case of Korea’s reunification is in China’s interest, what is the basis of his arguments? [27:01]
      • Why is there a split in the Chinese foreign policy community on the North Korea issue? [29:08]
      • Will North Korea government eventually collapse? [29:40]
      • What are the implications to the South Korea economy if such a scenario happens? How would reunification happened in that situation? [29:50]
    • Japan
      • Japan’s aging population and its reluctance to solve the population issue, what do he see Japan’s economy and society evolving in the next decade? [31:00]
  • Author of Novels
    • Jamie have written two books “The Depths of the Sea” and “Genesis Code” which focus on biotechnology and genomics revolutions. What inspired him to write fiction and also how has his foreign relations experience helped to shape the stories? [32:40]
    • Of course, we also find out that the sequel “Eternal Sonata” to “Genesis Code” is going to be out next year. [34:04]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace(Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi).

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