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The Tea Leaves Podcast

Updated about 1 month ago

Business
News & Politics
Society & Culture
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Go behind the scenes with The Asia Group’s Dr. Kurt M. Campbell and Ambassador Richard Verma in a series of revealing interviews with policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and artists exploring the most dynamic and consequential region in the world. These guys know Asia. Dr. Kurt M. Campbell is CEO and Chairman of The Asia Group, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013. Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, and served as the United States Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017.

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Go behind the scenes with The Asia Group’s Dr. Kurt M. Campbell and Ambassador Richard Verma in a series of revealing interviews with policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and artists exploring the most dynamic and consequential region in the world. These guys know Asia. Dr. Kurt M. Campbell is CEO and Chairman of The Asia Group, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013. Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, and served as the United States Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017.

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
57
2
1
0
0

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
57
2
1
0
0
Cover image of The Tea Leaves Podcast

The Tea Leaves Podcast

Updated about 1 month ago

Read more

Go behind the scenes with The Asia Group’s Dr. Kurt M. Campbell and Ambassador Richard Verma in a series of revealing interviews with policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and artists exploring the most dynamic and consequential region in the world. These guys know Asia. Dr. Kurt M. Campbell is CEO and Chairman of The Asia Group, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013. Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, and served as the United States Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017.

Rank #1: Robert Kaplan

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Kurt and Rich sit down with famed foreign correspondent and author Robert Kaplan to discuss great power rivalries in Asia – particularly between the United States and China. Elaborating ideas that he has explored over the past two decades and in his latest book, The Return of Marco Polo’s World, Kaplan warns listeners that the greatest threat to American influence in Asia is the absence of a coherent vision. Moreover, drawing from a vast array of disciplines - including naval strategy, history, and political theory - Kaplan reminds audiences that technology has shrunk geography rather than defeat it, with events on one side of the Pacific having an ever-increasing impact across the ocean.
May 28 2018
42 mins
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Rank #2: Evan Medeiros Pt. 1

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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.
Jan 01 2019
29 mins
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Rank #3: Tom Donilon

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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.
Oct 29 2018
33 mins
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Rank #4: Ash Carter

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Tea Leaves traveled to Boston this week to meet with Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Kurt and Rich talk to Ash about his tenure at the Pentagon, the dynamism of the Indo-Pacific, and the challenges the United States faces in the region. Ash draws on his 35-year career working on defense and technology to hone in on critical issues, including the rise of China, strategy and policymaking, and partnering with India. Despite myriad challenges, Ash remains confident in the U.S. role in Asia and in the region’s massive potential.
Apr 16 2018
29 mins
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Rank #5: Mike Green

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In this episode, Kurt and Rich meet with leading Japan scholar, author, and former NSC Senior Director for Asia Michael Green to discuss his career path, the United States’ long history of engagement with Asia, developments around North Korea, and how the U.S. should be thinking about its grand strategy. His latest book, By More Than Providence, explores the development of U.S. strategy in Asia from its inception, granting insights into how the future of U.S. engagement will shape the region.  Michael’s experience living and working both in Japan and the United States, and both inside and outside government, give him a unique understanding of how the United States is perceived and projects its power in Asia. Using his unique background, not to mention his talent on the bagpipes and in Iaido, Michael explains how America’s role in Asia predates World War II, why that is important, and what it means for American foreign policy in the future.  Note for the listeners: this episode was recorded prior to the announcement that President Trump and Kim Jung-un may meet in early May.
Apr 02 2018
43 mins
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Rank #6: Joseph Yun

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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.
Jul 23 2018
32 mins
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Rank #7: Amitabh Bachchan

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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.
Jun 24 2018
31 mins
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Rank #8: Kevin Rudd

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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.
Jun 11 2018
32 mins
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Rank #9: Kristin Lord and Tina Sciabica

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Kurt and Rich welcome Kristin Lord, the president and CEO of IREX, and Tina Sciabica, the executive director of READ Global, to the Tea Leaves studio. As leaders of two prominent non-profits with operations around the world, Kristin and Tina discuss their work in Asia, including how READ has been able to bring technology to classrooms, libraries, and centers around the region. Kristin and Tina also share how non-profits can become sustainable through community ownership.
Jan 28 2019
34 mins
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Rank #10: Evan Medeiros Pt. 2

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Evan Medeiros, the former senior director for Asia at the National Security Council, returns to the studio to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. In the second episode of this two-part series, Medeiros discusses Vice President Mike Pence’s speech last fall on China, questions elements of the Thucydides’ Trap debate, and talks about current debates in Beijing about the United States. Together, Kurt, Rich, and Evan examine the risk of conflict and ponder the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
Jan 14 2019
28 mins
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Rank #11: Michael McFaul

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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.
Jul 09 2018
36 mins
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Rank #12: Andrew Shearer

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Having served as the national security advisor to two Australian prime ministers, Andrew Shearer brings his unique perspective to the Tea Leaves set, where he joins Kurt for a conversation about Australia and its role in the region and world. Shearer explains how the United States and Australia continue to have a robust and strong relationship. He discusses the role of the national security advisor in Canberra and how the position differs from its counterpart in the White House. As a bonus, Shearer provides listeners with a tour through Australia, emphasizing some of the unique features of the country’s cities.
Sep 17 2018
39 mins
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Rank #13: Ambassador Navtej Sarna

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From a demographic, economic, and geopolitical outlook, it is difficult to estimate the full impact that India will have on the coming century. Likewise, efforts to advance shared interests in not just the Indo-Pacific region, but also on the global stage, will be in large part determined by India’s participation. Coming from his unique vantage point, Ambassador Navtej Singh Sarna sits down with Tea Leaves to discuss the past, present, and future of India’s role in the region and its relationship with the United States. From building constructive relationships with regional players and India’s transition from “looking east” to “acting east,” Ambassador Sarna explains to the Tea Leaves hosts why he believes an entirely positive U.S.-Indian relationship is only constrained by time and energy.
Apr 30 2018
24 mins
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Rank #14: Kishore Mahbubani

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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.
Nov 26 2018
36 mins
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Rank #15: Sam Vinograd

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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.
Dec 05 2018
32 mins
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