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Oxford Debate: Will East Asia Lead the Way Beyond This Pandemic?

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Oxford Debate with Bernhard Bartsch, Se-Woong Koo, Valérie Niquet, and Angela Stanzel

About this Event

Covid-19 hit the whole world. A year into this global pandemic many countries have a lockdown of some kind in place, while the number of infections and the death toll are still rising. But there are some nations that count significantly lower numbers of cases and a lot less disruption in the daily lives of their citizens thanks to how they dealt and keep dealing with the disease, among them the East Asian countries South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan. Even though all of them have taken different measures to prevent and contain the spread of infections, all of them have proven to be far more successful in governing this crisis than most western countries.

What can we learn from these countries? And is East Asian governance not only better equipped to respond to pandemics but also to other global challenges such as climate change, inequality, or ageing societies? Or will these new policies on the contrary have lasting effects on the countries, their economies, and their citizens?

In this Oxford Debate we are debating whether East Asia's pandemic responses will prove their success beyond this pandemic.

Motion

This pandemic shows: East Asia is ready to lead

Speakers

For the motion

Bernhard Bartsch, Senior Expert China and Asia Pacific at the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Se-Woong Koo, author and founder of Korea Exposé

Against the motion

Valerie Niquet, Head of the Asia department at Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), Senior Fellow at the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA) and a lecturer at Keio University, Tokyo

Angela Stanzel, Associate in the Asia Research Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

About Oxford Debates

The Oxford Debates at Asia Society Switzerland are a format to address ‘big’ questions that have no one answer or solution but are inviting many conflicting views. Four renowned experts in the field form teams of two, one team arguing for the motion, the other against it.

The Oxford-style format is broken down into four sections: opening remarks, rebuttals, a moderated question-and-answer session, and closing remarks. Before and after the debate the audience is polled whether they agree with the motion or not. The voting breakdown is not shared publicly until the end of the debate. The greater percentage change between the first and second votes determines the debate’s winning team.

Disclaimer: Positions presented in the debate do not necessarily represent the speakers’ views.

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