May 23 - Obama's Visit to Vietnam; China's Strategic Agenda in the South China Sea; Congress Dithers While Zika Spreads

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with President Obama’s visit to Vietnam and the announcement that the U.S. is lifting its arms embargo on Vietnam, a move that is widely interpreted as a response to China’s territorial encroachment into the South China Sea, which the Vietnamese call the East Sea. First we speak with Professor Hung Nguyen, emeritus professor of East Asian Studies and a professor of Government and International Affairs at George Mason University. He joins us to discuss how the Vietnamese view the expansionist activities of China and whether those concerns are greater than the economic and Communist Party to Communist Party ties that are being made between Vietnam and China, which is Vietnam‘s biggest trading partner.

Hung M Nguyen

Part 2

Then we get a broader strategic view of Obama’s agenda with Vietnam and the extent to which the TPP and lifting the arms embargo are a response to China’s territorial encroachment deep into Vietnamese and Philippine waters. Alfred McCoy, Chair of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State” joins us to discuss the “protein wars” which are a result of China having fished out its waters as it now launches a military-like invasion of the rich fishing grounds between Vietnam and the Philippines with massive fishing fleets in coordination with the Chinese Navy.

Alfred W. McCoy

Part 3

Then finally we examine the remarks made by the head of the World Health Organization that the Zika epidemic is both the fault of governments that abandoned mosquito eradication and failed to provide birth control to young women in poor countries. With Congress delaying funding for 90 days after low-balling Obama’s request of $1.9 billion down to $622 million for mosquito eradication in the Southern states and to find a vaccine for Zika, we speak with Dr. Peter Katona, a Clinical Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to see if there is a way forward to deal with this alarming epidemic.